Sarah Vanagt’s The Corridor has won the Award for Best Belgian film at the 10th Courtisane Festival for Film, Video and Media Art (30 March-3 April). Vanagt had already won the Belgian competition at Courtisane in 2007 with her documentary First Elections.
The international jury, comprising Marina Kozul (Croatia), Adam Pugh (UK) and Vincent Meessen (Belgium), appreciated the film’s “proposal te re-evaluate the relationship between humans and animals on a political level… The film is courageous, too, for choosing to reveal its own process, and for its subsequent restraint: in speaking quietly, it achieves a clarity and depth which might in other hands have been lost.”
Over five days, Vanagt and cinematographer Annemarie Lean-Vercoe followed a donkey during its weekly visits to old people in nursing homes in England. From home to home, from room to room. Time and again the donkey was welcomed with open arms, with songs, gentle strokes, childhood stories, poems, and laughter. It was only when the donkey entered the room of Norbert, a man who had lost his ability to speak, that an altogether different encounter took place.
The Corridor was produced by Balthasar (Boulevard d’Ypres, Silent Elections) with the support of the University College Ghent, KASK and Argos Centre for Art and Media. Brussels-based filmmaker Vanagt had also received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) for a number of previous projects.