EN - Stuck in a dark limbo between life and death, deceased soldier Nathan Rijckx collects shadows of dying men and women to buy back a second chance at life. Obsessed by a girl he met the moment before he died, the thought of seeing his beloved again drives him to access the world of the living. But when he discovers that she’s in love with someone else, jealousy clouds his mind and pushes him toward a bitter decision.

NL - Gevangen in een duister limbo tussen leven en dood, verzamelt Nathan Rijckx, een gestorven soldaat schaduwen van stervende mannen en vrouwen om een tweede kans op leven terug te verdienen. Geobsedeerd door het beeld van een meisje dat hij ontmoette het moment voor hij stierf, drijft de gedachte om z’n geliefde terug te zien hem om de weg naar de wereld van de levenden te heropenen. Maar wanneer hij ontdekt dat deze mysterieuze vrouw al verliefd is op iemand anders, wordt hij overmand door jaloezie die hem tot een duistere beslissing drijft, een beslissing die niet zonder gevolgen zal blijken…

FR - Le soldat Nathan Rijckx est mort. Son ombre est prisonnière d'un étrange collectionneur qui lui a donné une seconde chance : sa vie contre 10 000 ombres capturées. C'est l'amour qui le guide, car son but est de revoir Sarah, la femme dont il est tombé amoureux. Nathan a déjà capturé 9998 ombres…


Title Death of a Shadow
Original title Dood van een Schaduw
Original language French, Dutch
Status Completed
Production Majority Flemish
Category Shorts
Genre Fantasy
Year 2012


Cast Matthias Schoenaerts, Laura Verlinden, Peter Van Den Eede, Benjamin Ramon
Photography Stijn Van Der Veken
Editing Dieter Diependaele
Sound Yves De Mey
Art director Erwan Le Floc'h
Costume Vanessa Evrard
Makeup Simon Livet
Music Raf Keunen
Co-producers Isabelle Mathy, Delphine Schmitt
Visual effects Digital Graphics
Executive producer Ellen De Waele

Technical specs

Running time film 20'18"
Release format HD
Aspect ratio 1:1.85
Sound format Dolby Digital
Colour Colour
Available in 2D


Supported by Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Région Champagne-Ardennes, Mollywood, Sabam
Production partners Perspective Films, Digital Graphics, Mollywood, The Belgian Tax Shelter


(2012) (4 June – 9 June) 20th Le Court En Dit Long (France)
(2012) (6 September – 13 September) 16th L.A. Shortsfest (USA)
(2012) (26 September – 5 Oktober) 32nd Nederlands Film Festival (Netherlands)
(2012) (9 October – 20 October) 39th Ghent International Film Festival (Belgium)
(2012) (20 October – 27 October) 57th Seminci - Valladolid International Film Festival (Spain)
(2012) (25 October – 31 October) 3rd Samain Du Cinéma Fantastique (France)
(2012) (8 November – 18 November) 21st St. Louis International Film Festival (USA)
(2012) (12 November – 15 November) 13th Sleepwalkers Student & Short Film Festival (Black Night) (Estonia)
(2012) (16 November – 25 November) 2nd Paris International Fantastic Film Festival (France)
(2012) (16 November – 25 November) 33rd Festival Du Film Court De Villeurbanne (France)
(2012) (1 December – 8 December) 18th International Short Film Festival Leuven (Belgium)


(2012) (6 September – 13 September) 16th L.A. Shortsfest (USA) <Winner: Best Of The Fest (Oscar Qualifier) (by winning this prize, the film became part of the long list for the Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film

(2012) (20 October – 27 October) 57th Seminci - Valladolid International Film Festival (Spain) International Competition - Winner: Best European Short/EFA Award (Nomination For European Film Awards) (by winning this prize, the film is nominated for the European Film Awards of 2013

(2012) (25 October – 31 October) 3rd Samain Du Cinéma Fantastique (France) Winner: Audience Award

MoMA's 'The Great War' Programme Features Shorts from Flanders

This September, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York will screen three short films from Flanders: Tom Van Avermaet’sDeath of a ShadowTunnelrat, 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.

Tunnelrat‘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.

Published on Thursday 14 August 2014

Veerle Baetens wins Best Actress at European Film Awards

Veerle Baetens has received the award for Best Actress at the European Film Awards for her role in Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown. Director Tom Van Avermaet was also summoned to the stage as he collected the statue for Best European Short with Death of a Shadow. The European Film Awards are internationally considered the European equivalent of the Academy Awards. This year’s ceremony took place in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Germany.

Veerle BaetensVan Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown sees Veerle Baetens as Elise, a tattoo artist, who bonds with Didier, a bluegrass banjo player, over their shared enthusiasm for American culture and music. They dive headfirst into a sweeping romance off and on stage, but an unexpected tragedy hits their new family.

Published on Monday 9 December 2013

Death of a Shadow enters Meliès d’Or competition

Tom Van Avermaet’s short film Death of a Shadow has been awarded the Silver Meliès at the Leeds International Short Film Festival, making it an official candidate for the Meliès d’Or competition, taking place at the film festival of Sitges next October.

Death of a ShadowVan Avermaet attended the Leeds International Film Festival being invited as a jury member for the Short Film City competitions, including the Oscar-qualifying Louis le Prince and World Animation sections.

Published on Monday 18 November 2013

Raindance welcomes Flemish shorts trio

Jonas Baeckeland’s Prey, Tom Van Avermaet’s Oscar-nominated short Death of a Shadow and Hans Vercauter’s Montreal-winnerWolf’s Milk are to be presented at the Raindance Film Festival in Londen. Hisko Hulsing’s Junkyard, a coproduction with Flanders, was also added to the festival’s slate. Raindance presents the most promising new filmmakers from September 25 till October 6.

PreyAfter selections at the Brussels Film Festival and the LA Shorts Fest, Jonas Baeckeland’s short film Prey is to be screened at the Raindance Film Festival, one of Europe’s leading independent film festivals.

Published on Wednesday 25 September 2013

Number 25 for Death of a Shadow

By winning the Grand Prix at the Sapporo Shorts Fests in Japan earlier this week, Tom Van Avermaet can put award number 25 on his mantelpiece for his short film Death of a Shadow. The film, which was nominated for the Oscar for Best Short beginning of this year, is also nearing its 100th festival selection.

Death of a ShadowLast September, Death of a Shadow scooped its first award at the LA Shorts Fest where it was handed the Best of the Fest Prize. The kudo immediately qualified the short as an Oscar-contender after which invitations kept on rolling in. Up until now, Death of a Shadowhas secured a total of 25 international awards and special mentions.

Published on Friday 20 September 2013

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Last edited on 4 November 2015

Short info

Director Tom Van Avermaet
Producers Ellen De Waele
Writers Tom Van Avermaet

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