Kenneth Mercken’s short film The Letter received a Special Mention of the jury at the International Student Film Festival in Tel Aviv (2-9 June). The jury lauded the director’s courage to ‘stray from the […] path of a traditional narrative.’
The jury’s encouraging statement continued: ‘The film delivers an intimate look at memories, feelings and reflections of the young protagonist consumed by ambitions, fears and need for acceptance.’ The Israeli festival is one of the largest in the world for student films.
Mercken graduated from the RITS Academy of Arts with The Letter, a 15-minute short that also earned him a highly desirable VAF Wildcard. The story broaches the subject of illegal narcotics usage in sports. When a young Russian travels to Belgium with the hope of one day becoming a pro cyclist, he is soon encouraged by his coach to use illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Slowly but surely, he loses his grip on reality and is drawn into a dark and twisty world.