Ben X on road to Oscar glory
by Anne Feuillère
Following its win of three prestigious prizes at the Montreal World Film Festival (see news), a national selection committee made up of Belgian, French-speaking and Dutch-speaking film professionals chose the title to represent Belgium at the 80th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
The selection is an exception to the rule (the Oscar candidate is supposed to alternate yearly between a Flemish and a French-language film) as last year another Flemish feature, Someone Else’s Happiness [trailer] by young director Fien Troch, was chosen to represent Belgium.
It may only be his first time in the director’s chair, but Balthazar is by no means unknown. A journalist and film critic, he is also a well-known presenter on Flemish television and a successful writer. In fact, Ben X is adapted from the director’s own best-selling book, which was also adapted for the stage, where it has been met with further success.
Based on a true and tragic story, Ben X is about a young, slightly autistic teenage boy (Greg Timmermans) who, traumatised by bullying from his schoolmates, takes refuge in the world of online games to escape and get revenge (see news).
Co-produced by Dutch outfit Bos Bros Film & TV Productions, with support from the Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds (VAF), Nederlands Fonds voor de Film and Media Plus, Ben X was produced by MMG Film & TV Production.
(Translated from French)