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Felix van Groeningen’s Belgica starts shooting


Earlier this week, Flemish director Felix van Groeningen began filming Belgica, a story about two brothers who get swept away by their own success. Last year, van Groeningen’s bluegrass drama The Broken Circle Breakdown was nominated for a Foreign Language Oscar.

Belgica tells the story of Jo and Frank, two brothers who have their differences over the years but, when their paths cross once more, decide to start a bar called Belgica. The place becomes a hotspot in Belgium’s nightlife scene in no time, but both brothers threaten to get swept away by their success.

Stef Aerts (Cub, Oxygen) and Tom Vermeir, better known as the lead singer/guitarist of Belgian rock band A Brand, play the brothers. Other characters are played by Charlotte Vandermeersch (Deadline 25/5, Turquaze, With Friends Like These), Titus De Voogdt (The Missing, Cub, Ben X), Hélène De Vos, Boris Van Severen, Sam Louwyck (The Wonders, Bullhead, Lost Persons Area) and Johan Heldenbergh (The Broken Circle Breakdown).

As in van Groeningen’s previous film, the Oscar-nominated drama The Broken Circle Breakdown, music will be a key element. For the Belgica soundtrack, van Groeningen approached David and Stephen Dewaele of Soulwax, also known as 2manydj’s, an alternative Belgian electronic band.

Van Groeningen and Arne Sierens joined forces to write the script, having also scripted With Friends Like These together. The director also teams up, as he did on his previous films, with DOP Ruben Impens and editor Nico Leunen. Dirk Impens of Ghent-based production outfit Menuet (Café Derby, In Flanders Fields, Turquaze) is producer, marking his fifth collaboration with van Groeningen after The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Misfortunates, With Friends Like These and Steve+Sky.

Filming continues until mid-February. The film will be theatrically released in Belgium in October 2015. Belgica received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz and Screen Flanders, the economic support measure for audiovisual works of Economic Affairs Minister Philippe Muyters and Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz.