HeadlinesSubscribe to the RSS feed
Wouter Bouvijn’s short film Crossroads has been selected as one of the winners in the Student Academy Awards competition. Crossroads made it as one of the three finalists selected out of nine nominees in the Foreign Film category. Because of the selection, Bouvijn will be invited to Los Angeles to attend a week of industry and networking events prior to the awards ceremony on June 8. There it will become clear if the short from Flanders has won the bronze, silver or gold medal as Best Foreign Film. It’s the first time in the history of the ‘Student Oscars’ that an entry from a Flemish film school reaches the finals.
The Centre National du Cinéma (CNC), the French governmental institution supporting, promoting and preserving film productions, has awarded Tom Van Avemaet’s short film Death of a Shadow with a ‘Prix de Qualité’. Attached to the quality label comes a cash prize worth 5,000 euros, to be divided among the producers and the director of the film. Another cash prize of 2,000 euros goes to composer Raf Keunen who wrote the original score. Earlier this year Death of a Shadow was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Live Action Film.
By presenting the quality label, the CNC wishes to award artistic and technical performances in short films. Each year, an assembled committee of eight members watches every qualified film and then advises the president of the CNC, who has the final decision.
Acting talent from Flanders will be all over the place at this year's Cannes. A staggering seven Flemish actors star in films that are shown in the Fest's Official Selection: Matthias Schoenaerts stars alongside Mila Kunis, Marion Cotillard and Clive Owen in Guillaume Canet’s Out of Competition entry Blood Ties. Jan Bijvoet, Jeroen Perceval, Tom Dewispelaere and Gene Bervoets feature in Alex van Warmerdam’s Official Competition entry Borgman. Johan Leysen plays in François Ozon's Jeune et Jolie, also presented in Competition. Finally, Wim Willaert takes the lead role in Gilles Coulier’s short Mont Blanc, which is also competing for a Golden Palm.
Actor Wim Willaert and director Gilles Coulier are no newcomers to Cannes. Willaert was also cast for Gilles Coulier’s earlier short Iceland which made it into 2010's Cannes Cinéfondation student competition. Willaert also stars in Offline by Peter Monsaert which Lumiere/Lunanime presents at the Market. Mont Blanc is produced by Dirk Impens (of the award-winning The Broken Circle Breakdown which also screens at the Market) for Menuet.
Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels’ short film Oh Willy… has won yet another two international awards. The stop motion short was awarded Best Animated Short at the International Animation Film Festival ‘Golden Kuker’ in Sofia, Bulgaria (7-12 May). It also won the Best International Short Award at the Chilemonos Animation Festival in Chili (8-12 May), making it the 75th recognition on the film’s slate since its world premiere at the 2012 Clermont-Ferrand film fest.
Only last week Oh Willy… took home Stuttgart’s Grand Prix, while the short film can now add number 75 to its list of international awards and special mentions. Highlights in Willy’s career were the Cartoon d’Or, which the short won in 2012, and its nomination for the French Césars in 2013.
At the 6th edition of the Gulf Film Festival in Dubai (11-17 April) Sahim Omar Kalifa’s Baghdad Messi grabbed the Award for Best Short presented in the Official Gulf Short Film Competition. With the award, the film’s first international recognition, comes a cash prize of $10,000. At the same time Kalifa’s previous short, Land of the Heroes, keeps on touring the festival circuit and has reached over 100 festival screenings.
This year the Gulf Short Film Competition showcased about 35 short films, all created by Arab directors or shot in the Arab World. As was Land of the Heroes, Baghdad Messi is once again set against an Iraqi backdrop. Kalifa, himself from Kurdish-Iraqi descent, tells the story of 10-year old Hamoudi who, just like his soccer-obsessed friends, is looking forward to the Champions League finale between FC Barcelona and Manchester United. The long awaited clash between Messi and Ronaldo. But then Hamoudi’s television breaks down...
Toon Aerts’ short film Perfect Drug has won the Silver Méliès for Best European Fantastic Short Film at the closing ceremony of the 29th Imagine Film Festival (8 – 17 April) in Amsterdam. The Dutch award puts Perfect Drug in the running for the Méliès d’Or, the most prestigious European Award in the fantastic film genre, which will be awarded at the Sitges International Film Festival in Spain later this year.
Only last week the short was already laurelled with the Grand Prize for Best Short Film at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF). In the mind-blowing short Perfect Drug, a gang of thieves attempts to rob a laboratory, but not everything goes as planned. While Yumiko tries to calm down their Albanian boss Hasan on the phone, Misha can’t resist it any longer. He opens up one of the stolen test tubes and drinks it till the last drop, causing some extraordinary effects.
Gilles Coulier’s short film Mont Blanc has been selected for Official Competition at the 66th Festival de Cannes (15-26 May). Produced by Menuet, Mont Blanc was made possible with the award of a VAF Wildcard.
This is the second time Coulier has packed his bags for Cannes. In 2010, the young director’s short film Iceland was selected to compete in the Cinéfondation, Cannes’ student competition. And now, three years later, he's back on the French riviera with Mont Blanc, which is selected for the fest’s Official Short Film Competition. Nominated out of 3,500 submissions, the short is competing for the Palme d’Or for Best Short alongside eight other short films. This year’s five-person short film jury is presided over by Jane Campion (The Piano, In The Cut, Bright Star).
Jan and Raf Roosens’s short Skunk has been selected for the 59th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in Germany (2-7 May). Other Flemish shorts in the Oberhausen line-up are Marc James Roels and Emma De Swaef’s award-winning animated short Oh Willy… and Herman Asselberghs’ Speech Act.
The Roosens brothers quickly made a name for themselves in the advertising world as directors. Skunk is their first short film for Antwerp-based production company Rococo. Producer was Caroline van Ranst.
Robbe Vervaeke’s animated short Norman has been selected for Official Competition at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival (10-15 June). Also competing are television series Picnic With Cake, a Flemish co-production, and several shorts co-produced with Flanders. Pieter Coudyzer’s The Wake is presented out of competition. The Annecy Film Fest is globally considered the number one festival when it comes to animation.
The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) has been awarded the International Shorts Visionary Award at the ShortsHD Shorts Awards in Los Angeles. The annual award recognises the role of institutions in promoting and establishing short filmmaking. ShortsHD bestowed the prize on the Fund for its continuing efforts towards short films in Flanders. This vigour, coupled with the Oscar nomination of Death of a Shadow, is a large step in the growing European short film industry.
The recognition couldn’t have come at a better moment. Only last year, the Flanders Audiovisual Fund celebrated its tenth anniversary, while 2013 launched with the prestigious Oscar nomination of Death of a Shadow.