Four Flemish shorts have been selected for competition at the Lille European Film Festival. Nicolas Daenens’ 27, Rosto’s The Monster of Nix, Kevin Meul’s The Extraordinary Life of Rocky and Wouter Bongaert’s Mouse For Sale will screen in the French-Flemish “métropole” from 30 March-6 April.

27 meulIn Nicolas Daenens’ 27, a young man leaves home. He has just broken up with his girlfriend. He is 27 years old and realises that the older he gets, the less he can take it. As he walks through a busy shopping street, he is constantly approached by people who want something from him. Each time he responds in a very unpredictable way. The phlegmatic and slightly absurd short was produced by Bart Van Langendonck (Bullhead) of production outfit Savage Film and stars Steve + Sky’s Steve, Titus De Vooght, in the leading role. In Lille, the short will enter in one of the five open international short film competitions. 27 is Daenen’s second short, after A Day in The Life.

The Extraordinary Life of Rocky, directed by Kevin Meul,  tells the story of Rocky, a boy who grows up surrounded by death: everyone around him dies in a freak accident and each time he is at the centre of it all. The boy seems to be a magnet for bad luck. Before turning up at Lille, the film had earned selections for the Montréal World Fest, the Cinequest Festival in California and the Festival of Valladollid. The latter festival even honoured the film with their Meeting Point Award for Best Short Film. 

The Extraordinary Life of Rocky stars a number of established actors, not least the experienced Josse De Pauw (Sailors Don’t Cry, Everybody Famous!, A Chicken is no Dog). Behind the camera was Bullhead boy wonder Nicolas Karakatsanis. Music band Das Pop joined the short’s all-star collective by providing the film’s soundtrack. The Extraordinary Life of Rocky is Meul’s debut short. His second, Cadet, is currently in the pipeline and is expected later this year. Rocky will compete in the Lille competition for “Quirky” films.

The Monster of Nix is a dark fairy tale that tells of Willy, a troubled boy who fights the destructive force of Virgil, an all-devouring monster in the village of Nix. The animated short is a Flemish-Franco-Dutch co-production directed by Dutch filmmaker and artist Rosto. The Flemish producer of the short is Willem Thijssen for Antwerp outfit CinéTé. The Monster of Nix appeared on the programme of festivals including the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Fim Festival, the Brussels ANIMA Fest and the European Film Festival in the French town of Les Arcs. The film will compete with other shorts for the Lille Best Animated Short Award.

In Mouse For Sale, directed and produced by Wouter Bongaerts, Snickers, a lonely mouse in a petshop, desperately wants someone to buy him. But he’s got one big problem: his huge ears. The kids entering the store keep laughing at him. Mouse For Sale is Bongaerts’ graduation project at the Limburg Catholic University College film school. Mouse For Sale will appear in the Playground competition of the fest.

The Lille European Film Festival is organised annually with the purpose of revealing short film talents, facilitating meetings with potential partners or buyers, and increasing the general public’s awareness of short films. The European Film Festival was founded as a festival exclusively dedicated to shorts, but now shows feature films as well. Participation in the fest’s competition, however, is reserved for short films only.

Published on Thursday 8 March 2012

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