Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown has won the award for Best International Film at the 18th annual Satellite Awards. The bluegrass-infused love story, which is nominated for the Academy Awards, outscored Oscar rivals such as Tomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt and Paolo Sorentino’s The Great Beauty. Other nominees also included the much acclaimed Blue is the Warmest Color and The Past.

The Broken Circle BreakdownThe awards, presented by the International Press Academy (IPA), come less than a week before the 86th Academy Awards are to be presented. Initiated in 1996, the Satellite Awards honour exceptional work by both established and upcoming talents. For its 18th edition, some 30 awards were given out in total; 19 for film and 12 in the field of television.

The Oscar-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown has gathered international acclaim, with Veerle Baetens taking home the Best Actress award at the European Film Awards. It was honoured with the Panorama Audience Award at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, and the Best Actress and Best Screenplay awards at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, and won the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year at the 2014 Palm Springs International Film Festival. The Washington DC Area Film Critics Association also recognised the movie as Best Foreign Language Film.

Based on a hit play, it is the story of the marriage between a tattoo artist and a bluegrass musician, who connect over a shared enthusiasm for American music and culture. They dive headfirst into a sweeping romance, but when an unexpected tragedy hits their new family, everything they know and love is tested. The score, weaving together old and newly-written bluegrass tunes, has become the best-selling soundtrack of all time in Belgium. Co-stars Baetens and Heldenbergh are part of the off-screen Broken Circle Breakdown Bluegrass Band, whose European tour is sold out all through 2014.

Produced by Dirk Impens of Ghent-based powerhouse Menuet (In Flanders Fields, The Misfortunates), the film was able to count on the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.

Published on Sunday 23 February 2014