International sellers backing Belgians
by Aurore Engelen
08/05/2009 - Even before the Film Market has opened its doors and the first hordes of gentlemen in tuxedos have climbed the red-carpeted steps of the Festival Palace, the three Flemish films selected at Cannes have already found buyers.
Sensing the exaggerated “Belgian-ness” of The Misfortunates [trailer, film focus], MK2 snapped up the film whose trailer is circulating and shows that Belgium is a country of crazy and deranged people, fond of self-derision. Selected in the Directors' Fortnight, The Misfortunates is the third feature by 31-year-old director Felix Van Groeningen. All his films have been produced by Dirk Impens for Menuet.
Selected in Critics’ Week, Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens’ Altiplano [trailer, film focus] is imbued with a different atmosphere. The film will be represented by Meridiana Films, the new company headed by Helen Loveridge, co-founder of Fortissimo Film Sales.
Loveridge has high hopes for this extraordinary film, starring young Peruvian actress Magaly Solier, whose talent shone in The Milk of Sorrow [trailer], winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale.
Vying for the Camera d’Or in Critics’ Week, Caroline Strubbe’s Lost Persons Area has been picked by Umedia. This is the second Flemish film acquired by the young French sales company founded in 2004, after Johan Grimonprez’s Double Take.
Meanwhile, Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier’s majority Francophone film A Town Called Panic [trailer, film focus], co-produced by Flanders, France and Luxembourg, is being handled by The Coproduction Office.
Cannes’ Belgian Francophone co-productions are not outdone. Wild Bunch’s rich catalogue includes Marina De Van’s Don’t Look Back [trailer], Elia Suleiman’s The Time That Remains and Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric [trailer, film focus]. Tsai Ming Liang’s Face [trailer] will be represented by Fortissimo Films.
(Translated from French)