Working on DarkMatr, again & again

From the 29th of October till the 3th of November we had another DarkMatr residency. This time we worked at Plateau, the workspace of all time contemporary arts organisation Nadine.

We had a mayor breakthrough with the structure of the whole installation being rounded. It’s working, VERY roughly, but we have to refine the next time we come together. We had the visit of Yves Bernard and Béatrice Balcou testing the set up. Their return will help us with changing A LOT I think…

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Welcome Home in Ghent !

Again, I haven’t had a lot of time to keep up with my blog…

We had the Belgian première of Welcome Home at the Ghent Film Festival on the 10th of October at the theater of De Vooruit, followed by a drink for all our invitees. The film was then shown during several days during the festival where I met the public each time. Which was really nice. I have to be honest, it is funny to have your world premiere in Venice with 1300 men and women applauding and then come home and have your national premiere in front of 300 friends, family and sympathizers 😉  Anyway, the film is well received by a certain (:-) press but I think they should have published their articles before the show so more people could have been informe and get interested.

Welcome Home will now be distributed in Belgian arthouses the coming months. You can find dates on the film’s website : Welcome Home.

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Website “Welcome Home” is online !!

The official website of my feature film “Welcome Home” is finally online ! Check it out !  And leave you’re observations here 😉
http://www.welcomehomethefilm.eu/

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Fiction films and media installations

The Venice Mostra is suddenly far away… Marc of Minds Meet (my producer) is actively preparing the Belgian premiere of Welcome Home (finally the new website !) at the Ghent Film Festival coming October. In the meantime I’m working this week with my French colleagues Nicolas and Jack on my media installation DarkMatr-v2. Yes, they are very concentrated when they code in Pure Data 😉

Coming home from Italy I had to put all my energy in finding a place of at least 12 on 6 meters to be able to test the 5m large interactive Full HD screen we’re developing. I called at least 50 organizations but all work spaces were taken. A fine proof of how the Brussels and Belgian creative scene is fully alive and kicking! I luckily found a nice spot in the friendly Elzenhof Community Center here in Brussels, where we can work everyday from 9 am till 10 pm. That’s where I am for the moment and that 10 pm will be that hour in 15′ 😉

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DAY 5 @ the MOSTRA of VENICE

* 6.30 – We woke up early. Boats are passing by over the Venice laguna under our window.
* 10.00 – We clean our room and make our luggage. I have a final interview with Sky later today. Before and after we’ll try to catch some more films. Kris De Wit also wants to make some photographic portraits of me.
* 17.45 – The day passed like nothing. Marc and I take the boat to the Venice bus station, from there we go to Treviso Airport. Béatrice goes directly to San Marco Airport, direction Paris.
* 21.25 – Seen it, done it, been there. Lift off for Brussels !

Thanks to all those who have read the Venice adventure. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

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DAY 4 @ the MOSTRA the VENICE

* 9.00 – Wake up after a good and long sleep.
* 10.15 – I’m biking real fast to the Mostra’s amazing and huge cinema tent ‘PalaBiennale’ to see “The Master” the new film of Paul Thomas Anderson. Just in time to see the film with a thousand other early Sunday morning Venetians. Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman: breath taking acting in an intriguing film that captures you for an hour but unluckily can’t keep it’s magic in the last part.
* 14.30 – I have my first interview of the day. Felipe and Kurt are also invited in front of the camera. After our talk we all go for a swim in the warm sea in front of the Excelsior Hotel, next to some young and old Italian bimbos and bimbas.
* 15.45 to 19.15 – My afternoon is filled with interviews and waiting. I haven’t written it yet but I must say I’ve never seen before that much long and shiny plastic lady’s legs in one place at a time.
* 19.30 – I go to see “Leones”, the first feature of an Argentinean director. It’s a strange and courageous film following five youngsters walking and getting lost in a forest. There seems no narrative line, the film is sometimes boring but stays mysterious. We slowly understand that we’re following five ghosts that must have had a car accident. Bravo, t last, cinema!
* 21.00 – Are we going to see the new Kitano? No, we’re hungry so we decide to go and have good food in the fine Italian restaurant of yesterday. Restaurante Africa is a friendly family restaurant where they serve the best Italian food of the Lido! A good way to end the day.
* 23.59 – Before going to bed, I read some nice articles that were written on “Welcome Home”. At this same moment the film is showing in the Montreal World Film Festival! We’re very curious how the film will be welcomed and how Nader (who plays Bilal in the film) is being received by the festival.

