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Clutch of prizes for Belgian films at 75th Cannes festival
All three Belgian films in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival walked away winners at the prestigious competition’s closing ceremony on Saturday evening.
Lukas Dhont’s Close was jointly awarded the Grand Prix, alongside French filmmaker Claire Denis’ erotic film Stars at Noon. Close received a rapturous reception at Cannes and was widely tipped for a podium place. Dhont’s second film to be presented at Cannes after Girl (2016) is a tearjerker movie about a troubled friendship between two teenage boys, inspired by the Ghent director’s own life.
In a rare honour, Close has been invited to open the 49th Ghent Film Festival on 11 October. No other director has been chosen to open the annual event for both a debut and follow-up film.
For double Palme d’Or winners, the Dardennes brothers, the jury – presided by French actor Vincent Lindon – created a new trophy, the Grand Prix, for their latest film Tori and Lokita (pictured). The accolade for the social realist drama about two young African migrants adapting desperately to life in Belgium, capped a long and successful career at La Croisette for the Liège pair.
Finally, Belgian directors Charlotte Vandermeersch and Félix Van Groeningen received the Jury Prize for their film Le Otto Montagne (The Eight Mountains). Shot in the breath-taking Italian alpine valley of Aosta and co-produced with Italy and France, it’s another moving tale of friendship, this time between two straight men who build a mountain hut to create the summer childhood idylls they never experienced. It shared the award with Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s film EO.
The big winner at Cannes and a surprise result for many critics was Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness receiving the coveted Palme d’Or. A satire about class and narcissistic culture, it follows a group of hyper-rich people who become castaways on a remote island after their super-yacht sinks. It was the Swedish director’s second top prize at Cannes following his 2017 award for the art-world black comedy The Square.
Photos: (main image) Lucas Dhont (c) Belga/James Arthur Gekiere; Tori and Lokita (c) Christine Plenus