Anima presents Flemish shorts and C.A.S.P.E.R.

Anima, the Brussels International Animated Film Festival, which runs from 4-13 March, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The festival offers a wide variety of animation fare: 118 shorts and 12 features from all over the world will be shown at the festival. Anima 2011 will also welcome key players such as Michel Ocelot, Bill Plympton and Peter Lord.

Still from animation short Mouse For SaleMost of the animation selected from Flanders comes from recently graduated animators. Among them is Mouse For Sale, the winner of the first VAF Wildcard for Animation. Director Wouter Bongaerts studied at the Media & Design Academy of Genk. His internships during his last year offered him new insights into 3D animation, leading to the heart-warming short of a mouse in a pet shop, and a potential buyer. dANCE, an animated short by Wouter Sel, will premiere at Anima 2011. It portrays a graphic choreography which evokes the rise and fall of two different clans. This production is supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), among others.

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Published on Monday 28 February 2011

Van Looy to direct US Loft remake

Director Erik Van Looy is set to direct the remake of his original 2008 box office hit Loft. Anonymous Content's Steve Golin, Paul Green, Matt DeRoss and Adam Shulman will produce along with Hilde DeLaere of Belgium’s Woestijnvis, the producer of the original. Wesley Strick will adapt the original screenplay by Van Looy and Bart De Pauw.

Still from the original LoftLoft follows five married friends who decide to rent a loft together where they can bring their mistresses. When the body of an unknown woman is found in the loft, they realise that they don't know each other as well as they thought and begin to suspect one another of murder.

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Published on Monday 28 February 2011

TV Stars for Eyeworks’ Double Life, Old Belgium

Eyeworks’ Double Life grabbed the Best Drama Series award at this year’s Flemish Television Stars awards ceremony. Peter Van den Begin received the Best Actor award for his role in Old Belgium, another Eyeworks series, which was based on his childhood memories. Nathalie Meskens received both the Best Actress award as well as the audience’s Personality Award for her performance in Tegen de sterren op.

Still from Old BelgiumThe Smartest Person in the World, the gameshow presented by filmmaker Erik Van Looy, won the Best Entertainment award as well as the Audience Award for Best Programme. 

The School of Lukaku was voted Best Reality Series, while the award for Best Lifestyle Show went to cookery programme Dagelijkse kost and VRT News was named Best News Programme. MTV veejay Marcel Vanthilt and An Lemmens received the Best Presenter awards.

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Published on Monday 28 February 2011

Ex Drummer opens in New York

Koen Mortier’s controversial debut feature Ex Drummer is to open in New York on 3 March. The film will screen at reBar’s reRun, the hot independent movie theatre in Brooklyn.

Still from 22nd of MayIn Ex Drummer, three disabled rock musicians are searching for a drummer for their band, The Feminists. A well-known writer seems like the right guy for the job, but his only handicap is that he can't play the drums. He joins the group anyway, but soon after his arrival, personal disputes and family feuds start to jeopardise the band’s fragile future.

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Published on Monday 28 February 2011

Over the Hill Band opens in US

Geoffrey Enthoven’s The Over the Hill Band opened in New York on Friday. The film, starring Marilou Mermans, Lut Tomsin, Lea Couzin and Jan Van Looveren, premiered in the city’s East Village theatre and will open in other key US cities as of 3 March. Distributor is Neo Classics.

Still from Over The Hill BandIn The Over the Hill Band, recently widowed 70-year-old Claire decides to reconnect with her estranged son, down and out R&B musician Sid. She asks him to help her restart the old girl band she used to sing in with two of her friends from the old days. The rebel son is hesitant at first but eventually agrees under one condition.

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Published on Monday 28 February 2011

Three Flemish docs at Visions du Réel

The international documentary festival Visions du Réel in Nyon, Switzerland, will host three Flemish documentary premieres: Manno Lanssens’ Epilogue, Karel De Cock’s Accepting the Image and Mike Figgis’ The Co(te)lette Film. The festival, which is also affiliated to the Doc Outlook Documentary market, runs from 7-13 April. This year's is the first edition under the artistic leadership of Luciano Barisone.

Scene from the co(te)lette filmA former journalist, the Italian Barisone has proven his worth at a number of international film festivals including Venice, Locarno and Firenze.

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Published on Friday 25 February 2011

Good news for Good News

Elvis-inspired animated short Good News, directed by Kris Mergan and Geert Vandenbroele, has been selected for the seventh edition of the Animabasque International Animated Film Festival in Spain (1-7 April). The short film will screen in the Karratu Short Film Section. Good News has also been selected for the 18th Internationales Trickfilm Festival in Stuttgart (3-8 May).

Lion Angel in the chapelIn Good News, Elvis impersonator Lion Angel changes his life drastically: he steals a fire engine, sets off to a chapel, and locks himself in with only the Virgin Mary to understand and save him. When the chapel catches fire, he leaves for the centre of the earth.

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Published on Friday 25 February 2011

Pulsar selected for Bergamo Film Meeting

Pulsar, the full length feature film by Alex Stockman, has been selected for the 29th edition of the Bergamo Film Meeting in Italy (12-20 March). The film will compete for the 2011 Bergamo Film Meeting Prize in the Competition-Exhibition section. In the meantime, Insomnia World Sales has picked up the film for worldwide sales representation.

Matthias Schoenaerts in PulsarOnly seven features were selected to compete in Bergamo’s Competition-Exhibition programme, which is considered the most important section of the festival. Its aim is to propose new authors and new cinematographies. The films are chosen because of ‘their insightful analysis of contemporary culture and their original linguistic and narrative style’. In this section only seven films can compete, with the audience selecting the three winners.

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Published on Wednesday 23 February 2011

Berlin's Generation Kplus Jury Award for Heroes

Sahim Omar Kalifa's Berlinale Generation Kplus selected short Land of the Heroes has won the International Jury Award in Berlin. The prize comes with a €2,500 cheque.

Still from Land of the HeroesIn Land of the Heroes, three kids are killing time. They want to watch cartoons on television. But that seems to be more difficult than they expected. The story draws on the director's experience of growing up during the war between Iraq and Iran. 'We had no choice about what we could watch on TV,' he explains. 'It was always reports about victories by the Iraqi army, and we would have to wait four or five hours to watch a cartoon.' Not only were the Iraqi kids deprived of entertainment, but they were exposed to brutal images of the war. 'There was no one to say that certain things shouldn't be shown to children. So we saw everything.'

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Published on Monday 21 February 2011

Cinequest picks three from Flanders

This year's 21st edition of Cinequest in San Jose, California, is to present three recent features from Flanders: Koen Mortier's 22nd of May, Hans Van Nuffel's Oxygen, and Gust Van den Berghe's Little Baby Jesus of Flandr. Cinequest 21 runs from 1-13 March.

Still from OxygenAccording to Variety, Cinequest, set in the heart of Silicon Valley, 'manages to straddle two worlds – film geeks and financial barons – with remarkable alacrity… Eager to emphasize its maverick stance, the fest has positioned itself at the cutting edge, as a showcase for new technologies and champion of the more DIY end of US and global indie film businesses, with programming that routinely eschews the typical fest fare.'


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Published on Monday 21 February 2011

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