Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown and Alex van Warmerdam’s feature Borgman, a co-production with Flanders through Epidemic, are selected to compete in the official competition of this year’s Sydney Film Festival (5-16 June). The Sydney fest is one of the world’s longest-running festivals, its official competition presenting the Sydney Film Prize and $60,000 in cash.

The Broken Circle BreakdownAfter taking the Berlinale by storm, The Broken Circle Breakdown went on to conquer other parts of Europe. Now, also Australia has fallen for the intense drama about two people, as alike as day and night, who have to fight for their daughter when she becomes seriously ill. On its website, the Sydney Film Festival describes van Groeningen’s latest feature as ‘a masterful, exuberant film; one which miraculously seems to encompass all human emotion’.

Also Alex van Warmerdam’s feature film Borgman is set to screen at the Australian festival coming June. First, the Dutch-Belgo-Danish coproduction is to receive its première at the Cannes Film Festival this week, where it screens in Official Competition. The film evolves around Camiel Borgman, an outsider who arrives in the sealed-off streets of modern suburbia and unleashes a growing gallery of distortion around the careful façade constructed by an arrogant couple, their children and nanny. Main characters are portrayed by Flemish actors Jan Bijvoet and Jeroen Perceval with supporting roles for Gene Bervoets and Tom Dewispelaere.

The Sydney programme further reveals Comrade Kim goes Flying and Marion Hänsel’s Tenderness as part of the non-competitive features section. Comrade Kim is about a North Korean coalminer whose dream it is to become a trapeze artist. The film was shot in North Korea with local cast and crew and was co-produced by Flemish producer Anja Daelemans for Another Dimension of an Idea.

Tenderness by Marion Hänsel is a co-production with Flanders through Man’s Films Productions and stars Maryline Canto, Olivier Gourmet and Sergio Lopez. A couple, separated for the past 15 years, finds themselves together again for a two day journey to repatriate their son who’s hospitalized after a ski accident. What do they still feel for one another?

Dirk Impens produced The Broken Circle Breakdown for Menuet (Code 37, Turquaze, The Misfortunates). Borgman is a co-production between Graniet Film (The Netherlands), Angel Films (Denmark) and Epidemic, Koen Mortier and Eurydice Gysel’s Brussels-based production company, which is currently shooting Pieter Van Hees’ Waste Land. Both films were made possible with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.

Published on Wednesday 15 May 2013

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