Matthias Schoenaerts, Michaël R. Roskams feature debut Bullhead and the animated short film Oh Willy… by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels are among the nominees for this year’s Césars, the French counterparts of the Oscars. The Flemish co-production Our Children is also nominated. The Awards Ceremony takes place on 22 February.

Jacques Audiard's Rust and boneMatthias Schoenaerts grabbed a nomination in the category Meilleur Espoir Masculin (Most Promising Male Actor) for his role in the French-Belgian co-production Rust and Bone. Directed by Jacques Audiard, the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year.

Rust and Bone
sees Schoenaerts in the role of 25-year old Ali. When Ali and his five-year old son are in need of shelter, he goes to his sister in Antibes where he meets the killer whale trainer Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard). They have nothing in common, until fate strikes and Stéphanie loses both legs in an accident. Her dreams are crushed, but by becoming Ali’s manager when he participates in illegal streets fights, she gives her life new meaning. A special, sensual bond develops between them.

Flemish co-producer is the Ghent based production company Lunanime. In addition to the nomination for Matthias Schoenaerts, Rust and Bone is listed in eight categories: Best Film, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Sound, Best Editing, Best Adaptation, Best Photography and Best Original Music.

Bullhead, the feature debut of Michaël R. Roskam is nominated for the César for Best Foreign Film. Last year, Roskam walked the red carpet in Los Angeles after the film got nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Bullhead proved to be a real box office hit in France as well.

In Bullhead, a malicious veterinarian approaches a young growth hormone dealer to close a deal with a notorious meat farmer. But the murder on a federal police officer and an unexpected confrontation with a mysterious secret from the dealer’s past create panic in the Belgian cattle hormone mafia.

Matthias Schoenaerts and Jeroen Perceval play the principal roles. Nicolas Karakatsanis signed for the photography, while Raf Keunen created the original score. Editing was done by Alain Dessauvage. Producer is Bart Van Langendonck for Savage Film.

Also the stop motion short film Oh Willy…, written and directed by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels, was nominated for a César for Best Animated Film.

In Oh Willy… Willy, a man of fifty, returns to the naturist community where he has spent his youth to visit his dying mother. When she dies shortly after he arrives, Willy is confronted with the choices he made in his life.

Only last September, Oh Willy… grabbed the Cartoon d’Or, the highest European award for an animated short film. Oh Willy… is a Belgian-French-Dutch co-production in which the characters as well as the scenes were largely created out of wool and felt. The film has been invited to over 110 festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival where the film screened earlier this week, and passed the amount of 50 awards. Flemish producers are Ben Tesseur and Steven De Beul for Beast Animation.

To round up, also the Flemish co-production Our Children, directed by Joachim Lafosse, was nominated for the César for Best Foreign Film. At the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, the film screened in the Un Certain Regard section. Flemish co-producer is Antonino Lombardo for Prime Time (Kid, Little Black Spiders).

All films mentioned above were made with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).

Published on Sunday 27 January 2013

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