Flemish filmmaker Lukas Dhont’s debut feature Girl has been selected for the prestigious Cannes section Un Certain Regard, it was announced at the Festival press conference in Paris this morning.

Girl“I am incredibly happy with the freedom I have had making Girl and the trust that so many people placed in me to develop my first feature in this way,” said Dhont. “To be able to present Girl in world premiere at the Cannes Festival is just… unbelievable.”

“To present Lukas’s debut feature to the world in the Cannes Festival’s Official Selection is nothing short of a very bold dream becoming reality,” added producer Dirk Impens. The film’s selection is especially gratifying for Impens, who last summer announced his retirement from producing.

Girl tells the story of determined 15-year-old Lara, committed to becoming a professional ballerina. With the support of her father, she throws herself into this quest at a new school. Lara’s adolescent frustrations and impatience are heightened as she realises her body does not bend easily to ballet’s strict discipline because she was born a boy.

The main roles are played by Victor Polster as Lara and Arieh Worthalter as Lara’s father, with Valentijn Dhaenens and Katelijne Damen in support. Lukas Dhont wrote the screenplay with Angelo Tijssens, and developed the film during a Résidence du Festival, an initiative of the Cannes Cinéfondation.

Girl will have its world premiere in Cannes and will compete for the Prix Un Certain Regard, as well as the Caméra d’Or prize for best debut feature. This is the first time in 29 years that a Flemish film has been selected for Un Certain Regard. Hugo Claus‘s Het Sacrament was in the line-up in 1989.

Girl is produced by Dirk Impens for Menuet, in co-production with Frakas Productions and Topkapi Films. The film is represented internationally by Cologne-based sales agent The Match Factory. Lumière will distribute the film in Belgium, Cinemien in the Netherlands and Diaphana Distribution in France. Girl received support from Belgium's Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).

Published on Thursday 12 April 2018

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