Cecilia Verheyden shooting Skiff
- Production company Mirage is throwing its weight behind the young Flemish filmmaker as she crafts her second feature
This week saw the start of the shoot in Belgium for Skiff, the new feature by Flemish director Cecilia Verheyden. The filmmaker turned heads with her feature debut, Achter de Wolken [+see also:
film profile], which homed in on the subject matter of the sex and love lives of elderly people; that film was co-produced by Les Films du Fleuve and the Dardenne brothers. She is also particularly active in the field of television and on streaming platforms, where she directs the teen-orientated series WTFock, but also helmed half of the episodes of the first season of Rough Diamonds, aired on Netflix, as well as Ferry, the prequel to the successful show Undercover (which she also directed a few episodes of, as it happens), which takes another look at the story of its hero, local drug baron Ferry Bouman.
She changes tack with Skiff, which follows the journey of 15-year-old Malou, who lives in a tiny village, where she performs exceptionally well in the local rowing club. Growing up around her often-absent mother and bullied by her teammates, Malou sees her brother Max as the only person she can truly be herself with. Her feelings for Nouria, Max’s girlfriend, will plunge the characters into a confusing love triangle. During a summer bristling with emotions, Malou will have to come to see herself for what she is, even if it’s at her beloved brother’s expense.
This is a very personal story for Cecilia Verheyden, who teamed up with screenwriter Vincent Vanneste to pen this story of blossoming love that speaks to the key decisions in the lives of its young characters.
In the leading roles, we find young talents such as Femke Vanhove (whom we glimpsed in the Flemish series A Good Year) and Lina Miftah (one of the actresses who rose to fame in volume two of La Belge Collection, and one of the heroines of Théo Degen’s short film Night Night Stories). They are flanked by more seasoned actresses and actors who are well known to Belgian audiences, such as Natali Broods (seen in the movie theatres in The Misfortunates [+see also:
interview: Felix van Groeningen
film profile] and Waste Land [+see also:
interview: Pieter Van Hees
film profile], and recently appearing in Cleo [+see also:
film profile]) and Jeroen Van de Ven (who previously teamed up with the filmmaker on Undercover and Rough Diamonds).
Skiff is being produced by Elisa Heene for Belgian outfit Mirage, whose catalogue also boasts Holly [+see also:
interview: Fien Troch
film profile], the new film by Fien Troch, which will be premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival in a few days’ time. The movie is being co-produced by Erik Glijnis for Lemming Film (Netherlands) as well as by Elisa Jones and Markus Walta (for Sweden’s Grand Slam), and by Delphine Tomson and the Dardenne brothers for Les Films du Fleuve (Belgium). Skiff has received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, the Tax Shelter, Screen Flanders, the Netherlands Film Fund, CCA-FWB, the Swedish Film Institute, Eurimages and MEDIA. The Belgian distributor, Kinepolis, is eyeing a 2024 release for the movie.
(Translated from French)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.