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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Belgium / Netherlands / Poland

Filming under way for Wil by Tim Mielants

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- Following the success of his surprising feature debut, Patrick, the Flemish filmmaker returns with a historical and audacious second feature

Filming under way for Wil by Tim Mielants
Matteo Simoni and Stef Aerts in Wil

Flemish director Tim Mielants is currently filming his second feature, titled Wil, a historical film set during the Second World War and starring two young rising Belgian actors, namely Stef Aerts and Matteo Simoni.

Tim Mielants made a strong impression with Patrick [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: GoCritic! Interview: Tim Mi…
interview: Tim Mielants
film profile
]
, his feature debut, an absurdist and unexpected psychological thriller that tells the story of a lonely bachelor who’s a bit of a boor, and reluctantly inherits a naturist camping site he struggles to take over, especially since someone has stolen… his hammer. After a world premiere in competition at Karlovy Vary, where it won the Best Director award, the film then won no less than 7 Ensor awards, which recognise the best of Flemish cinema. It must be said that before this film, Tim Mielants had already worked extensively as director on several Flemish series, as well as on the third season of Peaky Blinders

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Wil centres on Wilfried Wils, a police officer in Anvers at the beginning of the Second World War. While the town is gripped with violent demonstrations and subject to a general atmosphere of distrust, Wilfried does all he can to avoid trouble. He receive the support of a man from the side of the occupying German forces, called Meanbeard, but he is also a confidante for Lode, his fiercely anti-Nazi colleague, who is also the brother of his fiancée, Yvette. Wilfred will have to fight to survive, while the nazi occupation and the extermination of Jews become more and more oppressive realities. 

The film is adapted from the bestseller by Flemish writer Jeroen Olyslaegers, titled Wil, and was published in French in 2019 with the title Trouble.

In the leading roles, we find two young actors in high demand within Flemish cinema. Stef Aerts, revealed with Oxygen [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, very troubling in Belgica [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Artemio Benki, Sylvie Leray
interview: Felix Van Groeningen
film profile
]
, and one of the heroes from the successful Flemish series Callboys. And Matteo Simoni, at home in historical films (Marina [+see also:
trailer
interview: Cristiano Bortone
film profile
]
) as much as he is in more offbeat registers (Gangsta - Patser [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fal…
interview: Matteo Simoni
film profile
]
) and soon in Zillion.

Taking care of the image is Flemish director of photography Robrecht Heyvaert, who also worked on Zillion and Patser. Filming has begun in Anvers, and will last until mid-July, with some time also spent in Poland.

Wil is produced by Hans Everaert for Menuetto Film (presenting this year in Cannes Competition The Eight Mountains by Felix Van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch) and co-produced by Letter Scripted Media, Minds Meet and Les Films du Fleuve in Belgium, Topkapi Films in the Netherlands, and K & K Selekt Films in Poland. The film will be distributed by Kinepolis in Belgium, and Paradiso in the Netherlands, with a release set for 2023. We also know that the film will be available on Netflix after its release in Benelux cinemas.

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(Translated from French)

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