The feature debut D'Ardennen from filmmaker Robin Pront is this year's Belgian entry for an Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and was also shown during the 45th edition of IFFR in January 2016.
Pronts Flemish crime drama tells the story of two brothers whose life after a brutal homejacking totally derailed. One ends up in jail and comes back after four years to discover that nothing is the same as it was before. His brother tries to help him where possible, but notes that their relationship is disrupted significantly. The grim atmosphere in the working class neighborhoods around Antwerp is almost tangible, and is reinforced by hard pruning gabber music, a perfectly executed styling and invariably gray weather.
D'Ardennen received much attention abroad and has been sold to several European countries and the US, where distributor Film Movement releases the film in cities like Los Angeles and New York. Meanwhile, the US also sold remake rights of the film.
The Dutch entry for the Oscars® is Tonio from filmmaker Paula van der Oest. The animated short film Parade from Digna van der Put is the submission for an Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film.
The war drama Land of Mine by Martin Zandvliet, winner of the Warsteiner Audience Award 2016, is one of the three Danish entries. Bentley Deans Tanna - who finished seventh - is submitted on behalf of Australia. Both films were screened at IFFR 2016.
The Oscar® submissions mean no nomination. Whether the titles will reach the shortlist of nine films will be known late December. The final nominations will be announced on January 24, and on February 26 the Oscar® ceremony will be held.
You can find all submissions for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® here.
IFFR spoke with filmmaker Robin Pront about his successful debut. The interview and the One-on-One with Pront and lead actor Jeroen Perceval found here.