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BRIFF 2019

Ray & Liz scoops two BRIFF awards

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- The first feature film by the photographer Richard Billingham pockets two awards, while Animus Animalis takes home the Directors’ Week Grand Prize

Ray & Liz scoops two BRIFF awards
Ray & Liz by Richard Billingham

On Saturday evening, the fledgling Brussels International Film Festival (BRIFF) unveiled the winning titles of its second edition, and whilst the Grand Prix of the International Competition might have been clinched by Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai’s So Long My Son, European cinema swiftly ran away with all the other prizes.

For starters, Richard Billingham’s Ray & Liz [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Richard Billingham
film profile
]
bagged itself the International Jury Prize, as well as an award from the Belgium-based, French-language public broadcaster RTBF. The atypical format of the photographer’s first full-length movie, in which Billingham’s parents (who were also the focus of his photographic work and who are played here by Ella Smith and Justin Sallinger) are placed centre stage in a series of sketches, offers a stark yet tender portrayal of working class England in the 1980s.

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In terms of Directors’ Week, the Grand Prix was awarded to the Lithuanian film Animus Animalis [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Aistė Žegulytė
film profile
]
by Aiste Zegulyte, a surprising “wildlife” documentary, sub-headed A Story about People, Animals and Things. The Jury Award, meanwhile, was won jointly by Virgil Vernier’s Sophia Antipolis [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Virgil Vernier
film profile
]
, discovered last year in Locarno, and Rosanne Pel’s Light as Feathers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rosanne Pel
film profile
]
, unveiled in Toronto.

The BRIFF also organises a National Competition, bringing together majority Belgian films (this year, Cavale [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Virginie Gourmel and Century of Smoke [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Nicolas Graux) and international co-productions which successfully showcase Belgian talent in a range of significant roles. The competition crowned Juris Kursietis’ Oleg [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juris Kursietis
film profile
]
its champion, a movie mostly filmed in Brussels, co-produced in Belgium by Iota Production and which made a strong impression in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight back in May. The Audience Award for this same section was handed to Good Favour [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Rebecca Daly, a co-production between Ireland, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands.

The full list of winners are as follows:

International Competition

Grand Prix
So Long My Son - Wang Xiashuai (China)

Jury Prize
Ray & Liz [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Richard Billingham
film profile
]
- Richard Billingham (UK)

Audience Award
Shooting the Mafia [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Kim Longinotto (Ireland)

National Competition

Grand Prix
Oleg [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juris Kursietis
film profile
]
- Juris Kursietis (Latvia/Belgium/Lithuania/France)

Audience Award
Good Favour [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Rebecca Daly (Ireland/ Belgium/Netherlands)

Directors’ Week – European Competition

Grand Prix
Animus Animalis [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Aistė Žegulytė
film profile
]
- Aiste Zegulyte (Lithuania)

Jury Prize
Sophia Antipolis [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Virgil Vernier
film profile
]
- Virgil Vernier (France)
Light as Feathers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rosanne Pel
film profile
]
- Rosanne Pel (Netherlands)

Youth Jury Award
Koko-Di Koko-Da [+see also:
film review
interview: Johannes Nyholm
film profile
]
- Johannes Nyholm (Sweden/ Denmark)

Broadcaster awards

RTBF Award
Ray & Liz - Richard Billingham

Be TV Award
It Must Be Heaven [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elia Suleiman
film profile
]
- Elia Suleiman (France/Germany/Canada/Turkey/Qatar)

(Translated from French)

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