Bavo Defurne’s feature film debut North Sea Texas has snared its fifth international prize. The film screened at the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (27 April-6 May) where it was not only programmed as the closing picture, but also received the HBO Jury Prize for Best Full Length Feature.
More than a year after its Belgian release, North Sea Texas keeps on scoring overseas on both sales and festival selections. Recently Bavo Defurne’s feature had the honour of opening the Pink Apple Zürich Film Festival (2-10 May) in advance of its German theatrical bow on 10 May. The release in Germany is handled by Salzgeber Medien, the company of the late Manfred Salzgeber, who laid the foundations of the Berlinale’s prestigious Panorama section.
Previously, Peccadillo signed for the film’s theatrical release in the United Kingdom, where its premiere at the beginning of April was celebrated with a special gala screening at the London Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, where North Sea Texas also screened as the closing film. Defurne’s picture was also released in the Netherlands by ABC-Cinemien while an American release by Strand Releasing is scheduled for late summer.
North Sea Texas is also riding a sound festival course. It won the Silver Zenith and the FIPRESCI International Press Award at the Montreal World Film Festival, the Alice in the City Award at the Rome International Film Festival as well as the Best First Feature Director Award in Cape Town. With the HBO Jury Prize, worth $1,500, the tally of international prizes now stands at five.
Based on André Sollie’s novel Nooit gaat dit over, North Sea Texas features Pim, who's growing up in a Belgian seaside village in the 1960s, dreaming of his rugged neighbour, Gino. But Gino isn’t much of a dreamer himself. Or is he? Title roles are portrayed by Jelle Florizoone, Mathias Vergels and Eva Van der Gucht. DOP was Anton Mertons, while Els Voorspoels edited the film.
North Sea Texas was produced by Yves Verbraeken for Indeed Films and was made possible with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF). International sales are handled by London-based Wavelength Pictures who represented Bavo Defurne’s earlier shorts internationally.