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FESTIVALS Belgium

Brussels Film Festival puts spotlight on European cinema

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The Brussels Film Festival, which will run from June 22-29, yesterday unveiled another packed line-up. Although Europe disappeared from the festival’s name a few years ago, it nonetheless remains at the heart of its programme, even if the Hello Sundance section launched last year suggests that in the medium term there will be a greater openness to world cinema.

The festival strives once more to show the richness that has arisen from the diversity of European cinema, by offering an almost exhaustive panorama in geopolitical terms. The competition carefully sets out to present 11 films from 11 different countries. Festival selectors were clearly keen to choose films that have won acclaim from professionals in their country of origin.

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Among the selected titles, Arni Olafur Asgeirsson’s Undercurrent swept up at the latest Edda Icelandic Film and Television Awards. In Spain, Black Bread [+see also:
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dominated the Goyas, nabbing no fewer than nine prizes, including Best Film, Best Director and four acting awards. Meanwhile, Italian director Claudio Cupellini’s German flick A Quiet Life [+see also:
film review
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interview: Claudio Cupellini
film profile
]
has three nominations for the Italian Film Critics’ Nastri d’Argento Awards.

Highlights among the other films in competition are Norwegian director Anne Sewitsky’s Happy Happy [+see also:
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(Grand Prize for Best Foreign Feature at Sundance); and Teddy Lussi-Modeste’s French film Jimmy Rivière [+see also:
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interview: Teddy Lussi-Modeste
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(Audience Award at Angers), which focuses on a Pentecostal gypsy community.

There will be some superb avant-premieres of French films, including at the festival’s opening (Katia Lewkowicz’s Bachelor Days Are Over [+see also:
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interview: Katia Lewkowicz
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]
) and at its close (Roschdy Zem’s eagerly-awaited second film Omar Killed Me).

The festival will also show around ten films in its Panorama section, including Belgian director Pierre Duculot’s debut feature Au Cul du Loup (“In the Wolf’s Arse”). It is also taking risks with its now traditional open-air screenings, by offering a specialised but enticing programme, with highlights including Fatih Akin’s Soul Kitchen [+see also:
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film profile
]
and Alex Stockman’s Pulsar [+see also:
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.

Finally, the festival aims to develop a section intended for professionals, by organising meetings about digital, film scores and screenwriting workshops with Jean-François Halin and Laurence Coriat.

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(Translated from French)

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