The Fifth Season, the latest instalment in the trilogy directed by Belgian-American duo Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth, has won the Special Jury Award at the Denver Film Festival (6-17 November), a mere week after the film also won in France. The new award marks the 35th international adornment for the ensemble KhadakAltiplano, and The Fifth Season.

The Fifth SeasonIn its jury report, the Denver jury accorded the Special Jury Award to The Fifth Season because of its ‘visionary creation of an imaginary, yet vivid and fully realised world inspired by our current sociological and environmental challenges’. The jury comprised Jason Silverman (Cinematheque Santa Fe), Maggie MacKay (Film Independent) and Tom Hall (Sarasota Film Festival). The festival, celebrating its 36th edition, showcased over 270 films, including 126 features, from 44 different countries. The Denver Film Festival is one of the main cinematographic events in the Rocky Mountains area and annually attracts some 50,000 visitors.

With The Fifth Season, Brosens & Woodworth delivered the final chapter in their trilogy expressing the distorted relationship between nature and mankind. While Khadak, the first part, which was released in 2006, dealt with a young Mongolian herder who’s confronted with a plague on his land, Altiplano (2009) took its viewers to the mountains of Peru where the local population is struck by poisoning. Set in the Belgian area of the Condroz, The Fifth Season depicts how a mysterious calamity hits the world. Spring refuses to come, crops cease to grow, and cows' milk runs dry – and amidst this turmoil, Alice and Thomas, two teenagers living in a small village in the Ardennes forest, struggle to make sense of the world that is collapsing around them.

Although the 13th award for The Fifth Season, the Denver prize also marks a milestone for the entire trilogy, making it the 35th award in total. The trilogy’s slate contains some high-level honours, including Khadak winning the Luigi de Laurentiis Award at the Venice Film Festival, an invitation from Cannes’ Critics’ Week for Altiplano, and multiple awards for The Fifth Season in Venice, Valladolid and Les Arcs.

Brosens & Woodworth are currently working on their next feature project, Kebab Royal, which is set to become a comical road movie about a fictitious Belgian king who gets lost in the Balkans and there encounters himself. Shooting is scheduled for 2015. The trilogy was able to count on the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flanders Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege. Kebab Royal also received a development grant from the Fund.

Published on Friday 22 November 2013

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