With the entire programme of the Montreal World Film Festival (22 August-2 September) now revealed, the total number of selected films from Flanders adds up to four features and three shorts. In addition to Stijn Coninx’ Marina, Jan Verheyen’s The Verdict and Bart Van den Bempt’s 82 Days in April, Joël Vanhoebrouck’s debut feature Brasserie Romantique is also set for a Montreal screening, presented in the Focus on World Cinema panorama. The short films Norman by Robbe Vervaeke and Perfect Drug by Toon Aerts, as well as the previously announced short Wolf’s Milk by Hans Vercauter, are also part of the fest’s line-up.

Wolf's MilkJoël Vanhoebrouck’s Brasserie Romantique depicts forty-something Pascaline, who runs a brasserie, who is preparing the stylish dining room for the busiest day of the year: Valentine’s Day. She and her patrons of the evening have to cope with the unexpected. Sara De Roo (Hotel Swooni), Axel Daeseleire (Hell in Tangier), Koen De Bouw (The Verdict), Wouter Hendrickx (The Misfortunates), Filip Peeters (Salamander), Barbara Sarafian (Moscow, Belgium) and Anemone Valcke (Offline) form the main cast. The screenplay was written by Jean-Claude van Rijckegem and Pat Van Beirs, the duo behind Moscow, Belgium. Van Rijckegem produced the film with Dries Phlypo for A Private View, in co-production with VTM and Artémis Productions. Last June, Brasserie Romantique was awarded the Audience Award at the Festroia International Film Festival in Setúbal, Portugal, and screened at the Cabourg Film Festival in France.

Animated short film Norman has already earned director Robbe Vervaeke the Award for Best Debut at this year’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival. The film, which is constructed through a sequence of oil paint on glass frames, is set in a city with old, stately buildings, deep shadows and worn-down trees. Norman goes around looking at things. He is obsessed by small details and strange habits. Nervous and alone, he wanders the city, feeling a sense of threat coming from other people. The short film is a production by Leen Derveaux and Barend Weyens for Cinnamon Entertainment (Memee, Natasha) and screens in the short film section of the Focus on World Cinema spectrum.

Also in line for Montreal is Perfect Drug by Toon Aerts. Earlier this year, the short film preemed internationally at the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival and won the Méliès d'Or in Amsterdam. The mind-boggling film tells the tale of three thieves who try to steal a number of test tubes filled with different substances from a laboratory. However, things do not go according to plan, as one of the burglars drinks the contents of one of the test tubes, producing to some extraordinary results. Koen Mortier and Eurydice Gysel produced Perfect Drug for Epidemic.

Next to Cannes, the Montreal World Film Festival is generally perceived as one of the most important international French-speaking film festivals worldwide. It is also the only competitive film festival in North America recognised by the Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films (FIAPF). The festival is widely regarded as an excellent stepping-stone for films and filmmakers due to its conflux of European and American cinema. Over the course of the past ten years, multiple Flemish titles have managed to take home awards at the festival: Ben X, Oxygen and Come As You Are were each awarded the Grand Prix des Amériques; North Sea Texas by Bavo Defurne scored the Silver Zenith; Jan Decleir, Filip Peeters and Johan Leysen took the Prize for Best Male Role; and the short film FAL by Hans Van Nuffel won the Jury Award.

All films mentioned in this article received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.

Published on Tuesday 6 August 2013

Preferential partners