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FESTIVALS Belgium

Francophone fireworks at Namur

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Francophone fireworks at Namur

The 22nd Namur International Francophone Film Festival (September 28-October 5) has finally unveiled its programme, which, as usual, is abundant.

Official competition will open with Belgian director Benoît Mariage’s feature debut COW-BOY and will also present Guillaume and Stéphane Malandrin’s Hand of the Headless Man [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(see news).

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This year, documentaries and features join the same official competition, which comprise 15 films. With Flight of the Red Balloon [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien, (see article), Ulzhan [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by German director Volker Schlöndorff and Sous les toits de Paris [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Turkey’s Hiner Saleem, all majority French productions, French-speaking countries get a chance to shine.

Full French productions include Sandrine Bonnaire’s documentary Elle s’appelle Sabine [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(see article), highly acclaimed at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, and Eric Guirado’s Le fils de l’épicier [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

The festival will close with Samuel Benchetrit’s J’ai toujours rêvé d’être un gangster (see news). Andalucia [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Senegalese/French filmmaker Alain Gomis, Kinshasa Palace by Congolese helmer Zeka Laplaine, Délice Paloma [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and La Maison jaune [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Algeria’s Nadir Moknèche and Amar Hakkar, Romanian title Rest is Silence [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Nae Carantil, Lebanese director Philippe Aractingi’s Under the Bombs [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and from Québec Simon Olivier Fecteau and Marc André Lavoie’s Bluff and Stéphane Lafleur’s Continental. A Film Without Guns round out the vast panorama.

With over 60 films of various formats, Belgium is well represented. A competition of 15 Belgian shorts also feature, 12 of which are in international competition. Out of competition, audiences will have the opportunity to discover Dominique Standaert’s new film, Formidable (see news), Control X by Benoît Declercq and Thomas François, Delphine Lehericey’s Comme à Ostende and other co-productions, such as Bernard Campan’s La Face cachée [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(see article) and Frédéric and Samuel Guillaume’s Max & Co [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
.

Other less recent films (Cages [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Private Property [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, The Right of the Weakest [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) will have special screenings, while Namur will present to Walloon audiences a handful of Flemish films: With Friends Like These [+see also:
trailer
interview: Felix van Groeningen
film profile
]
by young director Felix Von Groeningen (see interview) and the much anticipated Ben X [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nic Balthazar
interview: Peter Bouckaert
film profile
]
by Nic Balthazar, which recently picked up an award at Montreal (see news).

Lastly, aside from a coup de cœur for British actress Kristin Scott-Thomas, the FIFF is organising a series of screenings for young audiences, meetings for film professionals, such as the Production Forum, conferences on new technologies, and a workshop on an interesting subject (“Le spectateur fantasmé” – “The Fantasy Viewer”).

Congo will also be in the limelight, with concerts, exhibitions and special screenings to celebrate the Yambi year, a Belgian-Congolese cultural collaboration.

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(Translated from French)

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