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Toronto Checks Out Douglas Boswell’s labyrinth


Labyrinthus, a family fantasy film directed by Douglas Boswell, has been confirmed for Toronto’s upcoming International Film Festival (4-14 September). Two Days, One Night by the Dardenne brothers, a co-production with Flanders, was also selected. With Flemish titles Waste Land and Cub already announced, talent from Flanders will be omnipresent in Toronto this year.

With less than a month to go, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has announced a new round of films to be discovered at the prestigious Canadian festival this September. Among them is Douglas Boswell’s family fantasy film Labyrinthus, which will be shown as part of the fest’s ‘entertaining and illuminating’ section, TIFF Kids.

The film marks Boswell’s feature debut after directing several local television series and a number of prize-winning shorts, including Romance.

Based on an original screenplay by Pierre De Clercq, Labyrinthus follows 14-year-old Frikke, who knows his way around computer games. But this one has a shocking surprise: its protagonists are real kids and real animals whose lives are mysteriously uploaded into the game’s labyrinth. To play or not to play is the question, especially when the fate of loved ones is at stake in the cyberworld…

Spencer Bogaert takes the lead, joined by other young actors including Emma Verlinden, Felix Maesschalk (Time of My Life) and Nell Cattrysse (The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Verdict). Pepijn Caudron (Cut Loose), Tine Embrechts (In Flanders Fields, Quiz Me Quick) and Ivan Pecnik (Nymphomaniac, Deadline 14/10) make up the rest of the cast. While the exterior shots were mainly filmed in the city of Ghent, a green-screen studio was used to construct the virtual world in which about a third of the film takes place.

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night has been invited for Toronto’s Special Presentations. Starring Marion Cotillard, the film premiered in Cannes earlier this year and is produced by Les Film du Fleuve. Peter Bouckaert of Eyeworks Belgium (The Treatment, Marina) co-produced for Flanders.

With these latest additions, Belgian Cinema from Flanders will be particularly well represented in Toronto. As previously announced, Pieter Van Hees’s Waste Land will have its world premiere in the Vanguard section, which also includes Belgian co-production Alleluia by Fabrice du Welz. Jonas Govaert’s horror film Cub is set for a Midnight Madness screening. In addition, Toronto will also screen The Drop by Bullhead director Michaël R. Roskam who assembled an all-star cast including Flemish actor Matthias Schoenaerts. Closing the festival is Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos, which also stars Schoenaerts.

Bart Van Langendonck’s production banner Savage Film (Rain, Bullhead) produced Boswell’s Labyrinthus. Van Langendonck was also Flemish co-producer on du Welz’s Alleluia. DOP on Labyrinthus was Reinier Van Brummelen, and Jan Hameeuw edited the film for which Pieter Van Dessel composed the original soundtrack. Attraction Distribution is handling international sales.

Labyrinthus received support from Screen Flanders, the economic support measure for audiovisual works and the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz.