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Balthazar’s Happy Awarded at Montreal


Nic Balthazar's third feature, Everybody Happy, has won the Award for Best Direction at the 40th Montreal World Film Festival. The film is to receive a theatrical release in Belgium after opening this year's Film Festival Oostende.

"An official competition between films is in fact something you have to find at least slightly ridiculous," commented Balthazar. "Unless you win an award. In that case you're especially happy. Happy because people on the other side of the ocean understood what we wanted to achieve and say with this film. Montréal proved to be an excellent platform for my first film (Ben X). It would be quite marvelous if this fairytale would repeat itself."

Based on an original screenplay by Balthazar, Everybody Happy tells the story of Ralph Hartman, a successful stand-up comedian who is struggling. With life, but mainly with himself. In fact, he is being followed by the man in his head, who rarely stops talking. Meanwhile, Hartman has to keep going in the merciless environment of stand-up comedy, during an exhausting tour with exhausting colleagues and great expectations. While his negative voice constantly wades in. Fortunately Laura Maris is there too, who seems to recognize his problem.

The film stars Peter Van den Begin (King of the Belgians, Waste Land) as Hartman. Barbara Sarafian, Josse De Pauw, Jeroen Leenders, Rik Verheye, Leen Dendievel, Kamal Kharmach and Veerle Malsschaert share the other main parts in the film. DOP is Robrecht Heyvaert (Image, The Ardennes, Black, Blind Spot). Producer is Peter Bouckaert for Eyeworks Film & TV Drama, in co-production with Entre Chien et Loup, Kaap Holland Film, één en SCIO Productions.

Following the European première in Oostende on 9 September, the film is to receive a theatrical release in Belgium through KFD on 28 September.