Belgian flicks get provincial showcase at Moustier fest
by Aurore Engelen
01/03/2011 - The Moustier Belgian Film Festival opens today, March 1. Humble in form and spirit, the event puts the spotlight on local productions and co-productions, in the rather unusual setting of a village hall, but with the support of Belgian film stars.
Every year, different actors and directors turn up to meet audiences in the heart of the provinces, off the beaten track. After Yolande Moreau in 2009, and Olivier Gourmet in 2010, this year the focus is on directors: Olivier Masset-Depasse, Sophie Schoukens, Olivier Van Malderghem and Samuel Tilman are expected to attend. It is also rumoured that Benoît Poelvoorde, Jan Decleir and Lubna Azabal may make the journey to Moustier.
Above all, the Moustier fest gives audiences in the area a chance to discover this year’s productions on their only cinema screen, showcasing films that haven’t necessarily been shown beyond Brussels and Liège. This year’s line-up includes Sam Garbarski’s A Distant Neighbourhood [trailer, film focus], Masset-Depasse’s LUX Prize 2010 finalist Illegal [trailer, film focus], Olias Barco’s Kill Me Please [trailer], Van Malderghem’s Rondo [trailer] and Schoukens’s Marieke, Marieke [trailer].
The festival also stands as a reminder that Belgian cinema includes some prestigious co-productions too: atmosphere and laughter are guaranteed at the screenings of Romantics Anonymous [trailer], Potiche [trailer] and Nothing To Declare [trailer]. Moreover, Moustier viewers will get the chance to see an avant-premiere screening of La Permission de Minuit [trailer] by Delphine Gleize (Carnage), which is co-produced by FraKas and will be released on March 16 in Belgian theatres.
Younger audiences are not forgotten, as they will be invited to get on board for Ben Stassen’s Sammy’s Adventures: The Secret Passage [trailer], and enjoy Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol’s A Cat in Paris [trailer], which was recently nominated for a César Award.
Finally, the festival also gives pride of place to short films, often difficult to find in traditional movie theatres, with three of this year’s sensational successes: Banu Akseki’s Thermal Baths, Tilman’s Sleepless Night and Rachel Lang’s For You I Will Fight.
(Translated from French)