EN - On his 30th birthday, Tom Fassaert receives a mysterious invitation from his 95-year-old grandmother, Marianne. Out of the blue, she asks him to come to South Africa to help her with her will. At that time, the only things he knows about her are the myths and predominantly negative stories his father told him. She was a femme fatale who went through countless men, a famous model in the 1950s who put her two sons into a children’s home and a mother who suddenly decided to emigrate to South Africa, far away from the rest of her family.

Fassaert decides to accept her invitation, but not without bringing his camera along. Through his lens, we discover what lies behind persistent myths and why his grandmother still has such a huge influence on the family. But when he himself becomes the object of her obsession, his venture becomes more complicated than he could ever have imagined.

NL - 'Marianne Hertz: mannequin én ideale moeder', zo wordt de oma van filmmaker Tom Fassaert in een vrouwenblad uit de jaren vijftig gepresenteerd. Zijn vader, oom en tante lachen er een beetje ongemakkelijk bij wanneer hij hen het artikel laat voorlezen. Hun kindertijd was verre van ideaal – de twee zoons belandden al jong in een kindertehuis – en de relatie met hun inmiddels 95-jarige moeder is nog altijd problematisch. Niet lang nadat zijn vader het contact met haar verbreekt, krijgt Tom van Marianne een uitnodiging om haar te bezoeken in Zuid-Afrika, waar ze jaren geleden een nieuw leven begon. Hij vertrekt en neemt zijn camera mee, in de hoop de ontbrekende puzzelstukjes van de familiegeschiedenis daar te vinden. Waarom is er van beide kanten zoveel teleurstelling en verwijt? En waarom is daar nooit echt over gesproken? Maar terwijl Marianne zich de interesse in haar persoon met gretigheid laat welgevallen, wijst ze alles wat te maken heeft met “die familie-affaire” vierkant af. Oma laat zich niet regisseren en onttrekt zich op volkomen onverwachte en verbluffende wijze aan de rol waarop haar kleinzoon juist probeert scherp te stellen: die van moeder en grootmoeder.

Info

Title A Family Affair
Original title A Family Affair
Original language Dutch
Status Completed
Production Minority Flemish
Category Docs
Genre creative documentary
Year 2015
World première / first public presentation 2015-11-17

Credits

Photography Tom Fassaert
Editing Claudio Hughes

Technical specs

Running time film 110 min
Release format DCP
Aspect ratio 1,66
Sound format Dolby / stereo
Colour Colour and black-white
Available in 2D

Partners

Main producer Wout Conijn
Main production company Conijn Films
Supported by Nederlands Film Fonds, MediaFonds, Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Blue Ice Fund
Production partners Conijn Films, Roco Films, Danish Documentary Film Production

Festivals

2015: International Competition - IDFA/International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (NL)

Awards

2016: Special Jury Award - Millenium Documentary Film Festival Brussels (BE); Best Film Award - It’s All True Brazil (BR); Best Film Award - Biografilm Bologna (IT); Best Documentary Award - Sopot International Film Festival (PL); Audience Award - Faito Doc Film Festival (IT); Golden Nanook Award for Best Film - Festival Flahertiana (RU); Best Feature Documentary Award - Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Fest (UK); Special Jury Award - Zürich Film Festival (CH); Gouden Kalf for Best Feature Length Documentary - Nederlands Film Festival (NL); PerSo Masterpiece Award for Best Feature - PerSo Film Festival (IT); Dutch Directors Guild Award for Best Documentary (NL); Kristallen Film [more than 20.000 admissions in the Netherlands] (NL)

2015: Special Jury Award Dutch Competition - IDFA/International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (NL)

Land of the Enlightened scores EFA nomination

Pieter-Jan De Pue’s hybrid documentary The Land of the Enlightened is one of the nominees for Best European Documentary at this year’s European Film Awards. Another of the five contenders is A Family Affair by Tom Fassaert, which was co-produced with Flanders. The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on December 10.

The Land of the EnlightenedThe European Film Academy (EFA) unveiled this year’s nominees on Sunday November 6 at the Seville European Film Festival. The Documentary category includes Pieter-Jan De Pue’s debut feature The Land of the Enlightened, a cinematic journey into the beauty of war-torn Afghanistan where Kuchi children wage their own mini-wars.

Published on Monday 7 November 2016

Sheffield Doc/Fest takes The Land of the Enlightened

Pieter-Jan De Pue’s debut feature The Land of the Enlightened has been selected for the Grand Jury Competition at the Sheffield Doc/Fest (10-15 June). De Pue’s mix of fiction and documentary about children in Afghanistan is set to receive its British premiere at the festival, whose programme also contains several co-productions with Flanders including the documentary features A Family Affair and Strike a Pose, and the short films Figure and Pulse.

The Land of the EnlightenedThe Land of the Enlightened is one of 12 films selected for the Grand Jury Competition, a selection of the best documentaries chosen from the line-up. The film will be competing for the Grand Jury Award worth £2,000.

Published on Monday 9 May 2016

New Flemish documentary work on show in Amsterdam

This year’s International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) presents a batch of new and recent documentary work by Marie Brumagne & Bram Van Cauwenberghe, Sarah Vanagt, Dries Depoorter, Isabelle Tollenaere and Rachida El Garani. Dutch-Flemish co-production A Family Affair opens the Festival on November 18.

Into DarknessInto Darkness by Rachida El Garani has been invited for both the Student Competition and the Kids & Docs Competition at IDFA. The director’s graduation short is about Mohamed, an 11-year-old Moroccan boy whose only dream it is not to turn blind, as have 11 of his family members. Living in poverty and excluded from society, the deeply religious family tries to keep their hopes and dreams alive.

Published on Wednesday 14 October 2015

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Last edited on 25 April 2017

Short info

Director Tom Fassaert
Producers Hanne Phlypo, Antoine Vermeesch
Writers Tom Fassaert
Contact

Clin d'oeil Films
Hanne Phlypo
Groenejagersveld 65
1000 Brussels
Belgium
hanne@clindoeilfilms.be
info@clindoeilfilms.be
www.clindoeilfilms.be

Sales

ro*co films
Sue Turley
80 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 8
Sausalito, CA 94965
United States
T +1 415 332 6471
F +1 415 332 6798
info@rocofilms.com
www.rocofilms.com/about.php?who=sue

Website afamilyaffair.nl/
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