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Café Derby premieres at The Hamptons


Lenny Van Wesemael’s feature debut Café Derby has been invited to the Hamptons International Film Festival (8-12 October). The film, inspired by true events, will receive its international premiere at the Festival.

Lenny Van Wesemael’s debut film is a tragic-comic story based on her own father’s life and the official visit of Pope John Paul II to Belgium in 1985, as seen through the eyes of a young girl.

Georges is a natural stallholder who can sell anything to anyone. When he hears that the Pope is coming to Belgium, he senses an opportunity when the adjacent Café Derby is put up for rent. Georges is convinced that there is a fortune to be made, but his world-weary wife and five children have seen it all before.

Wim Opbrouck (In Flanders Fields, Salamander) plays Georges, alongside Monic Hendrickx (Penoza, Unfinished Sky), Ben Segers (Quiz Me Quick) and the young Chloë Daxhelet as George’s youngest daughter. Photography was by Ruben Impens; editing by Thomas Pooters; and Lady Linn wrote the film’s soundtrack.

The Hamptons International Film Festival – holding its 23rd edition this year – celebrates independent film and introduces a varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to its audiences. Each year, the festival attracts over 25,000 visitors with its programmes boasting numerous films that later turn up in the Oscars race, such as 12 Years a Slave, Birdman, Blue Is the Warmest Colour, Argo and The King’s Speech. In 2009, Felix van Groeningen’s The Misfortunates received its American premiere at the Hamptons, taking home the prize for Best Film, Best Photography and Best Script.

Lenny Van Wesemael and Geert Verbanck scripted Café Derby. Producer is Dirk Impens of Menuet (Belgica, The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Misfortunates). The film received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz and was also backed by the Screen Flanders economic fund, under the aegis of Flemish Economic Affairs Minister Philippe Muyters and Cultural Affairs Minister Gatz.