The 32nd Oporto International Film Festival (24 Febr – 3 March) has invited works from no less than four Flemish filmmakers for its line-up. Frank van Passel’s Madonna’s Pig, Jakob Verbruggen’s Code 37, Nuru, a short by Michael Palmaers, and Christophe Van Rompaey's Lena have been selected for Fest.

Madonna's PigCode 37 became an instant box office hit in its home territory when released last fall. The film was running alongside Madonna’s Pig and Geoffrey Enthoven’s Come As You Are in theatres and together the films even managed to register over 80,000 admissions during one weekend. The film is to receive its market première at this year's European Film Market in Berlin. Code 37 director Jakob Verbruggen is now also set to direct the BBC mini-series The Fall, written by the BAFTA nominated Alan Cubitt.

A decade separates Villa des Roses and Madonna’s Pig, Frank Van Passel’s latest film. But he says it doesn’t feel like he’s been away. ‘I didn’t stop directing over the past 10 years, but it’s true that I stopped making feature films,’ he says. Instead he made prize-winning television drama, shot commercials and started the production company now known as Caviar. Read the interview with Frank Van Passel in our Flanders (i) magazine here. After a strong release in its home territoriy, Madonna’s Pig is now kicking off on the festival circuit at Fantasporto.

Michael Palmaers’ short animation Nuru, a Walking The Dog production, recently had its international premiere at the Clermont-Ferrand International film festival. In Nuru, an opportunistic director of an abandoned zoo assigns a doctor to do some medical experiments on a gorilla, one of the few animals left in the zoo. The film is inspired by “The Explanation and The Empire of Light” by surrealist painter René Magritte.

Christophe Van Rompaey’s Lena premièred internationally in Toronto last year. The film went on to a number of festivals such as Ghent, les Arcs and Palm Springs. Emma Levie, the female lead in Lena, also received the Best Actress Award at les Arcs for her performance in Lena. Finally, Rosto’s The Monster of Nix is shown in the première & panorama section.

Code 37 is a production of Dirk Impens for Menuet. Madonna’s Pig was produced by Bert Hamelinck for Caviar Films. Flemish co-producer for Lena is Dries Phlypo of A Private View. Except for Code 37, all films in this article were supported by the Flanders Audiovisual fund a.o.

Published on Monday 6 February 2012

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