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Established 1995 serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.


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Brussels, heart of Europe, unveils fest program

Curtains up for a peak at the programme

As the Brussels Festival of European Film approaches, the selection of the films draws to a close. In six weeks, the spectators will be able to treat themselves to the liberty, the originality and the diversity of young European cinema. An agent for talent and a springboard for young filmmakers, the Brussels Festival since last year has oriented itself towards first and second works made in the 45 countries of the Council of Europe.

English decadence, irreverent Belgian humour, hilarious Danish cannibals, French transsexuals, intellectual Spanish film directors, almost silent but very moving cinema from Italy – thus the highly original tenor of this 2004 edition. After having explored the maze and the richness of new European cinema, the programme directors of the Brussels Festival have prepared us a heady mix, a vibrant programme that brings together a stream of images, both moving and funny and always fascinating.

The competition consists of a good dozen feature films, which truly reflect the big trends and the diversity of the seventh art currently made in Europe. The Festival also offers preview screenings of films that will soon be released in Belgian cinemas. In order to give you a foretaste of these emotional highlights, it is our pleasure to introduce some of these previews.

Belgian cinema will be especially well-represented with two feature films that reveal highly promising talent. A new gem of Belgian humour and sarcasm, Aaltra puts the road movie onto wheelchairs. At the steering wheel are two emblematic figures from Canal+’s satirical programme Les Guignols de l’Info: Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern. These two sign responsible for the writing, the directing, and the acting. Aaltra takes us across Belgium up to Finland, with the special participation of Noël Godin, Benoît Poelvoorde, Jan Bucquoy, Bouli Lanners and … Aki Kaurismäki! Distributed by Lumière, the film will be released in Belgian cinemas next June.

A personal work full of poetry, Des plumes dans la tête (Feathers in the head) is the first film of Thomas de Thier. Among the cast are Sophie Museur and Francis Renaud. With great sensitivity, the film tells the harrowing story of a couple in the little Walloon town of Genappe whose child disappears. The film travels along the decantation basins of the sugar factory with its refuse of sugar beet complete with huge migratory birds. This is an astonishing and remarkable piece of work that caresses life with emotion and nature with love, underscored by the superb photography of Virginie Saint-Martin. The film is distributed in Belgium by Cinéart and will be released on April 28.

The first film of Salvatore Mereu, Ballo a tre passi marks the renaissance of independent Italian cinema. Modelled on the rhythm of the four seasons, the film follows characters of different ages in a Sardinia resonating with poetic and magical realism. In the principal roles, the film features Caroline Ducey (Romance X, Carrément à l’Ouest, Corps et âmes), Daniele Casula, Michele Carboni and Yaël Abecassis (Kadosh, Alila). Distributed in Belgium by ABC, the film will be released on May 5.

Coming from Ireland, Intermission by John Crowley brings together the destinies of a string of characters from very different backgrounds whose lives gradually become interlaced. A couple decides to separate in order to prove their mutual independence, but this has a big impact on their circle of friends. From the small-time crook to the aggressive detective, this in-crowd seeks itself out in Dublin’s lowlife quarters. The films can boast of an impressive casting: Colin Farrell (Phone Booth, S.W.A.T.), Colm Meaney (The Englishman Who Went up a Hill, The Snapper, The Van), Kelly MacDonald (Gosford Park, Trainspotting), Cillian Murphy (Girl with a Pearl Earring, 28 Days Later), and Shirley Henderson (Wonderland, Villa des Roses, Harry Potter). Produced by Neil Jordan, Intermission is distributed in Belgium by Paradiso and will be released on June

On the side of French cinema, Wild Side the second feature film of Sébastien Lifshitz (Almost Nothing), takes us into the strange relationship triangle of a transsexual prostitute, an illegal Russian immigrant, and a homosexual prostitute. The characters are played by Stéphanie Michelini, Edouarde Nikitine, and Yasmine Belmadi, with the participation of our compatriot Benoît Verhaert (Thomas is in Love, Un honnête commerçant) and Didier De Neck (Toto the Hero, Max et Bobo, Vacances). Distributed by Lumière, Wild Side will be released in Belgium next May.


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