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PRODUCTION Belgium

Patrice Toye shoots Rituel de printemps

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Lesning on Rituel de Printemps (“Spring Ritual”), which began mid-June in the Caribbean, is now taking place in Belgium, before the crew will head to Luxembourg where everything should be wrapped up by mid-July. The €1.98m film has a six-week shoot and is Patrice Toye’s second feature.

The director’s debut feature, Rosie (1999), about a 13 year-old girl who invents a lover in order to escape from family problems and her difficult life, was a great success among audiences and critics alike (three Joseph Plateau awards and awards at the Angers, Seattle and Bergamo film festivals). It was also the first Flemish film to be directed by a woman.

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Starring Frank Vercruyssen (Anyway the Wind Blows [+see also:
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, Guernsey [+see also:
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) and Sara De Roo (both stars of Rosie), Rituel de printemps is about the wish that "all of us have to change our life, to be someone else", explains the director. Each year in the spring, Tomas, although not particularly unhappy, dreams of reinventing his life. One day he actually decides to do it and stages his own death before flying off to the Antilles. However, things don’t go as planned and when he wants to come back home he finds himself without a penny … and without a life to return to.

Co-written by Norway’s Bjorn Olaf Johannessen, who the director met on a scriptwriting training course, the script won the prestigious Sundance/NHK Award in 2006. While the theme of escape is present in the film, the idea of "people living in their head and creating their own world", "here it is about a 40 year-old man, what happens when he actually decides to escape and how other people react. So it’s very different," says Toye.

Produced by Vincent Tavier for La Parti Production, Rituel de Printemps is a co-production with Belgian outfits Roma Film and Savage Films, Dutch outfit Circe Films, Luxembourg’s Tarantula and Norway’s Friland. The production is being backed by Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds (VAF), Nederlands Fonds voor de Film , Norsk Filmfond and the Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Communauté française.

Rituel de Printemps will be released at the end of 2008 by Kinepolis in Belgium and Sandrew Metronome in Norway. Funny Balloons has bought international rights.

(Translated from French)

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