'Tench' ('Muidhond') is a confronting film on a sensitive topic: paedophilia. This Belgian production will open the official competition of the 46th edition of Film Fest Gent. Ken Loach's latest feature film and a thrilling short by the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos will also be screened -for the first time in Belgium - at the festival.
'Tench' is Patrice Toye's fourth feature film, after 'Rosie' (1998), '(N)iemand' (2008), and 'Little Black Spiders' (2012). "It is an honour to open the Official Competition of Film Fest Gent," Toye says. "It means a great deal to me that the festival is willing to risk screening a film with as delicate a subject as 'Tench'.
The film is based on the book of the same name by Dutch author Inge Schilperoord. Jonathan, the film's protagonist, is a gentle young man, who returns to his mother's home after finishing his prison sentence. He wants nothing more than to forget the past and become a better person. But these good intentions are put to the test when a mother and young daughter move into the house next door. 'Tench' will be screened as the opening to the Official Film Fest Gent Competition on Wednesday, the 9th of October.
Outside of the Official Competition category, Film Fest Gent is happy to announce that Ken Loach's latest project, 'Sorry We Missed You', will be screened at the festival. Loach's family drama showcases how impossibly high work pressure can lead to financial ruin for families and individuals alike. Ricky, a father of two, starts a new job as a delivery driver. But soon the long and tiresome work hours start to take their toll on Ricky's health and relationships. This film, a portrayal of the bankruptcy of Europe, offered a stage to working class, amateur actors.
More Belgian Titles
Apart from 'Tench' and the film 'Ghost Tropic' that was previously announced, the 46th Film Fest Gent boasts other Belgian titles. 'All of Us', directed by Willem Wallyn and featuring a large Flemish cast (Barbara Sarafian, Maaike Neuville, Joke Devynck, Bruno Vanden Broecke, Jan Hammenecker, Gilles De Schryver, Delfine Bafort, Tom Vermeir, Ella Leyers, Wim Opbrouck,...) recounts the story of four terminal patients in a self-help group and their inexperienced therapist.
'The Barefoot Emperor' is another Belgian film, by directing-duo Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth. This film is the sequel to 'King of the Belgians', the 2016 comedy. On Friday, September 6, this film, starring Peter Van Den Begin, will premier at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Another noteworthy film on the programme is the touching documentary 'MOTHER', by Belgian director Kristof Bilsen. The viewer follows Alzheimer patients who have been left in Thailand by their families. Here, they will spend their final months, in the care of Thai nurses.
All about music
Every year Film Fest Gent supplies its audience with a collection of films that place a spotlight on music. In 'Judy', the viewer is taken on a musical journey through five weeks of Judy Garland's life. The film takes place in London, where Judy is expected to give breathtaking performances night after night for thousands of fans.
'Judy' can now be added to the list of music-related films on our programma along with 'A Dog Called Money' and 'Amazing Grace', two documentary films that were previously announced. 'A Dog Called Money' reports on PJ Harvey and 'Amazing Grace' shows a young Aretha Franklin give a breathtaking performance in a small Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Recorded and directed by Sydney Pollack in 1972, the film was not completed until 2018 by producer Allan Elliott.
Finally, Film Fest Gent offers a more prominent role to short films: The European competition is now international and a jury of international filmprofessionals will judge the extensive short film selection.
A first reveal? Master-director Yorgos Lanthimos' latest project is also featured on Film Fest Gent's programme. After his Oscar Nominated black comedy, 'The Favourite', Lanthimos created a short film titled 'Nimic', about a cellist (Matt Dillon) whose life gets turned upside down after a chance encounter in the underground. A thrilling tale of family and identity.
Film Fest Gent's complete programme will be anounced at the on Thursday, the 19th of September.