Madly in Life and Playground dominate the Belgian Cinema Magritte awards
- Two first films –one by Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni, and the other by Laura Wandel - scooped almost all the trophies at the awards ceremony’s 11th edition
After “skipping” a year on account of Covid, the Magritte Film Awards for Francophone Belgian films returned for one of its strongest editions, selecting a whopping 22 Belgian fiction feature films in competition (versus a dozen or so in previous years). Two titles were light years ahead in terms of nominations: Madly in Life [+see also:
interview: Raphaël Balboni & Ann Sirot
film profile] by Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni, and Playground [+see also:
interview: Laura Wandel
film profile] by Laura Wandel, two first films which earned themselves 12 and 10 nominations respectively and which pipped two well-known Belgian filmmakers to the post, namely Joachim Lafosse with The Restless [+see also:
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile] - which is competing in Cannes this year - and Fabrice Du Welz with Adoration [+see also:
interview: Fabrice du Welz
film profile], each of which garnered no less than 6 nominations.
In the end, Madly in Life and Playground each walked away with a staggering 7 prizes, showing just how torn viewers were between the two works, and perhaps how big an appetite the members of the André Delvaux Academy truly have for new faces – even though the Academy has only been around since 2011. Both films are 100% Belgian productions, which is a rare thing in Francophone Belgium, and something very special for their respective production companies Hélicotronc and Dragons Films.
It was Madly in Life by Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni which won the "supreme" prize of Best Film, alongside trophies for Best Screenplay, Best Set Design and Best Costumes, and three acting awards which emphasise the fundamental role played by the cast in the project’s success: the Best Actress award for the rare and priceless Jo Deseure, Best Actor for Jean Le Peltier, and Best Supporting Actor for Gilles Remiche.
The other major winner of the evening was fresh-faced filmmaker Laura Wandel. Her first feature was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize within the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section last year, as well as earning itself countless other trophies at festivals unfolding all around the world. It was also among the 15 finalists for the Best International Film Oscar. Playground ultimately walked away with the Magritte for Best First Film, Best Direction, Best Sound, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actress, Best Female Newcomer and Best Male Newcomer.
Only two Magrittes remained for the other fiction feature films in the line-up: that for Best Music was awarded to Vincent Cahay in recognition of his wonderful partnership with Fabrice du Welz for Adoration, while that for Best Photography went to Ruben Impens for his work on Titane [+see also:
interview: Julia Ducournau, Vincent Li…
film profile], which also won the award for Best International Co-Production. This is the second Magritte bagged by Julia Ducournau after Raw [+see also:
interview: Julia Ducournau
film profile] in 2018, both films having been actively co-produced in Belgium by Frakas Productions.
The full list of award-winners is as follows:
Laura Wandel - Playground
Jo Deseure – Madly in Life
Jean Le Peltier – Madly in Life
Best Supporting Actress
Laura Verlinden - Playground
Best Supporting Actor
Gilles Remiche – Madly in Life
Best Female Newcomer
Maya Vanderbeque - Playground
Best Male Newcomer
Günter Duret - Playground
Best Original or Adapted Screenplay
Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni – Madly in Life
Ruben Impens - Titane
Mathieu Cox, Corinne Dubien, Thomas Grimm-Landsberg, David Vranken - Playground
Best Set Design
Lisa Etienne – Madly in Life
Frédérick Denis – Madly in Life
Nicolas Rumpl - Playground
Best Fiction Short
Sprötch - Xavier Seron
Best Animated Short
On est pas près d’être des super-héros - Lia Bertels
Best Documentary Short
Mother’s - Hippolyte Leibovici
(Translated from French)
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