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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Belgium

Wil and 1985 triumph at the Ensor Awards

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- The 14th edition of the Flemish film and TV awards crowns Tim Mielants’ film, and the series penned by Willem Wallyn and directed by Wouter Bouvijn its winners

Wil and 1985 triumph at the Ensor Awards
The winners of the 2024 Ensors

Two works of fiction examining Belgium’s history at two different points in time have been unanimously victorious at the Ensor Awards for Flemish film and TV this weekend.

Wil [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, the second feature film by Tim Mielants (who previously turned many a head with his debut work Patrick [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: GoCritic! Interview: Tim Mi…
interview: Tim Mielants
film profile
]
and whose new movie Small Things Like These [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
is set to open the Berlinale), takes viewers back to Antwerp, Belgium, in 1942, when one section of the population were collaborating with the occupying Nazi force. The film charts the struggle of two police officers involved in some challenging cases of arbitration and torn between respect for their superiors and aspirations to resistance. Wil has enjoyed great public acclaim and has also sparked discussions around this particular period in history. Buoyed by spectacular artistic direction, an equally impressive approach to historical reconstruction, and an extensive cast, Wil pipped a couple of hotly tipped movies of more significant international clout to the post, namely Veerle Baetens’ When It Melts [+see also:
film review
interview: Veerle Baetens
film profile
]
and Fien Troch’s Holly [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fien Troch
film profile
]
. The film walked away with 7 awards in total, which distinguish each and every form of filmmaking artistry, namely Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Acting Performance, Best Supporting Role, Best Cinematography and the Box Office Award.

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The series 1985 [+see also:
series review
trailer
series profile
]
, meanwhile - which was written by Willem Wallyn and directed by Wouter Bouvijn, and which is the first large-scale co-production between Flemish national network VRT and French-language national channel RTBF - left the event with no fewer than 10 trophies tucked under its arms. Like Wil, 1985 looks back on a dark period in Belgian history. As per its title, the series takes us back to the 1980s when a group of thieves are terrorising the country and are only too happy to spill blood en route. The authorities’ management of this crisis has been especially clumsy and the killers’ identities have never been revealed, mainly due to the poor functioning of the gendarmerie and tensions between Flemish and French-speaking citizens. 1985 scooped the award for Best Series, as well as Best Sound (the so-called technical prizes saw films and TV programmes pitted against each other), Best Music, Best Screenplay, Best Artistic Direction, Best Costumes, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Acting Performance, and Best Supporting Role.

Equally noteworthy is Omen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Baloji
film profile
]
by Baloji which earned itself two accolades: Best Newcomer for its director and Best French-Language Film. Mascot [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Remy Van Heugten walked away with the Best Co-Production Prize for Savage Films (Belgium) and BIND (the Netherlands), while Planeet B by Pieter Van Hecke claimed the Best Feature-Length Documentary award, Michael Abbay bagged Best Short Film for Klette, Oink [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mascha Halberstad
film profile
]
by Mascha Halberstad nabbed Best Animated Film, and Sea Sparkle [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Domien & Wendy Huyghe
interview: Thibaud Dooms
film profile
]
by Domien Huyghe won the Audience Award.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Film
Wil [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Tim Mielants (Belgium/Netherlands/Poland)

Best Series
1985 [+see also:
series review
trailer
series profile
]
- Willem Wallyn, Wouter Bouvijn

Best Director (feature film)
Tim Mielants - Wil

Best Director (series)
Wouter Bouvijn - 1985

Best Acting Performance (feature film)
Stef Aerts - Wil

Best Supporting Role (feature film)
Jan Bijvioet - Wil

Best Acting Performance (series)
Aimé Claeys - 1985

Best Supporting Role (series)
Tom Vermeir -1985

Best Screenplay (feature film)
Carl Joos - Wil

Best Screenplay (series)
Willem Wallyn - 1985

Best Documentary (feature film)
Planet B - Pieter Van Eecke (Belgium/Netherlands)

Best Documentary (series)
Godvergeten - Ibbe Daniëls, Ingrid Schildermans

Best Animated Film
Oink [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mascha Halberstad
film profile
]
- Mascha Halberstad (Netherlands/Belgium)

Best Co-Production
Mascot [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Remy Van Heugten (Netherlands/Belgium)

Best French-Language Film
Omen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Baloji
film profile
]
– Baloji (Belgium/Democratic Republic of the Congo/Netherlands/France/Germany/South Africa)

Best Young People’s Series
#LikeMe (season 4) - Thomas Van Goethem

Best Newcomer
Baloji - Omen

Best Cinematography
Robrecht Heyvaert - Wil

Best Editing
Pieter Smet - 1985

Best Sound
Arne Winderickx, Matthias Hillegeer - 1985

Best Music
David Martijn, Jeroen Swinnen - 1985

Best Artistic Director
Stijn Verhoeven - 1985

Best Make-Up
Esther De Goey - Rough Diamonds (series)

Best Costumes
Sophie Van den Keybus - 1985

Best Short Film
Klette - Michael Abay

Audience Award
Sea Sparkle [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Domien & Wendy Huyghe
interview: Thibaud Dooms
film profile
]
- Domien Huyghe (Belgium/Netherlands)

Box-Office Award
Wil - Tim Mielants

International Achievement of the Year
Jo Willems

Life Achievement Award
Marc Didden

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(Translated from French)

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