Flemish drama series The Divine Monster, directed by Hans Herbots, received two nominations at the Sichuan TV Festival in China (16-18 November). Produced by Eyeworks, the series is in the running for the Golden Panda Award for Best TV Series as well as Best Director of a TV Series.
Based on the trilogy by the same name by Flemish author Tom Lanoye, The Divine Monster recounts the tragic tale of Katrien De Schrijver. When she shoots her husband during a hunting party in the south of France, the incident sparks off a remarkable chain of events. Katrien belongs to a family from the upper ranks of Belgian society and her deed comes as a bombshell that threatens to blow up the lives not only of those directly involved, but also of the whole Belgian establishment and political system.
Principal roles are portrayed by Joke Devynck (The Verdict, Crazy About Ya), Johan Van Assche (Wolf’s Milk, The Spiral), Michel Van Dousselaere (Time of My Life, Germaine) and Marc Van Eeghem (In Flanders Fields). The series, which aired in Belgium in late 2011, was a solid local hit, with an average market share of 40%. The Divine Monster screened at the Séries Manias television festival at the Forum des Images in Paris last year and has now further demonstrated its international potential with the two Sichuan nominations.
The Sichuan TV Festival was founded in 1991 and has grown into a major Asian television gathering. The biennial event mainly concentrates on new formats and content, with Gold Panda Awards up for grabs. Other international contenders this year include fiction such as Downton Abbey, the mini-series The Kennedys, and Rectify.
Scriptwriter Rik D’hiet adapted Lanoye’s novel into a ten-parter, directed by Hans Herbots (The Spiral, The Treatment). Peter Bouckaert and Gunter Schmid produced the series for Eyeworks, known for earlier TV projects like Old Belgium, Double Life and Missing Persons Unit. DOP was Jan Mestdagh, while Steve Willaert composed the original soundtrack. The Divine Monster received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Media Fund of Flemish Media Minister Ingrid Lieten.