EN - 22nd of May depicts the various victims of a suicide bombing. Sam, a rather ordinary-looking 40-year-old, works as a security guard at a shopping mall. His life is plunged into turmoil the day a young man carrying a backpack blows himself up there.

NL - Hoe je leven kan veranderen in een oogopslag. 22 Mei gaat over de slachtoffers bij een zelfmoordaanslag. We volgen Sam, een wat troosteloze veertiger die als bewakingsagent in een winkelcentrum werkt. Zijn leven wordt door elkaar geschud wanneer er op een dag een jongen met een rugzak zichzelf in het winkelcentrum tot ontploffing brengt. Angst, onmacht en schuld zijn de centrale thema’s van dit verhaal.

FR - 22 Mai représente les nombreuses victimes d'un attentat à la bombe. Sam, un quarantenaire d'apparence ennuyeuse, travaille comme agent de sécurité dans un centre commercial. Sa vie plonge dans la tourmente le jour où un jeune avec un sac à dos se fait exploser dans le centre commercial. La peur, l'impuissance et la culpabilité sont les thèmes centraux de cette histoire.


Title 22nd of May
Original title 22 mei
Original language Dutch
Status Completed
Production Majority Flemish
Category Features
Year 2010


Cast Sam Louwyck, Titus De Voogdt, Barbara Callewaert, Jan Hammenecker, Wim Willaert, Norman Baert, Steffi Peeters
Photography Glynn Speeckaert
Editing Nico Leunen
Music Michael Gallagher

Technical specs

Running time film 88'
Release format 35mm
Aspect ratio 1:1.85
Sound format Dolby Digital
Colour Colour


Supported by Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), CCA, NFF, RFF, Tax Shelter, KFD, Cinéart, Canvas


2010: Toronto International Film Festival (CA); International Film Festival Ghent (BE)

22nd of May grabs Leeds’ Golden Owl

Koen Mortier’s 22nd of May has won the Golden Owl at the 25th edition of the Leeds International Film Festival (3-20 November), where it triumphed over 11 other movies in Official Competition. In addition to the Golden Owl, 22nd of May also celebrated its 25th festival selection at Leeds. The film is also set for release in France and Germany.

Still from Koen Mortier's 22nd of MayThe festival jury in Leeds described 22nd of May as ‘a powerful and evocative story of guilt and payback… Mortier mixes reality with the aesthetics of pop video to create an unique and intense film.’ The jury also appealed to UK distributors to make sure the film was added to the line-up for local cinemas.

Published on Tuesday 6 December 2011

Oxygen, Bullhead lead Flanders Film Awards noms

Hans Van Nuffel’s Oxygen and Michaël R Roskam’s Bullhead head this year’s list of nominations for the Flanders Film Awards, collecting nine and eight noms respectively in ten categories. The awards ceremony takes place on Saturday 10 September at the fifth Ostend Film Festival.

Actor Stef Aerts in Hans Van Nuffel's OxygenA jury chaired by actor Peter Van den Begin (Frits & FreddyDirty Mind), consisting of Studio 100 topper Hans Bourlon, TV host Phara de Aguirre, actress Els Dottermans, musician Piet Goddaer, former sportsman and columnist Jan Mulder, photographer Lieve Blancquaert and director Christophe Van Rompaey, selected three nominations in each of the ten categories.

Published on Friday 26 August 2011

Koen Mortier in focus in Paris

Koen Mortier's 22nd of May is celebrating its 15th festival invite thanks to the film's selection for the Étrange Filmfest (2-11 September) in Paris. In addition to 22nd of May, the festival is also showing Mortier's debut feature, Ex-Drummer, and a selection of his shorts as part of a special on the Flemish helmer. Furthermore there are plans for a French release of both 22nd of May and Ex Drummer in theatres and on DVD respectively.

Sam Louwyck in Koen Mortier's 22nd of May22nd of May has been selected for the festival's New Genre Competition. The fest, which is held at the prestigious Forum des Images, praises the director’s career: ‘Mortier launched his cinematic career late in life, at the age of 30, with experimental short films such as Ana Temnei (1993) and A Hard Day’s Work (1995). […] His career path surprisingly mirrors that of Roy Andersson (Songs from the Second Floor).”

Published on Monday 22 August 2011

22nd of May, Turquaze and Cat to Hong Kong

Koen Mortier’s 22nd of May and Kadir Balci’s Turquaze have been invited to this year’s 35th edition of the Hong Kong International Film Festival (20 March-5 April). Both films will screen in the World Cinema programme. Also selected is the animated feature A Cat in Paris by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, which is to have a gala premiere at Hong Kong.

Still from TurquazeKadir Balci’s Turquaze had its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival, and also toured other fests such as Hamburg and Palm Springs. Producer is Dirk Impens for Menuet. International sales are handled by Delphis Films. The festival describes Turquaze as “Realistic yet warm, tense yet romantic, this is a fresh and uplifting spin on the modern issue of multiculturalism”.

Published on Wednesday 2 March 2011

Ex Drummer opens in New York

Koen Mortier’s controversial debut feature Ex Drummer is to open in New York on 3 March. The film will screen at reBar’s reRun, the hot independent movie theatre in Brooklyn.

Still from 22nd of MayIn Ex Drummer, three disabled rock musicians are searching for a drummer for their band, The Feminists. A well-known writer seems like the right guy for the job, but his only handicap is that he can't play the drums. He joins the group anyway, but soon after his arrival, personal disputes and family feuds start to jeopardise the band’s fragile future.

Published on Monday 28 February 2011

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Last edited on 18 February 2018

Short info

Director Koen Mortier
Producers Eurydice Gysel
Writers Koen Mortier

Koolmijnenkaai 30
1080 Brussels
T +32 2413 17 80


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