Good night and good luck 😉

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DAY 3 @ the MOSTRA the VENICE : BLAST !!

* 6.00 – wake up early, feel strange, can’t sleep in again
* 10.45 – we go to see At Any Price of Ramin Bahrani. Denis Quaid is amazing. The film is alright, the subject interesting, but the cinema not surprising, too glossy and classic.
* 13.00 – we meet with the crew at the Movie village, everyone is nicely dressed up, we eat something and then go to Sala Darsena where the world premiere of my film will be take place…
* 13.50 – BLAST ! We’re waiting with the whole crew at the artist’s entrance, a thousand people are queuing to get in. What? Sala Darsena can take 1300 people and we’re full! I’m completely impressed. I honestly thought there would come some hundred people and we seem to be sold out… Apparently we do are in the “Top 5 to See” of La Repubblica today! Here’s me with the critics of the Settimana. Followed by 3 of the 4 main actors in Welcome Home (Felipe, Kurt & Manah), Nader being in Montréal at this very time.

* 14.10 – We’re entering the Sala Darsena. Tomas, Peter, Manah, Kurt, Félipe and me are introduced by the Settimana della Critica, spotlight ! Then, my film can finally start it’s life.
* 15.30 – Applause. I’m touched. Not much people have left during the show. Starts an interesting Q&A by one of the Settimana’s critics. There’s an Italian translator (afterwards she tells me she worked for 6 years in Brussels and recognizes very much of the town’s feeling in my film). The questions on the podium are about the politics in the film and the way I represent the presence of Europe in the film. It’s funny how easy I feel answering them.

* 16.00 – The Settimana has organised a small cocktail in the Excelsior hotel. We meet and greet our friends. I finally can talk a little with Frédéric Fontaine who stayed after his premiere here, for Tango Libre, to see my film. Swell, he liked it a lot. In fact, some years ago he read the first drafts of the script of Welcome Home on my Brussels terrazza…

* 18.00 – Béatrice, Kurt, Alexander and I have an apéro on the beach. The sky is grey but a Lituanian beer company has payed some young adolescents to dance on techno and invite people to drink their beer. There’s not much people. We’re observing it and talking about the beautiful premiere we had. The Venice Mostra is a strange festival when there is no sun…
* 20.00 – All the friends and colleagues who could make it for Venice are there. We’re having a nice diner in the best restaurant of the Lido 🙂
* 23.00 – We’re walking and walking to find a bar and have some fun together. We don’t find anything except on invitation, so we keep on walking along the Lido.

WHAT A DAY !

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DAY 2 @ the MOSTRA of VENICE

* 9.00 – Béatrice & I have breakfast at the hotel, warm rainy and stormy weather over Venice ! We take  the bike to the Mostra to meet Eva and my friend Ad who came from Amsterdam for the premiere of Welcome Home.

* 11.30 – Press and industry to see my film for the first time. Béatrice, Eva and Ad go see it too!
* 12.00 – Meeting with the people from the Critic’s week. They are honestly enthusiastic about Welcome Home. It touches me a lot. With my producers Tomas & Marc we go over the protocol for the World Premiere that will take place the next day.
* 12.50 – The press vision has ended. Most people stayed watching the film. A good sign according Tomas and the people from the Critic’s week. Jonathan Demme was in the theater. Wow! Tomas and I go to meet him. What do we have to say? He liked the movie and also said the editing was very good. Small talk but funny. 🙂
* 14.00 – My friends and actors in Welcome Home arrive with the boat from Venice, Felipe and Kurt. The three of us wander around the festival. Kurt has a swim in front of the Excelsior hotel. After that they go see the fantastic film of Ulrich Seidl. The one I saw yesterday.
  
