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Director Jan Matthys receives EuroFIPA of Honor


Flemish director Jan Matthys is to receive the EuroFIPA of Honor at the upcoming International Festival of Audiovisual Programmes (FIPA), which takes place from 21-26 January in Biarritz. Matthys will be presented with the award for his entire body of work, including his latest prestigious war series In Flanders Fields, an episode of which will be shown in Biarritz.

For its 27th edition FIPA decided present its EuroFIPA of Honor to Flemish helmer Jan Matthys, who is no unknown at the festival. In 2009, his prestigious series The Emperor of Taste scooped the FIPA d’Or for best series, best actress (Marieke Dilles) and best music (Wim De Wilde) in Biarritz.

Matthys’ latest work will also be on display at this year’s FIPA. Following the awards ceremony on 22 January, an episode of his war series, In Flanders Fields, will be screened.

Produced by Flemish powerhouse Menuet (The Broken Circle Breakdown, Code 37, The Misfortunates), In Flanders Fields follows the Boesman family in Ghent, trying to survive World War I. All five family members are going through their own war, with 15-year-old Marie taking central stage as the daughter who dreams of becoming a doctor but who ends up as a nurse on the front line. There, she will find the strength to build up a balanced perspective on the world and her family.

The series boasts an all-star Flemish cast including Barbara Sarafian (Moscow, Belgium, Bullhead, Clan), Wim Opbrouck (Madonna’s Pig), Wietse Tanghe (Quiz Me Quick), Jurgen Delnaet (Parade’s End, Copacabana, Moscow, Belgium) and Hilde Heijnen (Deadline 14/10, Parade’s End). Rising star Lize Feryn was cast as Marie.

Jan Matthys started his career in non-fiction, making the switch to fiction by directing episodes of Flemish series including Aspe and Kinderen van Dewindt and the 2007-hit series Cataract. This success was soon followed by The Emperor of Taste, a story about three generations of gin distillers in Hasselt. In 2012, Matthys scored another hit with Quiz Me Quick, conceived by Bart De Pauw, which won two Rocky Awards at the Banff World Media Festival.

In Flanders Fields, Quiz Me Quick, The Emperor of Taste and Cataract were all able to rely on the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Media Fund of Flemish Minister of Media Ingrid Lieten.