Alejandro Landes' 'Monos' wins the Explore Zone Award

Jdb filmfestival 2019 6 of 11
News 18 Oct 2019
On Wednesday evening, 'Monos' received the Georges Delerue Award for Best Music and Sound Design. On Thursday, director Alejandro Landes received more good news. The Explore Zone Jury –made up of adolescents between 18 and 26 years old – has chosen his mystery-thriller fusion film as the winner of the Explore Zone Award.

This year's jury is made up of Geertrui De Vijlder, Mathilde Luijten, Sander Misplon, Marijn Claeys and Emiel Vandekerckhove: all 18 to 26 years old. They closely followed and examined the Explore Zone trail – a trail consisting of 15 titles designed specifically to appeal to its target youth audience. Their chosen winner was announced this evening.

Thanks to the Explore Zone Award, 'Monos' can enjoy a media campaign worth €35.800, a collaborative effort between Studio Brussel, De Morgen, Knack Focus and UniversCiné, in support of the Belgian release.

'Monos' focuses on eight teenagers receiving paramilitary training in an inhospitable Latin American mountainscape. The commandos are titled 'monos', after the legendary giant apes of South America, and are part of an unidentified organization. When the boys' trainer leaves on a mission, the boys are left to their own devices. Their only task is to keep their two prize possessions safe: a cow with a mind of its own called Shakira and the American they have taken hostage. With their trainer gone, the boys quickly get wrapped up in a powerplay, each attempting to become the new alpha male...

The jury was completely swept up by the film:

"Monos is challenging, exciting and unique. A film that dares to be aesthetic, provocative, tactile and fairy tale-like all at the same time. By leaving the story's time and place ambiguous, there is a mythic and mystical aura around the film and its characters. When we are pushed so far out of our comfort zone that only a feeling of stepping into prehistoric situations remains, all boundaries and labels of today's society become obsolete. Tribal sensibilities take over and cause the viewer to follow the boys in half-slumber, forgetting about age, gender and other social constructs. The poetic cinematography adds a coming-of-age layer to the story. And don't forget about the soundtrack! With a distinct ease it reinforces emotional rushes, from loving to violent within a single scene."

Alejandro Landes already let us know that he's delighted with the award:

Scenario Prize

In addition to the Explore Zone Award, the winner of the Visser-Neerlandia Scenario Prize has also been announced. This year the prize was snatched up by Matthijs Bockting's 'Hout'. The jury described 'Hout' as "a scenario that has the potential to both shock and move an audience. A well-thought-out tale with a fantastical-realistic touch that leaves readers on the edge of their seat through a captivating writing style and psychological submersion."

The winner of the Explore Zone Award and the Visser-Neerlandia Scenario Prize were revealed tonight, Thursday 17th of October, before the screening of Eva Cools' 'Cleo', the winner of the Visser Neerlandia Scenario Prize in 2016.