Although it is not uncommon for directors from the flat country to be selected in the most prestigious of categories, this exceptional hat-trick once again establishes Belgium’s reputation internationally.
Accustomed to the steps and already doubly webbed, the Dardenne brothers will return this year with “Tori et Lokita”. For this ninth feature film presented in competition, the duo will offer to dive into the story of two young exiles, with an unbreakable bond, who came to settle in Belgium.
For his part, Lukas Dhont, revealed in 2018 at Cannes with “Girl”, will enter the big leagues for the first time with his second feature film “Close”. The young prodigy, who stood out in the Un Certain Regard section four years ago and won the Camera d’or (prize which rewards the best first film in all sections, editor’s note), this time signs a film on the friendship and responsibility.
Added more recently to the selection, the film “Les Huit Montagnes” by Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen will also be presented in competition. Inspired by the bestseller by Italian Paolo Cognetti, the feature film focuses on the bond of friendship between a boy from the city and another from the mountains. Selected in 2009 at the Directors’ Fortnight, parallel section of the Cannes Film Festival, for “The Merditude of Things”, Felix Van Groeningen had at the time marked the spirits by surveying, naked and on a bicycle, the Croisette with the team of the film
Still in competition, we will also note the selection of the co-production “RMN” by Cristian Mungiu, supported by Les Films du Fleuve, a production company from the Dardennes. Out of competition, we will also note the presence of Jérémie Renier on the poster of “November” by Cédric Jimenez and Charlie Dupont in the opening film “Cut” by Michel Hazanavicius.
Belgium well represented
In the other sections, Belgium will not be without remainder. At “Un Certain Regard”, which aims to honor the audacious and original works of little-known filmmakers, we will find in particular “Return to Seoul” by Davy Chou, with the young Belgian Yoann Zimmer and co-produced by Frakas Production. As for the actors Lubna Azabal and Johan Heldenbergh, they will bring their black-yellow-red touch, respectively in “Le Bleu du Caftan” by Maryam Touzani and “Les pires” by Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret.
The Belgian production “Rebel” by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will be broadcast in midnight sessions, as will “Smoking makes you cough” by Quentin Dupieux, co-produced by Artemis.
We will also remember the selection of “Dodo” by Panos Koutras (co-produced by Tarantula) in the Cannes Première section, as well as “Don Juan” by Serge Bozon (with Virginie Efira and supported by Frakas Production) and “La Nuit du 12” by Dominik Moll (with Bouli Lanners).
In addition to the official selection, “Dalva”, the first feature film by Belgian director Emmanuelle Nicot, will have its world premiere at Critics’ Week, a parallel section of the Cannes Film Festival dedicated to first and second films. On the short side, “Scale” by Joseph Pierce, co-produced by the Belgian company Ozù Productions, will be screened in Special Sessions. As for Belgian cinematographer Benoît Debie, he will be part of the jury for this Critics’ Week.
As regards the Directors’ Fortnight, the Belgian presence will also be ensured by two co-productions: “Les Harkis” by Philippe Faucon (Films du Fleuve) and “Le parfum vert” by Nicolas Pariser (Versus Production).
The Cannes Film Festival will be held from May 17 to 28 in the French coastal city and will have Virginie Efira as mistress of ceremonies.
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Three Belgian films in competition at Cannes for three times more hope of winning the Palme d’Or