The Misfortunates (De helaasheid der dingen), named after the book by Dimitri Verhulst, is about 13-year-old Gunther Strobbe who lives with his father and his three uncles in his grandmother's home in a totally slovenly place in Reetveerdegem. The boy is confronted each day with vast quantities of alcohol, picking up women and shameless idleness. Everything suggests that the same fate awaits Gunther. Or can he perhaps escape the 'The Misfortunates'?
The Ghent Film Festival is delighted that the film will be opening this 36th edition on 6 October. The Misfortunates is a very multi-layered and compelling film that is exceptionally well made", explained managing director Jacques Dubrulle. "And if there are good Belgian films, then we are more than happy to give them a platform."
The Misfortunates was selected this year already for the Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. The film did not go unnoticed, because van Groeningen cycled naked over the Croisette with producer Dirk Impens (Menuet) and a few main actors. Director Felix van Groeningen is delighted that his third full-length film has been chosen to open the Ghent Film Festival: "The selection at Cannes was unexpected and tremendous, but to have the honour of opening the biggest festival in your own country is just totally fantastic!"
A host of beautiful people are already expected on the red carpet of the completely renovated Kinepolis complex in Ghent: actors such as Valentijn Dhaenens, Kenneth Vanbaeden, Koen Degraeve, Wouter Hendrickx, Bert Haelvoet, Johan Heldenbergh and Gilda De Bal will be paying their respects. A première of the film will be shown to guests in four cinemas. The general public will be able to discover the film in the Vooruit theatre, followed by a party in the Vooruit to open the festival. The Misfortunates will be put on general distribution by Kinepolis Film Distribution.
The 36th edition of the Ghent Film Festival will take place between 6 and 17 October at different locations in the city. The main theme this year is Asia, with special focus on Chinese cinema, a film concert with the Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi and an exhibition of Anime - Japanese animated film art - at the Caermersklooster. The total programme of the festival will be announced on 23 September.