Felix Van Groeningen’s film will represent Belgium at the Academy Awards.
Aurore Engelen

25 Sep 2013 - 8:01 AM  UPDATED 25 Sep 2013 - 8:01 AM

A jury composed of 6 professionals yesterday chose Felix Van Groeningen's film from a short-list of four candidates (including Kid by Fien Troch, The World Belongs to Us by Stephan Streker and Le Sac de Farine by Kadija Leclere) to represent Belgium at the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

The Broken Circle Breakdown imposed itself as the Belgian success story of 2013. After a very successful national release in 2012 (with more than 400,000 spectators), the film began a fruitful tour of international festivals. The presentation in Berlin in February notably left its mark and contributed to the sales of the film in many territories. The screening in Tribeca in New York (where the film was rewarded) was decisive since it led to an agreement with the distribution branch of the festival, which will release the film on November 1 in New York and then in over a dozen theatres in the US. Perfect timing then to offer the film a good visibility for the voters of the Foreign Language Voting Committee, who will be at work in November and December, before the announcement of the pre-nominations in January, which will select 9 films. The 5 selectees of the final quintet will be announced on January 16.

Beyond its purely artistic qualities and the strong emotional draw of the topic treated by Van Groeningen, the film has many other assets that could increase its chances. It is lifted by a couple of actors who deliver the performance of their (relatively young) career, Johan Heldenbergh, and especially Veerle Baetens, who should accompany the film in the race for the nomination. Its original soundtrack is also intrinsically part of the story. The bluegrass played and sung by the protagonists is at the heart of the narrative, but also the film's aura. The soundtrack in fact sold very well in Belgium (be it on iTunes, and on “real” cds), and seems to be largely contributing to the film's success in France, where it has welcomed more than 100,000 spectators. The Broken Circle Breakdown is a Dirk Impens production for Menuet, with the backing of the VAF.

Translated from French

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