* 17.00 – Not too interested by the festival’s circus for the moment. I decide to go for a walk on the Lido island and see real life. It’s a beautiful place.
* 19.30 – Béatrice, Ad and I go see the new film of Amos Gitai. Wow, what a deception. I Saw other movies of him before that were very strong. This is a film for and about his father who studied at Bauhaus and then had to flee away from Nazi Germany. It’s interesting but it feels a bit like you look at the work of an amateur. Strange and annoying…
* 21.30 – Béatrice and I search for a calm spot to eat, away from the festival. Italian food is full of gluten. I always have the same dish since I arrvied : grilled vegetables, combine it with some fish or other dish.
* 23.00 – We join the others : Tomas and Caroline (his wife and director) and Marc have diner together with a part of the rest of the crew that could make it to the Mostra : Cécile, Kurt, Félipe, Loup and Manah (who’s main actress in Welcome Home).
* At midnight Béatrice and I have a calm nightly bike ride to the hotel. Tired we are !

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DAY 1 @ the MOSTRA of VENICE

* 5.00 – I woke up this morning at 4 am to take the early bus to Brussels South Airport. My airplane takes off at 7.15 am. I arrive in Treviso at 8.45. Then I take the bus to Venice at 9.00.
* 10.00 – I arrive in Venice. I meet my good old friend from Barcelona Eva Serrats, together we take the Mostra taxi boat to Lido where I’m dropped off right in front of the hotel. My room is not ready so we hire bikes and go to the Venice Cinema Palace to get our accreditations. There’s some HOT AND HEAVY WEATHER on the LIDO de VENEZIA. It’s calm at the MOSTRA
* 13.30 – I go back to the hotel to occupy my room and take a shower. Béatrice arrives from Paris.
* 15.00 – I have a 20′ phone call from Montreal for an interview (Welcome Home has also it’s premiere this Sunday on the Montreal Film Fest). The friendly journalist talks more then I do. He tells some interesting adventures he had in the past, staying in Brussels.
* 16.00 – Béatrice and I go for a light lunch and then meet with Eva at the Mostra. Eva tells us about the disastrous Spanish crisis and the effects on cultural life and life in general… Together we walk to the beach, followed by a visit to the amazing Excelsior hotel where the glitter of the Mostra is being concentrated.
* 19.00 – We go to see our first movie : “Paradise: Faith” by Ulrich Seidl in the Sala Perla. My god, this is cinema. I’ve seen Seidl’s “Import, Export” before, this is even better!

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SELECTED FOR VENICE AND MONTREAL !

Some of you already knew as the news is out since more then a week, my first feature film Welcome Home has been selected at the 2012 Mostra of Venice in the International Critic’s Week. It will compete with seven other films for the best first feature. On top of that we are selected for the First Films World Competition of the 2012 Montreal Film Festival. Both festivals really wanted the movie so they’ve arranged this beautiful double world premiere. On the 1st of September the film is shown in Venice, Europe, on the 2nd the Americas will be able to see the movie in Montréal, Canada !

This is really a superb recognition for work that needed several years to be realized, thanks to the help of very talented people. These last two years I also had to show a lot of patience as the post-production of the film moved on slowly, with every bit of participation bringing the film to a higher level.

Here’s the picture that is slowly starting to become the movie’s icon.

And check out the trailer on the website (under construction) 🙂 www.welcomehomethefilm.eu

or Welcome Home on Facebook
Greetings from a happy film director !

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