* 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!
* 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 😉
* 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 !
* 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 !
* 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!
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 !
I’m working 3 weeks at iMAL. Two weeks to refresh my knowledge of PureData (Pd), an open source visual programming language we use for the new version of my latest installation DarkMatr. This week, together with Jack and Nicolas, we’re artists in residence in iMAL to further develop the installation. Jack and Nico just passed the morning finding solutions to install the heavy graphical card on our Ubuntu computer. Shit happens when you work open source. They say once it works, it’s stable 😉 Luckily Jack and Nico do the programming so I just have to discuss artistic and other production matters.
Last week Jack gave a Pd workshop for the iMAL summer courses and next week Nicolas is the tutor for a workshop around Gem, a plug in for Pd that enables you to create 3D visuals and objects in real time. I follow both so I’ll be more aware of Pd’s incredible capabilities but I think I will never become a code developer. Because to keep up, you have to work everyday with it.
This version of DarkMatr will be very different from the first version. We’ll be working with an interaction screen of between 4 and 6 meters. In front of this screen you will be able, as an audience, to interact with a humanized internet search robot. It will feel like you’re having a ‘poetic’ ‘knowledge’ dialogue with a virtual robot, in total immersion with textual data coming from the net. Here’s a picture of the graphical environment Jack is developing.