The Port of Ghent Public Choice Award goes to ‘Pride’ by Matthew Warchus and the Canvas Public Choice Award goes to ‘Il Capitale Umano’ by Paolo Virzì. Raphaël Crombez’ short film ‘Perdition County’ took home the ACE Image Factory Audience Award for Best Belgian Student Short Film.
Matthew Warchus’ ‘Pride’ wins the Port of Ghent Public Choice Award
The irresistible British crowd-pleaser ‘Pride’ also picked up the Cannes Queer Palm Award earlier this year. At the 41st Film Fest Gent, the film was introduced by actor Andrew Scott, who was welcomed by a horde of loyal fans. True to form, the audience voted en masse for this feel-good comedy, a gem of a film with a healthy dose of Full Monty-esque humour. The film obtained an average score of 4.74 out of 5. The prize is € 5,000 in distribution fees for a Belgian distributor and a media campaign worth € 11,500. The film will be screened in cinemas in Belgium from 5th November 2014 onwards.
'Pride', which is based on a true story, sheds light on the unexpected and unlikely alliance between striking miners in Wales and a group of gay activists. The film is set against the backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain, in a small Welsh village, where a group of gays and lesbians from London – calling themselves LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) – turn up in an old minibus to show their support for the miners by personally handing over funds they have raised. The trouble is that the local villagers, conservative government and right-wing tabloid press are not exactly progressive thinkers.
The Canvas Public Choice Award goes to ‘Il Capitale Umano’ by Paolo Virzì.
Quality Belgian broadcaster Canvas attracted attention at Film Fest Gent with its own public award. Canvas chose a number of films from the complete festival programme that tied in with the channel’s values. ‘Il Capitale Umano’ by Paolo Virzì received the most votes from festivalgoers, which means it will be bought and broadcast by Canvas, a prize worth at least € 12,500. This film also ranked eighth in the audience favourites with a score of 4.48 out of 5. Last June, the film won the David di Donatello award – the Italian ‘Oscar’ – for best film. The film will be released in Belgium on 21st January 2015.
‘Il Capitale Umano’ is an intelligent and stylish thriller combined with a biting critique of class-based society. It all starts on a dark snowy night in northern Italy, where a cyclist is run off the road and ends up injured in a ditch. We then see how this event impacts two very different families, that of the middle-class banker Dino and his teenage daughter and that of the capitalist mogul Giovanni and his wife Carla. The result is an enticing and extremely cleverly constructed whodunnit that Virzì drives to a devastating climax.
ACE Image Factory Audience Award for ‘Perdition County’ by Raphaël Crombez
Film Fest Gent organised the fourth edition of the Best Belgian Student Short Film Competition on Sunday 19th October. The winner of the ACE Image Factory Audience Award was ‘Perdition County’ by Raphaël Crombez, who studied at the LUCA School of Arts. The prize is a grading session to a value of € 6,500 for a future film project at the ACE Image Factory post-production house. ‘Perdition County’ tells the story of a soldier in a plundering militia who deserts to regain his humanity.