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Good start for Ghent Film Fest


Robin Pront's feature debut The Ardennes is the opening attraction at the 42nd Film Fest Ghent (13-24 October). The film will receive its European première at this year’s edition of Belgium's oldest and largest festival. Also screening in Ghent are Gilles Coulier's TV series The Natives and the animated feature Phantom Boy by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli.

Opening the Fest is The Ardennes starring Veerle Baetens (The Broken Circle Breakdown), Kevin Janssens and Jeroen Perceval, with the latter also co-writing the script with director Robin Pront. The film has already attracted attention at this year's Toronto International Film Festival where it had its world premiere and was picked up by distributors in such key territories as France (Diaphana) and Italy (Satine). Producer is Bart van Langendonck for Savage Film, the company behind Oscar-nominated Bullhead. International sales are handled by Montreal-based Attraction Distribution.

The 'Serial Madness' sidebar will show the final four episodes of Gilles Coulier's TV series The Natives (producer: De Wereldvrede) about a local stand-up comedian who flees to a picturesque village where the contrast between him and the grotesque residents could not be greater. The first two episodes broke all season records on the second public channel, Canvas, reaching live-viewing audience shares of 25%.

Finally, the animated feature Phantom Boy by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli will screen in the Belgian Cinema Today selection of the festival. The film was co-produced for Flanders by Lunanime.

The Ardennes and Phantom Boy received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz. The Natives received support from the VAF/Media Fund of Flemish Minister of Media Gatz. All of these productions were additionally backed by the Screen Flanders economic fund, under the aegis of Flemish Economic Affairs Minister Philippe Muyters and Cultural Affairs Minister Gatz.