France - Cannes - Festival de Cannes - Little Baby Jesus of Flandr / Iceland07/05/2010
May 12 - 23, 2010
Little Baby Jesus of Flandr by young filmmaker Gust Van den Berghe has been selected for this year's Director's Fortnight programme at the Cannes Film Festival. Also confirmed, for the Cinéfondation, is Gilles Coulier's short IJsland (Iceland).
Little Baby Jesus of Flandr
Inspired by a well known Flemish play of Felix Timmersmans (En waar de sterre bleef stille staan), Little Baby Jesus of Flandr is an auteur's film. Its selection in Cannes puts the film up as candidate for the prestigious Camera d'Or, the Award for Best First Film.
Little Baby Jesus of Flandr tells the unusual tale of the three beggars Suskewiet, Pitje Vogel and Schrobberbeeck. They are tired of their poverty and hunger, they decide to sing Epiphany on Christmas Eve. Their plan is a triumph and they sing themselves rich. On the way back to the pub however, they get lost in the woods and witness the birth of Little Baby Jesus. Bedazzled by this miracle they decide to give away all their gifts. When next year Christmas is around, they decide to sing again. But puzzled by last year experience, they start to quarrel over the gifts. Our three friends fall apart and each go their own way.
The main cast of this unique Flemish Christmas tale consists of a number of special actors. Jelle Palmaerts (Suskewiet), Paul Mertens (Pietje Vogel) and Peter Janssens (Schrobberdeck) are part of theatre group 'Stap', which works exclusively with people with a mental disorder (e.g. Down Syndrome).
The selection of Gilles Coulier's Iceland by the Cinéfondation confirms both the young director's talent as the revival of the Flemish short film. Iceland opens with 34-year-old Wesley in Ostend at night time. En route to the place where he never left. He is guided by the city and the words of a mime-player with a strange haircut. The cast is made up of Wim Willaert, Benny Claessens, Angelo Tijssens and Dolores Bouckaert.
The Cinéfondation describes its mission as a search for new talent. To that end they yearly select around fifteen short and average length films submitted by film schools from all over the world.
The list of Cannes entries is completed with Flemish minority co-productions Illégal by Oliver Masset-Depasse and Copacabana by Marc Fitoussi. Illégal has been selected for the Director's Fortnight, Flemish co-producer for this film is Antonino Lombardo for Prime Time. Copacabana will enjoy a special screening in the Critic's Week program at Cannes, Flemish co-producer is Bert Hamelinck for Caviar.
Image: Little Baby Jesus of Flandr