Back to archive

New Jaco Van Dormael feature invited to Directors’ Fortnight


The Brand New Testament, the new feature film by Jaco Van Dormael, has been invited to the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes (14-24 May). A co-production between Belgium, France and Luxembourg, the film boasts on-camera talent from Flanders including Laura Verlinden, Johan Leysen, Viviane De Muynck and Johan Heldenbergh, plus An Pierlé in the music department.

Van Dormael’s surreal comedy The Brand New Testament stars Belgian actor Benoît Poelvoorde as God. Living in Brussels, he is a despicable coward with pathetic morals who is mean to his wife (Yolande Moreau) and his daughter, played by young Pili Groyne (Two Days, One Night, Alleluia). Frustrated by her father’s unacceptable behaviour, the girl takes revenge by posting the dates of death of the entire world population on the Internet.

Catherine Deneuve, François Damiens, Romain Gellin and Marco Lorenzinni also appear, joined by Flemish acting talent including Laura Verlinden (Image, Ben X), Johan Leysen (The American, The Missing, The Verdict), Viviane De Muynck (Flying Home) and The Broken Circle Breakdown’s Johan Heldenbergh. An Pierlé composed the film’s original score.

In 1991, Van Dormael’s international career was launched in Cannes when his debut feature Toto The Hero won the Caméra d’Or. In 1996, The Eighth Day (Le huitième jour) picked up the award for Best Actor, shared between Daniel Auteuil and Pascal Duquenne. The Brand New Testament is Van Dormael’s fourth feature.

Belgian co-producers of The Brand New Testament are Terra Incognita Films, Climax Films and Frank Van Passel of Caviar (Black, Paradise Trips). Following its world première in Cannes, the film is scheduled for a theatrical run in the Benelux in the autumn through Belga Films. Le Pacte handles international sales.

The Brand New Testament 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 Economic Affairs Minister Philippe Muyters and Cultural Affairs Minister Gatz.