EN - Fifteen-year-old Mavela is a member of the notorious gang Black Bronx. She falls head over heels in love with the charismatic Marwan, a boy from the rival gang 1080'ers. The two young people are brutally forced to choose between loyalty to their gang or their love for each other. An impossible choice... or not?

Based on the books 'Black' and 'Back' by Dirk Bracke.

NL - De 15-jarige Mavela is lid van de beruchte jeugdbende Black Bronx. Ze wordt halsoverkop verliefd op de charismatische Marwan, een jongen van de rivaliserende 1080-ers. De twee jongeren worden brutaal gedwongen om te kiezen tussen trouw aan hun bende of de liefde voor elkaar. Een onmogelijke keuze… of niet?

Gebaseerd op de boeken 'Black' en 'Back' van ateur Dirk Bracke.

FR - Mavela, 15 ans, est une Black Bronx. Elle tombe éperdument amoureuse du très charismatique Marwan, membre de la bande rivale, les 1080. Les deux jeunes gens sont brutalement contraints de choisir entre la loyauté à leur gang et l'amour qu’ils ont l’un pour l’autre. Choix impossible ?

Basé sur les livres 'Black' et 'Back' de Dirk Bracke.


Title Black
Original title Black
Original language French, Dutch, Arabic, Lingala
Status Completed
Production Majority Flemish
Category Features
Genre action, drama
Year 2015
World première / first public presentation 2015-09-11


Cast Martha Canga Antonio, Aboubakr Bensaïhi, ...
Photography Robrecht Heyvaert
Editing Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah
Sound Joeri Verspecht
Art director Stijn Verhoeven
Costume Nina Caspari
Makeup Dorien Biesmans
Music Hannes De Maeyer

Technical specs

Running time film 90'
Release format DCP
Other available formats Apple ProRes, HQ
Colour Colour
Available in 2D


Supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), la Wallonie et la région de Bruxelles-Capitale & Le Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel de la Communauté Française, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, VRT, RTBF, KFD, Telenet
Production partners Climax Films (BE), a team productions (BE)
Tax shelter partners Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government


2016: Ramdam Festival du Film Qui Dérange (BE); Göteborg Film Festival (SE); Official Selection - Audi Dublin International Film Festival (IE); Festival du Film Francophone de Kampala (UG); Narrative Spotlight - SXSW (US); Cutting Edge Awards (BE); Vilnius International Film Festival (LT); Section Festivals Favourites - Titanic Budapest International Film Festival (HU); Official Competition - Off Camera International Film Festival (PL); Official Competition - Zlin Film Festival (CZ); Generation + 18 section - Giffoni Film Festival (IT)

2015: Discovery - Toronto International Film Festival (CA); Film Fest Gent (BE); Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (EE); Official Selection - Gijon International Film Festival (SP); Official Selection - Festival International du Film De Marrakech (MA)


2016: Prix public meilleur film - Ramdam Festival du Film qui Dérange (BE); Best film - Cutting Edge Awards (BE)

2015: Dropbox Discovery Award - Toronto International Film Festival (CA); Audience Award - Film Fest Gent (BE); Best Actress - Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (EE)


  • the Netherlands: Cinéart (theatrical)
  • France: Paname Distribution (VOD)
  • Lithuania
  • United Kingdom: Vertigo Films (theatrical)
  • Italy: Feltrinelli-Wanted (theatrical, VOD)
  • Spain: Karma Films (theatrical, VOD)
  • Portugal: Alambique (theatrical, VOD)
  • French-speaking Switzerland: Cineworx (theatrical)

King of the Belgians, Black and Safety First head for Hamburg

Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth’s King of the Belgians, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s Black and Tim Van Aelst’s Safety Firsthave been invited to the Hamburg Film Fest, which runs from 29 September till 8 October. Two co-productions, Phantom Boy and Dark Diamond, complete the Flemish part of the line-up.

Safety FirstSafety First competes in Hamburg’s Eurovisuell competition, a selection of box-office hits and audience favourites from all over the continent. The comedy follows four security guards doing their job at a world-famous dance festival. While there, Luc discovers Dirk’s long-kept secret…

Published on Friday 16 September 2016

Black travels to Edinburgh

Black, directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, is set to receive its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which celebrates its 70th edition from 15-26 June. The contemporary Romeo & Juliet story has been selected for European Perspectives, a collection of Europe’s foremost films. The Edinburgh programme also includes Johan Grimonprez’s latest documentary, Shadow World, a co-production with Flanders.

BlackIt is nearly a year since Black started its festival career at the Toronto International Film Festival (where it won the Discovery Award), before moving on to festivals in Ghent, Gijon, Marrakech, Goteborg, Dublin, Vilnius and Budapest.

Published on Thursday 26 May 2016

FX signs Black directors for Snowfall pilot

Black directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will direct the pilot episode of Snowfall, a new drama series for American network FX. With the feature The Big Fix already in the pipeline, Snowfall is the second American project for the two young Belgian filmmakers.

© Jo VoetsSnowfall is set in 1980’s Los Angeles where the crack epidemic is about to break out. The story follows three characters: the young, power-hungry entrepreneur Franklin Saint; Gustavo Zapata, a Mexican wrestler and gangster in search of the American dream; and CIA agent Teddy McDonald.

Published on Wednesday 11 May 2016

Black lands distribution deals for Southern Europe and the UK

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s feature film Black will be simultaneously released in Spain, Italy and Portugal at the end of July. The film will be made available via VOD and in cinemas. It is also set for a theatrical release in the UK.

BlackThe Spanish rights for Black have been acquired by Karma Films, a Madrid-based distributor whose slate includes international successes such as Rams, Song of the Sea and the documentary Tomorrow. Karma previously distributed Flemish films Come As You Are and Ben X.

Published on Saturday 16 April 2016

Dublin goes Black

Black, the second feature from Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, has been invited to the Dublin International Film Festival (18-28 February). The official selection also includes Jaco Van Dormael’s The Brand New Testament, co-produced with Flanders, and Alice Winocour’s Disorder, which stars Flemish actor Matthias Schoenaerts.

BlackBlack tells the story of 15-year-old Mavela (Martha Canga Antonio), who is a member of the notorious Black Bronx gang. She falls head over heels in love with the charismatic Marwan (Aboubakr Bensaïhi), a boy from the rival 1080'ers. The two young people are forced to choose between loyalty to their gang and their love for each other.

Published on Monday 1 February 2016

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Last edited on 10 May 2017

Short info

Director Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah
Producers Frank Van Passel, Bert Hamelinck, Ivy Vanhaecke
Writers Hans Herbots, Nele Meirhaeghe, Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

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