Geoffrey Enthoven’s Come As You Are and Kevin Meul’s short film The Extraordinary Life of Rocky have won the Golden Spike for Best Feature and the Meeting Point Award for Best Short Film respectively at the 56th Valladolid International Film Festival (22-29 October). In addition to netting the Spanish fest’s main prize, Come As You Are also won the Young Jury Award in the Official Competition.
Come As You Are has been enjoying remarkable success both at home and abroad. In its home territory, the film has already registered over 150,000 admissions. After its world premiere at the World Film Festival of Montréal, where it won the Grand Prix des Amériques and the Audience Award, among others, the film was sold to nine territories including Brazil, Canada, Germany, France and Spain. Negotiations with other countries are ongoing, while the rumors of an international remake keep surfacing. International sales are handled by Films Boutique.
In addition to its commercial success, Come As You Are can also boast a number of festival selections. While the film was busy winning over Valladolid, it was also selected and screened at the Rome International Film Festival simultaneously. On 6 November, Come As You Are will also close the brand new Amsterdam Film Week and on 12 and 13 November it’s top of the bill at the Northern Film Festival in Groningen. Come As You Are is a production of Mariano Vanhoof for Fobic Film. In the lead roles are Robrecht Vanden Thoren, Gilles De Schryver, Tom Audenaert and Isabelle De Hertogh. Pierre De Clercq wrote the screenplay.
At Valladolid, The Extraordinary Life of Rocky was programmed in the Meeting Point section for first and second films. Like Come As You Are, The Extraordinary Life of Rocky was selected for the Montréal World Film Festival. But Kevin Meul’s successful short had made its international debut a little earlier on the 9th at The Palace Film Festival in Bulgaria. Less than three months after its international debut, the film already scored two awards, including the Golden Plaque for Narrative Short in Chicago, and countless festival selections. After Chicago and the LA Short fest, the short film continued to US festivals including Austin and St Louis.
The Extraordinary Life of Rocky also attracted award attention on its home turf with both the Audience Award at the International Short Film Festival of Leuven and the Studio Equipe Award at the Brussels Film Festival.
In the film, Rocky grows up surrounded by death: everyone around him dies in freak accidents and each time he's at the centre of it all. The film is a production of Steven Dhoedt of Visualantics. The main cast features young talent such as Kenneth Van Baeden (The Misfortunates), Ruth Becqaert (Dirty Mind), Wim Willaert (22nd of May) and Jef Demedts. Nicolas Karaktsanis (Bullhead, The Loft) was in charge of cinematography, while Tom Denoyette did the editing. Paris-based sales outfit Premium Films sells the film internationally.
Come As You Are and The Extraordinary Life of Rocky were not the only Flemish titles at Valladolid. Didier Volckaert’s feature debut Quixote’s Island also had its international premiere in the Meeting Point competition. All films were supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fond.