Nicolas Provost’s feature debut The Invader has won the Grand Jury Prize for Best New Director at the Seattle International Film Festival. The film has now notched up six awards since its release, three of which have been for Best Director.
The Seattle International Film Festival (17 May-10 June) had nothing but praise for the film: ‘From the stunning opening scene… you know that you are in the hands of a savvy provocateur. And The Invader is nothing if not a gripping, multi-tiered, provocation regarding race, cultures, class, and sex.’ Provost’s venture into feature fiction has already won him Best Director (Reflet d’Or) at the Geneva International Film Festival and Best Flemish Talent (Jo Röpcke Award).
The Invader premiered in the Netherlands in May 2012 and was well received by critics, with four stars in De Volkskrant, Het Parool, Cinema.nl and de Filmkrant. According to Het Parool's Mark Moorman, Provost ‘creates his own, completely unique and disturbing world, which is cruel and at the same time wrought with beauty, full of longing and fear.’ Reviews compared the film with Scorsese’s classic Taxi Driver, Steve McQueen’s Shame and Haneke’s Hidden.
The Invader is the story of an illegal African immigrant whose journey begins in Brussels as he searches, like many other immigrants, for a better life. Through his confrontation with a harsh society, he slowly but irreversibly starts to embody our worst fears and becomes the monster we ourselves have created. The film features talent such as Italian actress Stefania Rocca (The Talented Mr Ripley) and Issaka Sawadogo (Hotel Swooni). The film is a co-production between Versus Production and Prime Time (Unspoken) and received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).
The Invader wasn't the only Flemish film in Seattle’s line-up. Bavo Defurne’s North Sea Texas, Rosto’s The Monster of Nix and Kevin Meul’s the Extraordinary Life of Rocky also screened at the US fest. Kevin Meul’s short even won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short last week when the awards for short film were announced. SIFF, the biggest film festival in the US with over 150,000 visitors annually, screened over 450 films this year.