Press 06 JUN 2013

Exceptional Belgian focus at France’s capital

The 11th Festival Paris Cinéma, scheduled June 28 to July 9, will focus on filmmaking in Wallonia-Brussels with a programme of no less than 75 films.

This eleventh edition, presided by Charlotte Rampling, takes place at some 15 locations across Paris.
Belgium will be in the picture with « Made in Belgiëque », a comprehensive focus including tributes to Joachim Lafosse and Natacha Régnier, previews, retrospective screenings, a « Nuit de la belgitude », a special exclusively dedicated to Jean-Claude Van Damme, a panorama of Belgian feature-length and short films, children’s animation as well as a tribute to the Belvision studios – an impressive showcase that will mark this year’s edition of the Paris festival.

This programme is a collaborative effort with Wallonie-Bruxelles International, the Délégation Générale Wallonie-Bruxelles à Paris and the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles in Paris.

Topping the bill will be the French previews of three new films: Marion Hansel’s La Tendresse, Yolande Moreau’s Henri as well as Jérôme Le Maire’s Le Grand’Tour. There will also be a special screening of Harry Kümel’s recently restored 1971 cult hit Daughters of Darkness.

The Paris festival has scheduled a comprehensive panorama of Belgian feature-length and short films – an exquisite occasion for the festivalgoers to get familiar with Belgian cinema – French-speaking and Flemish, classic or contemporary, silent films and talkies. The festivalgoer will have the privilege of attending a unique screening of Alfred Machin’s recently restored 1913 classic Maudite soit la guerre or to (re)view Belgian classics such as André Delvaux’ L’Homme au crâne rasé (1965), Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielmann, 23 quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), Paul Meyer’s Déjà s'envole la fleur maigre (1960), Thierry Zéno’s Vase de noce (1974), Lydia Chagoll’s Au nom du Führer (1977), Jaco Van Dormael’s Toto le Héros and the Dardenne’s 2005 Palme d’Or winner L’Enfant.

The programme also includes some 30 short films, headed notably by Rachel Lang’s Les Navets blancs empêchent de dormir, which will be presented in Official Selection. The programme includes a selection of INSAS and IAD graduation films as well as a retrospective of the short films by Jaco Van Dormael and Olivier Smolders, among others.

There is also a film concert, with surrealist and avant-garde films musically accompanied live by Daniel Schell (tap guitar) and Dirk Descheemacker (clarinet).

The tribute screenings of Joachim Lafosse’s Folie Privée, Nue Propriété, Elève libre, À perdre la raison and Ça rend heureux will be attended by the filmmaker. Natacha Régnier, on the other hand, will attend the screenings of 38 témoins by Lucas Belvaux, Demain on déménage by Chantal Akerman and Les Amants criminels by François Ozon.

The festival chose to focus on the comedies that created the ‘Belgian myth’, with films such as Le Banquet des fraudeurs by Henri Storck (1952), Les Convoyeurs attendent by Benoît Mariage, Dikkenek by Olivier Van Hoofstadt, Panique au village by Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, C’est arrivé près de chez vous (Man Bites Dog) by Rémy Belvaux, Benoît Poelvoorde and André Bonzel (which is to open the Belgian focus !) and Eldorado by Bouli Lanners.

The Paris festival, in other words, will treat the festivalgoer to a true feast of Belgian films, from the era of silent film to the present day, and to the presence of numerous guests. A fine introduction to Belgian cinema and its «belgitude » !