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Gust Van den Berghe's Lucifer and Kristof Hoornaert's short Empire are both invites to the 59th edition of the BFI London Film Festival (7 – 18 October). Four co-productions with Flanders - Couple in a Hole, Les cowboys, Schneider vs. Bax and The Brand New Testament (Le tout nouveau testament) - also made it to the final selection.
Lucifer is Gust Van den Berghe's third feature and the final installment to his tryptic to which Little Baby Jesus of Flandr and Blue bird also belong. On his downfall from Heaven to Hell, Lucifer passes through the earthly paradise, a village in Mexico, where elderly Lupita and her granddaughter Maria live. Lupita's brother Emanuel pretends he's paralyzed so he can drink and gamble while the two women tend to the sheep. Lucifer senses an opportunity and plays the miraculous healer. He forces Emanuel to walk again, seduces Maria and makes Lupita doubt about her faith. He didn't bring bad luck, he only illuminated the line between good and evil, where it didn't exist before.
Cafard by Jan Bultheel and Reach for the Sky by Steven Dhoedt and Choi Wooyoung are to premiere at this year's Busan International Film Festival (1-10 October). This as part of the Wide Angle: Animation and the Wide Angle: Documentary Competition programs respectively.
Cafard, which received its world premiere at this year's Film Festival of Ostende, Belgium, is based on historical facts. The story of this animated feature with a graphic novel look and feel starts in 1914. While Jean Mordant wins the Wrestling Champion of the World title in Buenos Aires, his daughter Mimi is violently abused by German soldiers in Ostend. Determined to avenge this crime Jean, along with his coach and young nephew, enrols in the prestigious Armoured Car Division (AMC). War is ruthless, however, and he and his friends embark on a dramatic journey that will ultimately drag them around the world.
Robin Pront’s feature debut The Ardennes and Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah’s second feature Black are to receive their world premieres as part of the ‘Discovery’ strand at this year’s 40th Toronto International Film Festival (10-20 September). The animated short Paradise as well as five co-productions with Flanders also made it into the final selection. Finally there’s also the omni-presence of Flemish heartthrob Matthias Schoenaerts.
The Ardennes (D’Ardennen) is Robin Pront’s feature debut, starring Jeroen Perceval (Borgman, Bullhead), Kevin Janssens (Storm Force) and Veerle Baetens (The Broken Circle Breakdown). It’s the story of two brothers. When a brutal robbery goes hopelessly wrong, Dave manages to run off leaving his brother Kenneth behind. Four years later, his brother is released from prison and much has changed. Dave has his life back on track and is trying to help Kenneth wherever possible, but is witnessing how his highly-strung brother tries to win back his ex-girlfriend Sylvie. After Toronto the film is also set to open the Film Fest Ghent in October.
Waste Land by Pieter Van Hees and Paradise Trips by Raf Reyntjens are the frontrunners for this year’s Ensor awards. The winners will be announced on at a gala closing the Ostend Film Festival on 19 September.
Waste Land tops the list with a spectacular 13 nominations (inc. Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Jérémie Renier) and Best Actress (Natali Broods)), followed by Paradise Trips with nine nominations (inc. Best Director, Best Script and Best Actor (Gene Bervoets)).
Vincent Bal's musical romantic comedy Belgian Rhapsody is to close the 39th edition of the Montréal World Film Festival (27 August-7 September). The film is one of the four features and five shorts from Flanders premiering at this year's Fest.
Other films on the programme are Lukas Bossuyt's debut feature Sum Of Histories, which is presented as part of the First Feature Competition, Kadir Balci's Marry Me, and 46, xx by Guido De Craene. Two shorts from Flanders, Empire and Nkosi Coiffure, premiere in the World Competition section, while the programme also contains short titles Olav, The Soul Is Wandering and Dissonant.
Sum of Histories, Lukas Bossuyt’s feature debut, is to have its world premiere in the First Films Competition at the Montreal World Film Festival, which takes place from August 27 till September 7. Empire and Nkosi Coiffure, two shorts from Flanders, also premiere in the World Competition section, while the programme contains five further films from Flanders: Belgian Rhapsody, Marry Me and the shorts Olav, The Soul Is Wandering and Dissonant.
A love story with a touch of sci-fi, Sum of Histories tells the story of Viktor, a brilliant young professor who discovers a way to manipulate time. Now he can finally change the past and help his beloved Lena, but not without risk…
Gust Van den Berghe’s Lucifer has won the Grand Prize at the New Horizons Film Festival in Poland (23 July – 2 August). The award comes just a week after the film received the prize for Best Feature Film at the Guanajuato International Film Festival in Mexico.
Screening in the festival’s international competition together with 11 other features, Lucifer won the Grand Prize of the Jury at New Horizons. Director Gust Van den Berghe was on hand to accept the award, which comes with a cash prize of 20,000 Euros plus guaranteed distribution for the film in Poland.
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).
The 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.
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.
Labyrinthus 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.
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.