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This September, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York will screen three short films from Flanders: Tom Van Avermaet’sDeath of a Shadow; Tunnelrat, directed by Raf Reyntjens; and Peace, directed by Roman Klochkov. The films are part of ‘The Great War: A Cinematic Legacy’, a film exposition in commemoration of WWI curated by Charles Silver and Dave Kehr.
‘The Great War: A Cinematic Legacy’ opened on 4 August, the 100th anniversary of the day World War I began, and runs till 21 September, highlighting some 60 feature films and thematic programmes aimed at providing a comprehensive view of the war as portrayed in film. The programme has just one short film section, with three out of the four entries coming from Flanders.
The Montreal World Film Festival has picked up The Treatment by Hans Herbots for its 38th edition, taking place from August 21-September 1. Herbots’s psychological thriller will have its international premiere in the festival’s Focus on World Cinema section. In addition, Sahim Omar Kalifa will present his latest short film Bad Hunter in Official Competition. Kevin Meul’s short Cadet and the animation project 12 Minutes About Peace, a collection of 12 one-minute shorts commemorating WWI, are also set to screen in Montreal.
The Treatment stars Geert Van Rampelberg as police inspector Nick Cafmeyer, a man who seems to have it all. Yet a dark shadow hangs over his life: since the age of nine, he has been haunted by the disappearance of his younger brother.
Get Ripped, a short film by Leonardo Van Dijl, has been awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Experimental Short Film at Los Angeles’s Outfest (10-20 July). It’s the first international award for the young director’s film, which premiered internationally in LA.
In its concluding report, the jury praised Get Ripped for the way the film explores the complexity of masculine obsessions with power and sexuality with stark and stunning visuals.
Deben Van Dam’s short film The Way of All Flesh has won the prize for best picture at the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival (31 May – 7 June), while Houses With Small Windows nabbed the first prize in the Mediterranean and Arab countries competition of the festival.
As part of the international competition, The Way of All Flesh competed against 65 other short films from promising young directors coming from 30 countries worldwide.
Nine short films from Flanders take part in the international competition of the International Short Film Festival Psarokokalo in Athens, Greece. Six live-action shorts, two animation films and one documentary project made the line-up. The eighth edition of the festival runs from 10 till 16 July and presents some 120 shorts, selected out of 4,200 submissions.
Leonardo Van Dijl’s black-and-white short Get Ripped exposes the mental deterioration of a young man determined to transform his body. In its home territory, the film already screened at the Leuven International Short Film Festival, while it has also been confirmed for Outfest LA, which kicks off on July 10. The film is to take part in the fest’s International Male section.
Director Sahim Omar Kalifa keeps adding new trophies to the awards count for his critically acclaimed short Baghdad Messi. Last week, the film collected another five, bringing the total of prizes so far to 38 international awards and four special mentions.
The most recent awards spree for Baghdad Messi started in April in France, where the film grabbed its 30th award at the Beauvais Film Fest. Soon afterwards, it picked up the Grand Prize and the Youth Jury Prize for Best Film at the Cellu L’Art Short Film Festival in Germany as well as the award for Best Short at the International Short Film Experience in Leiden, in the Netherlands.
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.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I – much of whose catastrophic trench warfare was waged across Flanders fields – a new collection of a dozen ultra-short films, 12 Minutes About Peace, is released theatrically by Belgium’s Kinepolis cinema chain and will be broadcast on Flemish TV channel VRT. Six of the films, meanwhile, will receive their international premiere at the Annecy International Animation Festival (9-14 June) in France.
The six selected for Annecy are A Battle for Peace by Joost Jansen; Daddy Went. Daddy Did by Joost Jansen and Thomas Ceulemans; Marc James Roels and Emma De Swaef’s Otto; FYI by Wendy Morris; Silvia Defrance’s Letter from a Soldier and Where The Poppies Blow by Michael Palmaers.
Songs From the Outside, the new musical short film by Flemish director Michael Van Ostade, has been selected for the Little Rock Film Festival in Texas, where it is to have its international premiere. The Little Rock Film Festival celebrates its eighth edition this year, running from 12-18 May.
After picking up a VAF Wildcard, one of Flanders’s biggest cash prizes for short films, with his graduation effort Nigredo, Michael Van Ostade now returns to the international festival circuit with his latest film.
The Way of All Flesh, directed by Deben Van Dam, has been selected for the Krakow Film Festival in Poland (25 May–1 June). Screening in the shorts competition, the film competes for the Golden Dragon Award. The Way of All Flesh has also been confirmed for the Brussels Short Film Festival and the Tel Aviv Student Short Film Festival.
Premiering at Film Fest Ghent at the end of 2013, The Way of All Flesh has won the Audience Award in Ghent and did the same at the Leuven International Short Film Festival in December. There, it also won the Jury Prize for Best Flemish Short and the Humo Award.