The 42nd annual Athens International Film + Video Festival kicked off on April 3 with seven Flemish productions in its line-up. Selected films include Alidor Dolfing’s Wien for Life; A Handful by Katrien Vermeire; and Olivier Vanden Bussche’s animated short To Build a Fire.

Bad HunterAn Vrombaut, author of the successful British animated series 64 Zoo Lane, will be in Athens with The Tie. The short animation film tells the story of the chance meeting between a small giraffe and a tall one. Despite their obvious difference in stature, they discover a kinship.

The Tie is not the only Flemish film aiming at a younger audience. Katrien Vermeire’s documentary short A Handful depicts a unique children’s game played on Belgium’s beaches. Since the 1920s, kids have spent their summers fabricating and selling colourful homemade flowers made out of paper, with shells used as currency. A Handful is a mixture of reality and fiction, perception and imagination, seriousness and play.

Operating under the alias Alidor Dolfing, Mark Bouwmeester and Nyk Dekeyser directed Wien for Life, a dark comedy short. After stealing a winning ‘Win for Life’ lottery ticket from a customer Pierre, the owner of a petrol station on the French-Flemish border, has an argument with his brother. Both have different ideas about their ‘way-out’.

Sahim Omar Kalifa’s award-winning film Bad Hunter will also be screened in Athens. The film is about Bahoz, a young man who goes hunting in rural Kurdistan. He witnesses the rape of a young woman and chases her assailant away. That evening, however, Bahoz receives an unexpected visit.

Pablo Diartinez’s debut Out of Reach (Rain Night) has been included in the ‘Experimental landscapes’ section and tells the story of a nameless poet in Brussels. Memories of lost friendship and love flood his befuddled mind as he seeks shelter and a place to sleep at a tram stop.

Piss & Vinegar by Dirk Domen and Tatyana Beloy portrays a young girl who lives with her stepfather and tries to make his life a living hell, while Olivier Vanden Bussche’s To Build a Fire is also in the line-up. Based on the short story by American author Jack London, this short animated film tells the story of a man in search of happiness and wealth.

The Tie, A Handful, Out of Reach (Rain Night), Wien for Life and Bad Hunter received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz.

Published on Thursday 9 April 2015

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