Tom Heene’s directorial debut Welcome Home is among the seven features to be presented as part of this year’s 27th Venice International Critics' Week (29 August-8 September). The film shows three intense moments in the life of Lila, who is the common thread between three men she will meet during significant instants of her existence.
Returning home after a long journey, Lila encounters an Iranian visiting Brussels for the first time in 40 years. The next moment she violently breaks up with her boyfriend. During a final encounter she has a brutal crash with a bunch of young Eurocrats.
Welcome Home stars Manah Depauw, Kurt Vandendriessche, Felipe Mafasoli and Nader Farman. DOP is Frédéric Noirhomme, while David Verdurme signed for the editing and Peter Lenaerts (Aisik’l) composed the original score. Producer is Tomas Leyers for Minds Meet (Lost Persons Area, Little Baby Jesus of Flandr, Blue Bird, Cockaigne).
Describing himself as an ‘audiovisual creator’, Tom Heene was production manager on films such as Pulsar and The Five Obstructions, while also creating audiovisual sound and image installations such as DarkMatr. ‘I am terribly happy and honoured that Welcome Home will receive its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival,’ he said. ‘It’s an unexpected and brilliant recognition not only for myself, but also for the crew members who gave their blood, sweat and tears to this project.’
The last time a Flemish film was selected for the Venice International Critics' Week was in 2007 when Dimitri Karakatsanis’ Small Gods was shown as part of the programme.
All Critics' Week entries also compete for the Venice Lion of the Future/Luigi de Laurentiis Award for Best debut (worth $100,000 – won in 2006 by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth for Khadak), as well as the RaroVideo Audience Award ($945,000).
Welcome Home was supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF). Read an interview with director Tom Heene in Flanders (i) magazine, take 21.