Gust Van den Berghe’s Blue Bird grabbed yet another Special Mention in the category Best Feature Film, International Selection at the 40th edition of the Festival of New Cinema in Montreal (12-23 October). Only recently, Blue Bird also received a Special Mention for Best Film at the Ghent International Film Festival.

Gust Van den Berghe with Artistic director Patrick Duynslaegher at the Award Ceremony in Ghent Blue Bird is a story about how one day in a child's life can change its world. One morning, Bafiokadié and his sister Téné, two African children, leave their village. The only thing on their mind is to find their lost blue bird before the day is over. But they will find much more along their way: they encounter their deceased grand-parents, they fight the soul of the forest and learn from the Chief of Pleasure. Everyone tells them a story about life and death. At the end of their long journey, the brother and sister enter the Kingdom of the Future and meet some yet-to-be born children. Delighted with this discovery, they eventually return home. For as we lose something we gain something.

Besides Blue Bird, Nicolas Provost’s short Moving Stories and his debut feature The Invader were also selected for the International Programme in Montreal. 2011 seems to be an exceptionally successful year for Flemish cinema in Canada, the successful run started with the Great Prize for Peter Krüger’s Antwerp Central at FIFA, quickly followed by the awards for both Geoffrey Enthoven’s Come As You Are and Bavo Defurne’s North Sea Texas at the Montreal World Film Festival, and the Award for Best Debut for Michael R. Roskam’s Bullhead at the Fantasia Film Fest also in Montréal.

The Festival of New Cinema describes its mission to introduce unique films and authorcinema to a broad public in Montréal. The last 40 years they programmed good and challenging cinema from Atom Egoyan, Marc-André Forcier, Denis Villeneuve, Jim Jarmusch, Jane Campion, Alfonso Cuaron, Wong Kar-wai, Wim Wenders, and Raymond Depardon.

Blue Bird is a production of Tomas Leyers for Minds Meet (Lost Persons Area, Little Baby Jesus of Flandr, Kaïn) and was supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) – Gust Van den Berghe got a VAF Wildcard in 2009 with Little Baby Jesus of Flandr which enabled him to start up the Blue Bird project – and Tax Shelter support of Mollywood.

Published on Wednesday 26 October 2011

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