Bavo Defurne’s feature debut North Sea Texas has won the Network Culture Prize in Bern, Switzerland, a biannual prize encouraging public awareness and rewarding outstanding work in going public with gay cultural concerns. With the award comes a cash prize of CHF15,000 (approx. €12,350). Director Bavo Defurne accepted the honours in person during an awards ceremony on Saturday.

Still of North Sea TexasThe introverted Pim grows up in the late sixties in some shabby little village on the Belgian coast. He is a real dreamer and when puberty kicks in, Pim starts dreaming of Gino, the older boy next door. Jelle Florizoone, Mathias Vergels and Eva Van der Gucht star in this adaptation of André Sollie’s coming-of-age novel This Will Never End (Nooit gaat dit over).

North Sea Texas premiered internationally at the 2011 Montréal World Film Festival, which proved to be the start of a blossoming international career. The feature immediately grabbed two of the fest’s prizes in Montréal and went on to Rome where it was awarded the Marc’Aurelio Alice Nella Città 13+ Award.

North Sea Texas was invited to, among others, Palm Springs, London, Capetown and Miami and had theatrical releases in The Netherlands, Great Britain and Thailand. The film currently runs in the US and Paris.

Every two years, the Swiss association Network hands out a Culture Prize in another field of arts. A jury consisting of external experts and members of Network unanimously selected North Sea Texas out of twelve nominated films.

In its statement, the jury praised director Bavo Defurne for his flawless transition from internationally acclaimed short films to an equally successful feature debut. Compliments were also given to the film’s clever script, its actor direction and visual style and the exquisite performances of the actors. The jury report concludes by describing North Sea Texas as a little cinematographic masterpiece.

Bavo Defurne and Yves Verbraeken scripted the film, which was produced by Yves Verbraeken for Indeed Films with the support of the VAF/Film Fund. London-based sales agent Wavelength Pictures represents North Sea Texas internationally.

Indeed Films is currently developing Souvenir, Bavo Defurne’s new feature film about a forgotten Eurovision Song Contest singer who falls in love with a young boxer.

Published on Monday 14 January 2013