Joe Vanhoutteghem's Rivers Return, Marc James Roels and Emma De Swaef’s Oh Willy… and Nicolas Daenens’ 27 have all been selected for the 10th Tirana International Film Festival (23 November-2 December) in Albania. All three films are screening in the Short Film Competition of the fest.

Still from Joe Vanhoutteghem's Rivers ReturnRivers Return (pictured left) started life as a series of station idents, 15-second videos that played between programmes on the Franco-German channel Arte during 2011. Now their creator, Joe Vahoutteghem, has brought that story to the fore in a 12-minute short film that premiered internationally at the Locarno Film Festival last August. The visually rich film was shot on location in Slovenia by Vanhoutteghem and rising Flemish cinematographer Nicolas Karakatsanis (BullheadThe Loft).

In Nicolas Daenens’ 27, a young man leaves home. He has just broken up with his girlfriend. He is 27 years old and realises that the older he gets, the less he can take it. As he walks through a busy shopping street, he is constantly approached by people who want something from him. Each time he responds in a very unpredictable way. The phlegmatic and slightly absurd short was produced by Bart Van Langendonck (Bullhead) of production outfit Savage Film and stars Steve + Sky’s Steve, Titus De Vooght, in the leading role.

In Oh Willy…, fiftysomething Willy returns to the naturist community where he spent his youth to visit his dying mother. When she dies shortly after he arrives, Willy is confronted with the choices he made in his life. In confused sadness he flees into the forest. After a rough start, he finds the motherly protection of a big, gentle, hairy beast. The 17-minute stop-motion animated film is a Belgian-French-Dutch co-production with both characters and backgrounds created in wool and felt. Flemish producers are Ben Tesseur and Steven De Beul for Beast Animation.

The Tirana International Film Festival is the first and only international cinema festival of its kind in Albania. All three films in this article were made with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).

Published on Thursday 22 November 2012

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