'Girl' by Lukas Dhont to open Film Fest Gent 2018

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News 22 May 2018
Film Fest Gent will open its 45th edition on Tuesday 9 October with the Belgian feature debut and multiple Cannes award winner 'Girl' by Lukas Dhont, in the presence of the entire cast and crew.

We look forward to welcoming Lukas Dhont back with his first full-length feature. In 2014 Dhont won the Best Belgian Student Short Film at Film Fest Gent with his master thesis 'L'Infini'. He also was part of the youth jury of the Explore Zone competition in 2011 and received a Special Mention for his short film 'Corps Perdu' in 2012.

"What we're experiencing now with 'Girl' surpasses my wildest dreams, Cannes may well be the biggest festival, but Ghent is the festival that is most important to me. To have the Belgian premiere here is... fantastic." says Lukas Dhont about the selection.

Artistic director of the festival Patrick Duynslaegher about the opening film: "Through this splendid feature film debut, Lukas Dhont portrays the dreams and desires of a girl trapped in a boy's body, with an unbelievable tact, tenderness and empathy. The revelation of a super talented director combined with the last film by producer Dirk Impens makes 'Girl' a very special opening film."

"Girl and Ghent makes a perfect pas de deux!" adds producer Dirk Impens. 'Girl' (2018) will be his fifth film to open Film Fest Gent after 'Daens' (1992) by Stijn Coninx, 'Brylcream Boulevard' (1995) by Robbe De Hert, 'The Misfortunates' (2009) and 'The Broken Circle Breakdown' (2012) by Felix Van Groeningen.

'Girl' is inspired by a true story about Lara, a 15-year-old girl who wants nothing more than to become a ballerina. To realize that dream, a lot of discipline is needed, but the challenge is made even greater because Lara is born in the body of a boy. The film follows Lara in the daily fight against her own body.

16-year-old Victor Polster, who plays the leading role in 'Girl', was rightly awarded Best Acting Performance at the Cannes Film Festival. Later, Lukas Dhont received the Queer Palm and the Un Certain Regard Fipresci Prize from the international press jury. Finally, the prestigious Caméra d'Or was added.

'Girl' was written by Lukas Dhont and Angelo Tijssens and directed by Lukas Dhont. Frank van den Eeden signed on as D.O.P, while Alain Dessauvage was the editor. The original music score is from Valentin Hadjadj. The film was produced by Dirk Impens for Menuet, in co-production with Frakas Productions and Topkapi Films.

'Girl' was made with the support of the VAF / Film Fund of Flemish Minister of Culture Sven Gatz. The film will be distributed in Belgium on 17 October by Lumière.

The 45th Film Fest Gent runs from 9 to 19 October in Kinepolis Ghent, Studio Skoop, Sphinx, Vooruit, Capitole and KASKcinema. The full program will be announced in September.