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Robin Pront’s The Ardennes, this year’s Foreign Language Academy Award® entry for Belgium, grabbed seven kudos, including Best Picture, at this year’s Ensors, the local Oscar equivalents.
Besides Best Picture, The Ardennes also won Best Screenplay (for Jeroen Perceval and Robin Pront), Best Actor (Kevin Janssens), Best Supporting Actor (Jan Bijvoet), Best Photography (Robrecht Heyvaert), Best Costumes (Catherine Van Bree) and Best Art Direction (Geert Paredis). The film also took home the much coveted Industry Award.
Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth’s King of the Belgians, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s Black and Tim Van Aelst’s Safety Firsthave been invited to the Hamburg Film Fest, which runs from 29 September till 8 October. Two co-productions, Phantom Boy and Dark Diamond, complete the Flemish part of the line-up.
Safety First competes in Hamburg’s Eurovisuell competition, a selection of box-office hits and audience favourites from all over the continent. The comedy follows four security guards doing their job at a world-famous dance festival. While there, Luc discovers Dirk’s long-kept secret…
Home by Fien Troch has won the Orizzonti Award for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival, which came to a close on September 10.
Home focuses on a group of youngsters and the adults who surround them. Both find it difficult to communicate and to understand each other’s closed-off worlds. The film was one of 18 features screening in the Orizzonti Competition in Venice and was handed the award for Best Director by the Orizzonti jury.
While Zagros, a young Kurd, is herding his sheep in the mountains, his pregnant wife Havin is accused of infidelity by her in-laws. In a culture where that is as good as a death sentence, she flees to Belgium together with her nine-year-old daughter Rayhan. Convinced of her innocence, Zagros smuggles himself to the West to join them.
Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth’s King of the Belgians has been invited to the Busan International Film Festival (6-15 October) in South Korea, as has Boris Sverlow’s short film Gerontophobia, which is to receive its world premiere there.
In early September, King of the Belgians premiered in the Orizzonti Competition of the Venice Film Festival, where Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth’s mockumentary road movie was well received. In Busan, the film will screen as part of the World Cinema programme.
Nic Balthazar's third feature, Everybody Happy, has won the Award for Best Direction at the 40th Montreal World Film Festival. The film is to receive a theatrical release in Belgium after opening this year's Film Festival Oostende.
Based on an original screenplay by Balthazar, Everybody Happy tells the story of Ralph Hartman, a successful stand-up comedian who is struggling. With life, but mainly with himself. The film stars Peter Van den Begin (King of the Belgians, Waste Land) as Hartman.
Manu Riche’s feature film debut Problemski Hotel, based on a novel by best-selling Belgian author Dimitri Verhulst, is the opening film of this year’s Raindance Film Festival (21 September-2 October) in London. The festival closes with Dominik Moll’s News from Planet Mars, which stars Flemish actress Veerle Baetens. Raindance previously announced its slate of shorts, including Nkosi Coiffure and Feel Sad for the Bunny.
Manu Riche’s Problemski Hotel was chosen to open this year’s edition for its “creativity and ability to captivate audiences”. The film is to have its UK premiere at Raindance and reveals the changes that occur in the lives of several people born in areas affected by war and armed conflict.
Peter Monsaert’s Le Ciel Flamand and Souvenir, directed by Bavo Defurne, have both been invited to the BFI London Film Festival (5-16 October). The programme also includes a documentary and several shorts from Flanders as well as various co-productions.
Le Ciel Flamand premiered in Toronto on 11 September, followed by a European premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival. In London, Peter Monsaert’s drama about three generations of women is set to appear in the ‘Thrill’ programme of the Festival’s official selection.
Robin Pront's The Ardennes is to represent Belgium this year as the official submission for the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film. Starring Veerle Baetens (The Broken Circle Breakdown), Jeroen Perceval (Bullhead) and Kevin Janssens, the film is produced by Savage Film's Bart Van Langendonck who produced Michaël R. Roskam's 2012 Oscar® nominated Bullhead. Roskam is associate producer.
The Ardennes received its world première as part of the Discovery programme at last year's Toronto International Film Festival. Last week it was announced that the film also features on the shortlist for the European Film Awards.
Nic Balthazar’s new feature film Everybody Happy had its world première at the Montreal World Film Festival (25 August-5 September). The Festival also hosted the international premiere of Behind the Clouds, a debut feature by Cecilia Verheyden.
Nic Balthazar is no stranger to Montreal, where his debut feature Ben X won no less than three awards in 2007. His third feature, starring Peter Van den Begin, Barbara Sarafian and Josse De Pauw, is a modern parable about a successful stand-up comedian who is wrestling with his own worst enemy: his own negativity.