Matthias Schoenaerts knighted by French Ministry of Culture

French Cultural Affairs Minister Fleur Pellerin has appointed Flemish actor Matthias Schoenaerts a chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres).

Matthias SchoenaertsThe Order of Arts and Letters was established in 1957 to recognise emerging artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. The distinction is awarded three times a year, with two sessions for French citizens and one for foreigners, and is made up of three ranks: commander, officer and chevalier.

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Published on Thursday 30 July 2015

Labyrinthus and The Amazing Wiplala among Giffoni prize-winners

Douglas Boswell’s debut feature Labyrinthus won the Gryphon Award for Best Feature Film in the +10 section of the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy (17-26 July). The Amazing Wiplala, a Dutch-Flemish co-production, took the second prize in the +6 programme. Both films were backed by Screen Flanders.

LabyrinthusLabyrinthus tells the story of 14-year-old Frikke who discovers a computer game in which the protagonists are real children. To play or not to play is the question, especially if the fate of loved ones is at stake.

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Published on Thursday 30 July 2015

M-Appeal to represent Raf Reyntjens’s Paradise Trips internationally

Berlin-based sales agency M-Appeal has picked up world sales rights to Paradise Trips. The film, starring Jeroen Perceval and Gene Bervoets, is the feature debut of director Raf Reyntjens, who previously shot video clips for various artists, including Belgian musician Stromae.

Paradise TripsParadise Trips centres on bus driver Mario, who has spent his life ferrying senior citizens to their holiday destinations. Although retired now, he decides to accept one last trip.

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Published on Friday 17 July 2015

Two co-productions with Flanders invited to Locarno

Schneider vs. Bax, the new feature film from Alex van Warmerdam, has been selected for the International Competition at the Locarno Film Festival (5-15 August). Starring Flemish actor Tom Dewispelaere, the film was co-produced with Flanders. Another co-production, Keeper, directed by Guillaume Senez, is to screen in the ‘first films’ competition.

Schneider vs BaxComing after BorgmanThe Last Days of Emma BlankWaiter and others, Schneider vs. Bax is van Warmerdam’s ninth feature and revolves around hit man Schneider. On the morning of his birthday he’s offered a rush job: to liquidate writer Ramon Bax. Schneider reluctantly accepts, only to discover that the apparently simple job is more complex than he expected.

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Published on Friday 17 July 2015

Audience Award for The Treatment in Zagreb

The Treatment, a thriller by Hans Herbots based on Mo Hayder’s best-selling crime novel, has won the Audience Award at Fantastic Zagreb. The fifth edition of the genre festival took place in the Croatian capital from June 26 to July 4.

The TreatmentAdapted for the screen by scriptwriter Carl Joos (The Broken Circle BreakdownThe Alzheimer Case), Herbots’s thriller follows inspector Nick Cafmeyer, a successful, good-looking policeman who seems to have it all. But, since the age of nine, Nick has been haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his younger brother. When a disturbing kidnapping case comes to light, Nick heads the relentless manhunt that ensues.

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Published on Wednesday 8 July 2015

Flanders takes part in Karlovy Vary’s anniversary edition

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (3-11 July) boasts a rich programme including the international premiere of Perdition County, the Czech premiere of Lucifer and with Flemish filmmakers Michaël R. Roskam and Teodora Ana Mihai in attendance.

Perdition CountyGust Van den Berghe’s Lucifer, produced by Minds Meet, is scheduled to have its Czech premiere at the Festival. Raphaël Crombez, meanwhile, was invited as part of Future Frames, a new programme curated by the Festival in collaboration with European Film Promotion (EFP) that highlights 10 filmmakers to watch.

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Published on Tuesday 7 July 2015

Brosens & Woodworth's Kebab Royal wraps

Kebab Royal, a dramatic comedy by Venice Lion-winners Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens, had its last day of shooting on July 4. Shot in Brussels, Istanbul and Bulgaria, this Belgian-Dutch-Bulgarian coproduction is a comic road movie about the last King of the Belgians lost in the Balkans.

Kebab RoyalKing Nicolas II, played in the film by Peter Van den Begin (The Fifth SeasonWaste Land), is on a symbolic mission to Istanbul with his entourage. Back home, however, Wallonia (the southern half of Belgium) declares its independence. The Kingdom has collapsed and the King must return home at once to fulfil his only true royal duty. But the fates decide otherwise.

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Published on Monday 6 July 2015

Editor Nico Leunen joins AMPAS

Nico Leunen, editor of films such as The Broken Circle BreakdownKidThe Invader and Ryan Gosling’s Lost River, has joined the 322-strong ranks of film professionals invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). New members will be welcomed by the Academy in an exclusive event in September.

The invitation to join the Academy means that, as of September, Leunen will also be able to vote for the Oscars. He follows in the footsteps of Flemish directors Felix van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown) and Michaël R. Roskam (Bullhead).

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Published on Wednesday 1 July 2015

The Broken Circle Breakdown in the race for an ‘Italian Oscar’

Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown is one of five nominees for the David Di Donatello Award for Best European Feature. Given by the Italian Film Academy, the prestigious film prizes are the Italian equivalent of the Oscars.

The Broken Circle BreakdownThe Broken Circle Breakdown is in the running for Best European Feature together with European heavyweights The Theory of EverythingLockePride and Wild Tales. Van Groeningen’s bluegrass drama was nominated from among more than 100 European films which had a theatrical release in Italy last year.

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Published on Wednesday 27 May 2015

Cannes line-up reveals talent from Flanders

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.

ParadiseInvited 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.

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Published on Friday 8 May 2015

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