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Pieter Van Hees’s crime thriller Waste Land and Peter Krüger’s poetic docu-drama N – The Madness of Reason were the main winners at this year’s Ensors, the awards celebrating Belgian cinema from Flanders, taking home four and three Ensors respectively.
Waste Land won Best Script, Best Supporting Actor (Peter Van den Begin) and Best Supporting Actress (Babetida Sadjo). Waste Land’s success was not a huge surprise, as the film also had the highest number of nominations. But it was the docu-drama N: The Madness of Reason that grabbed the top honour: Best Film.
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.
Before the Last Curtain Falls, Twilight of a Life and Waiting for August are nominated for this year's Best Documentary Ensor Award. Nominations in the Best Short category went to Homeful Bliss, L'infini, The Pond, Oma, Paradise and Mechanical Waltz. The winners will be announced on at a gala closing the Ostend Film Festival on 19 September.
Before the Last Curtain Falls (Gardenia), Thomas Wallner portrays a group of ageing drag artists who set out, one last time, to relive their once glamorous lives by touring their play ‘Gardenia’ around Europe and Southeast Asia. Sylvain Biegeleisen's Twilight of a Life follows the final week's of his 94-year-old mother's life. It's a film about life, full of humour and emotion… In Waiting For August, Teodora Ana Mihai follows 15-year-old Georgiana Halmac who lives with her six siblings in a social housing block on the outskirts of Bacau, Romania. While their mother is away earning a living in Italy, Georgiana is catapulted into the role of head of the family and finds her adolescence cut brutally short.
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.
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…
Belgian animator and filmmaker Raoul Servais has received the Chrystal Pegasus Award at ‘Animator’, the Polish International Animation Film Festival, in recognition of his entire career. The festival presented a retrospective with nine of his Servais’s short films, alongside his feature Taxandria.
Internationally recognised as the founding father of Belgian animation, Raoul Servais was guest of honour at the Animator film festival in Poland. The filmmaker was presented with the Chrystal Pegasus Award honouring his entire career, which spans more than five decades.
Short film director Wouter Bouvijn is one of eight filmmakers invited to take part in this year’s Angers Workshops. Organised in the framework of the Premiers Plans Film Festival in Angers (France), the Workshops’ aim is to guide and support filmmakers taking their first steps into features.
Together with seven other participants from six different countries, Wouter Bouvijn has been selected to take part in the Workshops, which were originally initiated by French actress Jeanne Moreau.
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.
Gust 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.
Filming has started on Kenneth Mercken’s new short film, Feel Sad for the Bunny. The film is being made with the support of a VAF Wildcard, which Mercken won in 2011 with his graduation film The Letter.
Feel Sad for the Bunny is about 12-year-old Remy who lives with his older brother Bruno and their au pair Michaela. Remy really looks up to Bruno, who teaches him how to smoke, drink and fire his father’s shotgun. Despite the big age difference, Remy has a crush on Michaela, so when Bruno starts taking an interest in her, things threaten to explode between the brothers.
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.