Stijn Coninx dives into the legend of Saint Nicholas with Ay Ramon !
by Aurore Engelen
- The big-screen adaptation of a children’s TV series humorously depicting the everyday life of one of their all-time favourite heroes, Saint Nicholas
Television has once again proved itself to be a driving force behind Flemish cinema. Indeed, with the Christmas holidays of 2015 in its sights, Sylvester Productions is currently shooting a big-screen adaptation of the series Dag Sinterklaas, which is all about St. Nicholas, a sort of Nordic cousin of Father Christmas. So come 6 December, we should see Ay Ramon! [+see also:
film profile] come bursting onto the big screen. It will be directed by Stijn Coninx, and will be an adaptation of the adventures of Saint Nicholas and his helpers. In the film, Saint Nicholas’ horse goes missing whilst travelling from Spain to Belgium. This is, of course, a bit of a nuisance, and Saint Nicholas, aided by his sidekick Père Fouettard, does everything he can to track it down. Saint Nick himself will be played (as in the television series) by Jan Decleir, who international audiences will recognise from his darker roles inThe Alzheimer Case [+see also:
film profile], Loft [+see also:
film profile] or even The Barons [+see also:
Interview with director and actress of…
interview: Nabil Ben Yadir
film profile], but who is a regular in Stijn Coninx’s films, and most notably starred in Daens, one of the biggest successes in Belgian film. Père Fouettard will be played by Frans Vander Aa., again, as in the television series. Alongside them is an array of Flemish actors, and notably, new kids on the block Matteo Simoni (the revelation of Marina [+see also:
interview: Cristiano Bortone
film profile], who we will soon be seeing in Terug naar morgen) and Evelien Bosmans (who was in Marina, Halfway [+see also:
interview: Geoffrey Enthoven
film profile] and Cub [+see also:
The brains behind the original idea is Hugo Matthysen, a well-known face in Flanders, who wrote the television series. What he wanted to do with Dag Sinterklaas, created in the early 1990s, was to offer children a comical vision of the everyday life of Saint Nicholas, and also to shed some light on the skin colour of Père Fouettard, a delicate issue if ever there was one. This is the first time that Stijn Coninx, who usually does well at the box office, has turned his hand to making a film for children. The film will be distributed by Paradiso Films, starting in December 2015.
(Translated from French)