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Copain selected for the Short Film Competition and the animated short film Paradise competing in the Cinéfondation section ensure Flanders’s presence at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Various other films in the Festival’s line-up also feature talent from Flanders, while several (co-)productions with Flanders fly the flag in the Marché du Film.
Invited for the Festival’s Short Film Competition, Jan and Raf Roosens’s short film Copain is about Fré, a teenager trapped between his conservative, wealthy parents and his working-class friends. Paradise, by Laura Vandewynckel, tells a story about people heading for a better place on different sides of the ocean; the stop-motion film is set to première as part of the Cinéfondation.
Stijn Coninx’s feature film Marina, based on the childhood memories of Italian-Belgian musician Rocco Granata, has been selected for the Cannes Ecrans Juniors Competition.
Each year, Ecrans Juniors presents a competitive programme of eight international films designed to appeal to viewers aged 13-15 because of the film’s central theme or because it offers them a different way of looking at the world. The competition is initiated by Cannes Cinéma, an organisation bringing together several Cannes-based cinemas. Marina is to have three screenings in Cannes, all open to surrounding schools.
Flemish actress Veerle Baetens has landed a role in News from Planet Mars, the new film by French director Dominik Moll (Harry, un ami qui vous veut du bien). Since her award-winning performance in Felix van Groeningen’s Oscar-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown, this is Baetens’s second time on a French film set.
Dominik Moll’s upcoming feature follows Philippe Mars (François Damiens), a reasonable man in an unreasonable world. Baetens’s role in News from Planet Mars is that of an animal rights activist with psychological problems: she doesn’t like physical contact and is vegan.
The Brand New Testament, the new feature film by Jaco Van Dormael, has been invited to the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes (14-24 May). A co-production between Belgium, France and Luxembourg, the film boasts on-camera talent from Flanders including Laura Verlinden, Johan Leysen, Viviane De Muynck and Johan Heldenbergh, plus An Pierlé in the music department.
Van Dormael’s surreal comedy The Brand New Testament stars Belgian actor Benoît Poelvoorde as God. Living in Brussels, he is a despicable coward with pathetic morals who is mean to his wife (Yolande Moreau) and his daughter, played by young Pili Groyne (Two Days, One Night, Alleluia). Frustrated by her father’s unacceptable behaviour, the girl takes revenge by posting the dates of death of the entire world population on the Internet.
Roel Reiné’s historical drama Admiral: Michiel de Ruyter is to receive a gala presentation at this year’s fifth edition of the Beijing International Film Festival (17-20 April). Co-produced for Flanders by Ciné Cri de Coeur, the film was supported by the Screen Flanders Economic Fund.
Set in the mid-17th Century, Admiral: Michiel de Ruyter tells the story of the legendary Dutch admiral and takes us back to the time when the Netherlands was one of the world’s largest maritime nations.
Paradise Trips, the feature film debut by Flemish director Raf Reyntjens, is to be released in its home territory on August 19. Starring Jeroen Perceval (Bullhead) and Gene Bervoets (Borgman), the film will be distributed by Cinéart.
All his life, coach driver Mario has shuttled old age pensioners to the sunny south. Today, on the verge of his own retirement, he has to take a motley crew of partygoers to a music festival in Croatia. But what was to be Mario's final job soon turns into a life-changing road trip, confronting him not only with his own prejudices but also with his long-lost son.
This year, Germany’s international art fair Art Cologne (16-19 April) shines a light on film and video work from Flanders and Brussels. Under the title ‘Flanders Moving Image’, work by artists such as Nicolas Provost, Johan Grimonprez and Dora García will be presented.
The curators are Professor Philippe Pirotte, rector of the University of Visual Arts, and Fabian Schöneich, curator at the Portikus exposition space in Frankfurt am Main; they offer a focused look into the artistic production of Belgium without emphasising a specific generation or theme.
Simone van Dusseldorp's Dutch/Belgian co-production Life According to Nino has won the prize for best youth film at the International Children and Young People's Film Festival (9-14 March) in Malmö, Sweden. Earlier this year the film picked up the prize for best children’s film at the Cinekid Festival in Amsterdam.
When his mother dies, eight-year-old Nino no longer goes to school, stops bathing and eats crisps for breakfast. Nino isn’t the only one acting strangely in the family: his brother Lucas starts to raise hell in the city and even his father Bruno is no longer his usual self. At first this seems great fun, but Nino soon starts missing the affection of his father and brother. When Nino discovers he can talk to animals, he sets things to right with his rabbit Bobby.
Gust Van den Berghe’s third feature Lucifer has been selected for this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York (17-28 April). The film will be presented in the Viewpoints programme, showcasing 12 filmmakers experimenting with identity.
In the film Lucifer, on his fall from heaven to hell, unexpectedly lands in a Mexican village where old Lupita and her granddaughter Maria live, and senses an opportunity to make some mischief.
Halfway, Waste Land, Labyrinthus and Violet have all been selected for the Cleveland International Film Festival (18-29 March). Also in the line-up are short film Wien for Life, together with Alleluia, Ne me quitte pas and Above Us All, three co-productions with Flanders.
Halfway, the sixth feature of Come As You Are director Geoffrey Enthoven and scripted by Pierre De Clercq, will be presented in Cleveland’s After Hours programme. In Halfway, Stephen moves into the luxury home he managed to buy at a rock-bottom price. But his peace is soon disturbed by Theo, who claims to be the rightful owner. But Theo, it turns out, died two years ago.
Waste Land and Alleluia are part of the same section. Previously presented in Toronto, Les Arcs and Austin, Pieter Van Hees’s Waste Land is about taciturn homicide detective Leo Woeste, whose very last homicide case slowly drags him deeper into the grim underbelly of Brussels. Eurydice Gysel and Koen Mortier produced the film for Epidemic (Borgman, Rivers Return).