Three short films from Flanders were honoured at the HollyShorts Film Festival in Hollywood last week. Jan and Raf Roosens’ short Skunk (Rotkop) was awarded Best Drama, while Crossroads by Wouter Bouvijn went home with the Best International Award. Tom Van Avermaet’s Oscar-nominated short Death of a Shadow received the Hollyshorts Special Jury Award. The HollyShorts Film Festival (15-22 August) annually showcases the best and brightest short films from around the globe.
During the festival’s awards ceremony at the Roosevelt Hotel Ballroom in Hollywood, Jan and Raf Roosens’ short film Skunk was laureled as Best Drama. An 18-minute film, it features Olli, a lonely teenage skunk who spends his days hanging around the park, making trouble whenever he can. When his mum, who has been diagnosed with cancer, offers to throw him a birthday party at the hospital where she’s staying, Olli doesn’t want to let her down. He desperately needs to finds some friends to invite.
Directed by brothers Jan and Raf Roosens, the script for Skunk was written by Sanne Nuyens and Bert Van Dael. Caroline Van Ranst produced the short for Rococo Content. Since its world premiere at the Guanajuato International Film Festival, where the film immediately grabbed an award for Best Short, Skunk has chalked up selections and prizes around the world, including Best Director and Best Screenplay at Gijon, and the Grand Jury Sparky Award at Slamdance.
Wouter Bouvijn’s graduation film Crossroads was presented with the award for Best International, a mere three months after the film won a Bronze Medal in the Foreign Film category of the Student Academy Awards. Crossroads tells the tale of two brothers who are faced with an uncertain future when their father dies from a genetic disease. They must choose whether to take a test themselves and find out whether they have inherited the disease or simply take a leap into the unknown.
Joren Seldeslachts and Tom De Hoog form the main cast; Maximiliaan Dierickx did principal photography. Wouter Bouvijn wrote the screenplay.
Finally, Tom Van Avermaet’s short Death of a Shadow, produced by Ellen De Waele for Serendipity Films, was one of the HollyShorts winners this year. The film, which was in the running for the Oscar for Best Short Film earlier this year, received the fest’s Special Jury Award. With recent selections in the US, Romania, Germany and Italy among others, Death of a Shadow is still going strong on the festival circuit.
Death of a Shadow was able to count on support through a wildcard offered by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund. Jan and Raf Roosens’ Skunk also received funding through the Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.