Neither Jan Verheyen's courtroom thriller The Verdict nor Hans Vercauter's short Wolf's Milk left Montréal empty handed. While the International Jury of the 37th World Film Festival awarded Verheyen (pictured) with Best Direction, the Special Jury Award for Best Short went to Vercauter.

Director Jan Verheyen with this Best Director Award in MontrealThe Verdict deals with law and justice, morality and ethics, but it is also the story of how a man engages in a fight with the constitutional state. When his wife’s murderer is released due to a procedural error, Luc is prepared to do everything in his power to stop it from happening. He is going to take justice into his own hands and take on the system that let him down.

The film stars Koen De Bouw (The Memory of a Killer, Loft), Veerle Baetens (The Broken Circle Breakdown, Loft, Code 37), Jappe Claes (Daens, Dossier K.) and Johan Leysen (Young and Beautiful, The Spiral). The Verdict, which received its world premiere in Official Competition in Montréal, is produced by Peter Bouckaert for Eyeworks. DoP is Frank Van den Eeden, while Steve Willaert composed the original score. Philip Ravoet signed for the film's editing.

'With the award as well as the rave reviews from the trade press… it just feels great,' said Verheyen after the award ceremony. 'It's the icing on the cake after The Verdict was presented here for the very first time last week and Canadian audiences immediately embraced it. I can hardly wait to present The Verdict to Belgian audiences and am looking forward to finding out how other international audiences respond to it.'

Wolf's Milk (Wolfsmelk), a short written and directed by Hans Vercauter, is a story about a family on the verge of being torn apart. After being imprisoned for several years, Marcus is determined to settle a score with his brother, Simon. Wolf's Milk is a story about brotherly love, and a family struggling to stay together after a calamitous white lie. Wouter Hendrickx (Brasserie Romantique, Oxygen) and Ben Segers (What if?, Code 37) play the main parts.

'I'm extremely happy and surprised to get this award,' said Vercauter. 'Showing the film as a world premiere at the World Film Fest was already an incredible adventure, but to get the Special Jury Award is something I cannot describe. I want to thank everyone who worked on Wolf's Milk.' Wolf's Milk is produced by Eva Van Riet for Caviar.

Published on Tuesday 3 September 2013

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