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Two Belgian films in official selection of 75th Cannes film festival

Close by Lukas Dhondt - Kris Dewitte Menuet
19:40 14/04/2022

Belgium’s small but tight-knit film world is celebrating the Cannes film festival’s selection of two of its films in the official competition, one French-speaking, the other Flemish.

Double Palme d’Or winners Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne from Liège will present their new film Tori et Lokita, their ninth feature in the competition. While Ghent-born Lukas Dhondt’s second film Close (pictured) will have its world premiere in Cannes. It’s the first time that a Flemish film is in the running for the Golden Palm award.

As the official competition represents the festival’s most prestigious category and only includes 18 films, this selection represents a major feat for Belgium’s blossoming film industry.

It also shows that multilingual communities can be an advantage when fielding multiple films from one country.

At last year’s event, Joachim Lafosse’s Les intranquilles vied with Laura Wandel’s Un monde in the top category; the two francophones films also competing with French movies. In the end, Wandel’s debut feature was selected for the ‘Un certain regard’ category, although it has since amassed multiple international awards.

The Dardenne brothers latest offering relates the story of two African refugees – a young boy and a teenage girl - whose friendship is tested when they settle in Belgium.

For Dhondt, this is his second time down the Cannes red carpet following his trans drama Girl in 2018, selected in the ‘Un certain regard’ category and crowned with the Caméra D’Or for best first feature. Now he presents Close, about a disintegrating friendship between two teenage boys.

The Cannes film festival runs from 17 to 28 May.

Written by Sarah Crew