The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) has greenlit five very different projects in its June support round. Grid Film’s animation short Drift, a team productions’ The Pond, indie game developer Tale of Tales’ Luxuria Superbia and Off World’s documentaries My Ras Tafari Roots and The Age of Death were confirmed for production support. In total, more than €375,000 was awarded.
Brussels-based production outfit Off World leads the pack with no fewer than two greenlit projects. In the medium-length documentary My Ras Tafari Roots, director David Verhaeghe goes off to find the truth behind an age-old family mystery: was his Italian grandmother the lovechild of legendary Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie? Selassie, born Ras Tafari Makkonen, is the divine centre of a religion still practised today. The film documents the fascinating story of a young European who traces his lineage from Italy, to Cyprus, to ancient Roman archives to Addis Abeba in search of his African roots. The doc’s screenplay was written by journalist, author and reggae expert Karel Michiels.
Off World is also working on Christopher Yates’s feature documentary The Age of Death. This minority Flemish co-production with Playtime Films follows five Bolivian miners through the ghosts and legends that haunt them, revealing the fragility of man and his surroundings. These men burrow every day through hellish mines, abandoning the majestic landscape of the Bolivian Andes for the mine’s dark confinement. Their identities fade as they enter this obscure world full of history and ghosts. The Age of Death’s screenplay was penned by Benjamin Colaux.
A third project is Jeroen Dumoulin’s live-action short The Pond. Written by the experienced Michel Sabbe (Hotel Swooni), this poetic horror story tells the tale of an eight-year-old girl who tries to unravel the mystery of the haunted black pond behind her house. a team productions has built a strong reputation as a producer of shorts, with festival favourites such as Sahim Omar Kalifa’s Land of the Heroes, which picked up the Generation Kplus Jury Award at the Berlinale 2011, and Robin Pront’s Matthias Schoenaerts-starrer Injury Time.
With Luxuria Superbia, director Auriea Harvey and writer Michaël Samyn explore new territory by bringing their creativity to the iPad. In the past they’ve worked on innovative iPhone and Android apps (The Graveyard), PC and Mac games (The Endless Forest) and much more. Their venture into iPad gaming promises to celebrate the beauty of an interactive iPad app while finding a balance between a sensual racing game and a spiritual garden simulator. A couple in real life, Auriea and Michaël told us all about their creative process in our Flanders (i) interview of summer 2010 (read it online here).
Finally, post-production service provider Grid has recently moved into film with their new wing, Grid Film. Their new project, Drift, an animated short by Lieven Vanhove, is just one of a number of projects they have lined up. In Drift, a man desperately tries to find a way to reach his wife, who’s trapped on the other side of a cliff which is about to collapse.