HeadlinesSubscribe to the RSS feed
The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) has announced this year’s Wildcard winners: six promising young filmmakers who will each receive a grant of between €25,000 and €60,000 to develop their first professional film. Raphaël Crombez and Miwako Van Weyenberg were winners in the fiction section, with Ruben Desiere and Kwinten Gernay each receiving a documentary Wildcard. The animation grant went to Laura Vandewynckel, with Christina Stuhlberger getting the Wildcard in the filmlab section.
Since it was introduced in 2005, the Fund’s competition has established itself as Belgium’s prime awards programme when it comes to launching new talent. Six grants are handed out: three worth €60,000 go to one animation project and two fiction shorts; the two documentary winners each get €40,000; and the Wildcard in the filmlab section comes with a prize of €25,000.
Sequenza, an experimental short film by Manon de Boer en George Van Dam is selected for the parallel programme ‘La java de la source’ at FIDMarseille (1-7 July), Marseille’s International Film Festival which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Fanny Zaman’s upcoming film Carpets is also one of 10 participating projects at FIDLab, the festival’s co-production platform.
Sequenza found its way into one of the parallel sections at FIDMarseille, whith ‘La java de la source’ focusing on the theme of sound. For their 14-minute experimental film project, Manon de Boer and George Van Dam took Sequenza VIII for solo violin by composer Luciano Berio as a starting point.
Belgian films made in Flanders corner the market and bring home the prizes.
‘Talent Matters’ is the familiar slogan for promoting Belgian films made in Flanders. And talent certainly matters for Belgian audiences, who turned out in impressive numbers for local films in 2013.
At home, almost two million moviegoers bought tickets to Flemish films in 2013 – a 17% increase on 2012. More impressively still, over three quarters of the national admissions for Belgian films were for movies made in Flanders.
Nicolas Provost’s short film Tokyo Giants has nabbed the main prize at Zinebi – the International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao (15-22 November). This is the second award in the space of seven days for Tokyo Giants, which also screened at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles last week.
Set in the hyper kinetic streets of Tokyo, the short film is the final chapter in Provost’s Plot Point trilogy. After Plot Point (2007), for which the filmmaker shot on the streets of New York, and Stardust (2010), which was filmed in Las Vegas, he took his hidden camera to Tokyo in search of the mystery of reality.
The experimental short film Cherry Blossoms by An Van Dienderen received a Special Mention by the Short Film Jury at FIDOCS Chile (24 – 29 June). Cherry Blossoms has already finished screenings at festivals such as FIDMarseille earlier this month, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen last May and the Créteil International Women’s Film Festival in March.
FIDOCS, the International Documentary Films Festival in Santiago, Chile, founded in 1997, plays more than 90 films during six days. Its mission is to offer people the opportunity to discover as much films as possible. FIDOCS has become one of the most important spaces for sharing and discussing documentary films in Latin America. The festival’s current edition hosted three separate competitions and aimed at pushing the boundaries of the definition of documentary. Cherry Blossoms screened in the fest’s International Competition section “Monsieur Guillaume”, where it was awarded a Special Mention by the Jury.
Jimmy Hendrickx’ short documentary Semalu has won Best Experimental Film at the 11th Tabor Film Festival in Croatia (13-16 June 2013). Nicolas Provost’s final film in the Plot Point trilogy, Tokyo Giants, was also awarded at the fest with a Special Mention.
Semalu had its European premiere at 9th Berlin International Directors lounge, festival for contemporary media and film. The experimental documentary is a cinematic portrait of the children of Cheras, a new suburb in Kuala Lumpur.
Els Van Riel’s short documentary film Gradual Speed and The Wave by Sarah Vanagt and Katrien Vermeire will be shown at the 12th edition of the Courtisane Film Festival in Ghent, Belgium. Pieter Dumoulin’s Het zwijgen van Helena and Anouk De Clercq’s Swan Song is also set for a screening in Ghent.
A few years ago Els Van Riel started collecting images with the idea to pay homage to the slowly vanishing techniques of analogue filmmaking. Now a series of these recordings makes Gradual Speed, a work on and for black and white 16mm-film seen as matter, and at the same time as a metaphor for everything we cannot grasp. It is the first time that Gradual Speed will be screened in front of a live audience at the Courtisane Film Fest.
Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown and Janet van den Brand’s short Rosa, Anna’s Lil’ Sis have been selected for the Berlin international Film Festival (7-17 February). Both films will premiere internationally in the fest’s Panorama Specials strand and Generation Kplus shorts competition respectively. Two co-productions were also confirmed: Flemish director Vincent Bal’s Nono, the Zigzag Kid, which will open the Generation programme, and Willemiek Kluijfhout’s Mussels in Love. Recent features such as Peter Monsaert's Offline and Gert Embrechts' Allez, Eddy! make their market debuts at the Berlinale's European Film Market (EFM). Other EFM entries are The Fifth Season by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth, as well as co-productionsTenderness by Marion Hänsel, Kinshasa Kids by Marc-Henri Wajnberg, Pinocchio by Enzo d'Alo and Tango Libre by Frédéric Fonteyne.
The Broken Circle Breakdown is represented internationally by The Match Factory. The film is already a box office hit in its home territory with over 320,000 admissions (and still going strong).The Broken Circle Breakdown is produced by Dirk Impens for Menuet (Turquaze, The Misfortunates) and stars Veerle Baetens and Johan Heldenbergh. In honour of the Panorama Specials selection, Flanders Image is also publishing a special 'Talent Matters' section entirely dedicated to van Groeningen's work.
The subject of Sarah Vanagt and Katrien Vermeire’s IDFA Paradocs-selected short documentary The Wave is a sensitive one: the investigation of a site thought to contain the bodies of men executed by Franco's followers in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.
At frequent intervals, Vanagt and Vermeire took still images of the site, first asking the forensic archaeologists to remove their tools and leave the frame. Edited together, these images become a time-lapse film in which the bodies slowly emerge from the earth.
Rain, which is competing for IDFA's First Appearance award, follows choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker as she brings one of her most famous creations to the Paris Opera Ballet. The challenge is to teach her contemporary choreography, with music by Steve Reich, to classically trained ballet dancers.
“They start dancing aged eight or nine and their bodies are conditioned, whereas with Anne Teresa it's more about the individual expression of a dancer,” explains Gerard-Jan Claes, co-director of the film with Olivia Rochette. Compared to De Keersmaeker's own company, Rosas, the atmosphere in Paris was quite different. “When entering the impressive building, you arrive in a different, almost magical world with a strict hierarchy and rules.”