Back to archive

The Natives invited for Rotterdam’s Episodic/Epidemic


Comedy drama series The Natives has been selected for Episodic/Epidemic, a new section at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR, 27 January – 7 February) which explores the interface between film and television.

The Cronenbergian title of the programme refers to the idea that TV series have become such a cultural and economic force that they spread like a virus. A follow-up to the Changing Channels programme at IFFR, this new section showcases series that feel like cinema, investigating how thin the line between film and television has become.

The Natives has previously been selected for the International Showcase at last year’s Séries Mania, the leading TV festival in Paris, while a marathon screening was held during Film Fest Gent at the end of last year. Having aired on Flanders’ public TV channel, the series was a box-office hit with an average market share of 24.5%.

Local stand-up comedian Freddy De Vadder takes centre stage in The Natives. When he flees to a picturesque village called Bevergem, nobody knows why. The contrast between him and the grotesque residents could hardly be greater and tempers become frayed in anticipation of the annual town festival.

Cannes regular Gilles Coulier (Iceland, Mont Blanc) directed the series. Producer is Gilles De Schryver of De Wereldvrede. The Natives 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.