Kevin Meul’s short, The Extraordinary Life of Rocky, has won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short at the Seattle International Film Festival (17 May-10 June). With this win, the short is now eligible to enter the Short Films category of the Academy Awards.
In its statement, the jury of three praised The Extraordinary Life of Rocky as ‘A darkly funny exploration of a young man with a curse. This unlikely romance marries perfect period detail with a wonderfully morbid Scandinavian sensibility.’ The award also comes with a cash prize of $1,000.
Last year, Kevin Meul’s short won the Meeting Point Award for Best Short Film at the Valladolid International Film Festival in Spain. Just recently the film added Best Short to its resume at the British Independent Film Festival, bringing the total – with the award in Seattle – up to eight. Rocky has also screened at a string of US festivals including Cinequest, Chicago, LA Short Fest, Austin and St Louis, with a New York appearance next on the schedule.
In the film, Rocky grows up surrounded by death: everyone around him dies in freak accidents and each time he's at the centre of it all. The film is a production of Steven Dhoedt for Visualantics. The main cast features young talent such as Kenneth Van Baeden (The Misfortunates), Ruth Becqaert (Dirty Mind), Wim Willaert (22nd of May) and Jef Demedts. Nicolas Karaktsanis (Bullhead, The Loft) was in charge of cinematography. Paris-based sales outfit Premium Films is handling international sales. Director Kevin Meul is currently working on a new short, Cadet.
The Extraordinary Life of Rocky was not the only Flemish film in Seattle’s line-up. Bavo Defurne’s North Sea Texas, Nicolas Provost’s The Invader and Rosto’s The Monster of Nix also screened at the US fest. SIFF, the biggest film festival in the US with over 150,000 visitors annually, screened no less than 187 shorts this year.