All eyes are on Flanders at this year’s European Film Festival in Les Arcs (15-22 December), with the fest organising a Focus on Belgium. No less than eight Flemish features, as well as three shorts are part of the focus. Belgian Cinema from Flanders is also well represented at the Arc 1950 coproduction forum with three projects on the bill. Additionally, Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth’s The Fifth Season is screening in the International Competition in Les Arcs and therefore in the running for a Crystal Arrow.

The Fifth Season by Peter Brosens and Jessica WoodworthFor its fourth edition, the European Film Festival in Les Arcs chose to add a Focus on Belgium to its line-up. Chaired by Artistic Director Frédéric Boyer, who after Cannes’ International Critics’ Week is also artistically leading the Tribeca Film Festival, the selection committee in Les Arcs nominated eight Flemish feature films and three shorts. Thus representing a new wave of filmmakers from Flanders, the board programmed Christophe Van Rompaey’s Moscow, Belgium, Nic Balthazar’s Ben X, Koen Mortier’s Ex Drummer, Geoffrey Enthoven’s Happy Together, Lost Persons Area by Caroline Strubbe, Pulsar by Alex Stockman and The Alzheimer Case by Erik Van Looy. Gust Van den Berghe’s Blue Bird was added to the school programme of the fest; six films carefully chosen for their cinematographic qualities and educational potential.

The European Film Festival also selected three Flemish shorts: Carlo by Michaël R. Roskam, Vincent Bal’s The Bloody Olive and Plot Point by Nicolas Provost. Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth’s The Fifth Season was added tot the International Competition, together with eleven other feature films including Marc-Henri Wajnberg’s Kinshasa Kids, a minor co-production with Flemish producer Peter Krüger (Inti Films).

At the Arc 1950 coproduction forum, a number of projects from Flanders are pitched to potential coproducers, financiers, sales agents and distributors: Kebab Royal, Brosens & Woodworth’s next project, Raf Reyntjens’ Paradise Trips (prod: Caviar) and Björn Schmelzer’s Ossuaires, a Minds Meet production. With more than 200 attending professionals and almost 30 projects this year, the coproduction forum in Les Arcs keeps gaining importance.

In its issue prior to the European Film Festival, the leading French cultural magazine Télérama highlighted Belgian Cinema from Flanders as ‘the new cinematographic eldorado’. The Fifth Season, all eight features and three short films were made possible with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).

Published on Tuesday 18 December 2012

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