Get Ripped, a short film by Leonardo Van Dijl, has been awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Experimental Short Film at Los Angeles’s Outfest (10-20 July). It’s the first international award for the young director’s film, which premiered internationally in LA.
In its concluding report, the jury praised Get Ripped for the way the film explores the complexity of masculine obsessions with power and sexuality with stark and stunning visuals. Shot entirely in black and white, the film deals with the mental deterioration of a young man: although 20-year-old Niko and his personal trainer meet daily in the gym, their contact remains silent and impersonal. But, as Niko’s efforts yield results, a game of manipulation begins to unfold.
Get Ripped received its international premiere at Outfest, following several screenings in its home territory, including one at the International Short Film Festival of Leuven. A Los Angeles-based non-profit organization, Outfest promotes equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on screen. With over 170 films from 28 different countries screening at six different venues, it has become one of the leading LGBT festivals around the world.
Van Dijl is currently working on the script of his graduation film at Sint-Lukas School of Arts in Brussels. He started his professional career as a stylist and fashion editor for Vice Magazine Belgium and debuted with the documentary short Stephen Jones, Besides the Accent on Fashion, which was selected for Diane Pernet’s fashion festival A Shaded View on Fashion Film. Van Dijl also directed video clips of several Belgian music bands including School is Cool, Oscar And The Wolf and Clouseau.
Alessandro Cangelli and Benjamin Ramon take the main roles in Get Ripped, alongside Helena Coppejans, Deben Van Dam and Max Pauwels. Leonardo Van Dijl produced the film under the artistic patronage of Flemish director Patrice Toye (Little Black Spiders, Nowhere Man).