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.

Black tells the story of 15-year-old Mavela, who falls head over heels in love with a boy from a rival gang and, as a result, is brutally forced to choose between loyalty and love. Her performance as Mavela earned actress Martha Canga Antonio a nomination as one of this year’s European Shooting Stars at the Berlinale.

The success of the film has also boosted the careers of directors El Arbi and Fallah, who signed a deal with Fox and Chernin Entertainment to direct the crime thriller The Big Fix (working title). In addition, the filmmakers recently also announced that they will shoot the pilot episode of Snowfall, a new drama series for American network FX.

The Edinburgh programme also includes Shadow World, a documentary by Johan Grimonprez which was co-produced with Flanders. In his latest, the director of such films as Looking for Alfred and Double Take, reveals how the international arms trade not only fosters corruption but also determines economic and foreign policies and undermines democracy.

Bert Hamelinck, Frank Van Passel and Ivy Vanhaecke produced Black for Caviar (Paradise Trips, Sum of Histories). The script, based on books by Dirk Bracke, was written by Nele Meirhaeghe, together with Hans Herbots and El Arbi and Fallah. Shadow World was co-produced by Emmy Oost of Cassette for Timescapes (No Man is an Island, The Invisible City [Kakuma]). Black and Shadow World both received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz.

Published on Thursday 26 May 2016

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