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Fruitful spring for Belgian Francophone cinema


Amidst the frenzy of Cannes predictions (the selection will be unveiled on April 20), Belgium wonders: will the Dardenne brothers once again have the honour of taking part in the festival with their film Le Silence de Lorna (a Belgian/French co-production between Les Films du Fleuve and Archipel 33)? In the inspiring shadow of the two-time Palme-d’Or winning cinematic heavyweights, other filmmakers are keeping busy.

Versus Productions has a full line-up with two features in post-production: Bouli Lanners’ Eldorado and Elève Libre (“Free Pupil”) by the assiduous director Joachim Lafosse (co-produced by Mact Productions, France), who is making his third film in three years.

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Also in post-production is Vinyan by Belgian director Fabrice du Welz, a fantastical journey to the heart of the Thai jungle. The title is co-produced by The Film (France), Film Four (UK) and One Eyed (Belgium), and will hit French screens in September 2008.

Rumba (co-produced by Belgium’s Courage mon amour and France’s MK2) by directorial trio Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy, is set for release in autumn 2008.

Jaco Van Dormael has just entered a long post-production phase – set to last more than a year – for the impressive Mr Nobody, an international co-production with a budget of €32m (set for release in May 2009).

The Film and Audiovisual Centre of the French Community of Belgium has announced that there are other Belgian titles on the way. Hand of the Headless Man [+see also:
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by Stéphane and Guillaume Malandrin (a Belgian/French/Dutch co-production between La Parti, Liaisons Cinématographique and Graniet Film) and Dominique Standaert’s Belgian title Lollypop Men (Artemis Production, A Private View) – which were both screened at the Namur Film Festival – will soon be released in theatres, as will Ursula Meier’s Home, co-produced by Switzerland (Box Productions), France (Archipel 33) and Belgium (Need Productions).

Audiences will also have a chance to discover Manuel Poutte’s Les Tremblements Lointains (Dolce Vita Films); Philippe Blasband’s Coquelicots (Climax Films); Taylan Barman’s 9mm (Aedena); Uruguayan director Beatriz Flores Silva’s Masangeles (Saga Film); and Anne Levy-Morelle’s The Cradle of the Little Pisser (7ïa).

Finally, Manu Gomez’s Le Prince de ce Monde (Monkey Productions) will have its avant-première screening at the Fantastic Film Festival in Brussels on March 30.

(Translated from French)

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