Finally, Ostend is getting ready for the first winter edition of the Ostend Film Festival. The first titles for the 14th edition of FFO once again promise a varied programme where audience and film professionals can meet each other again.
The first titles of the Ostend Film Festival are immediately a treat for the eyes. After all, these films are part of the LOOK! competition, in which visually outstanding stories are selected. In One Second, Zhang Yimou pays a nostalgic tribute to cinema with the moving tale of a man desperately searching for a particular movie reel. L'Événement by Audrey Diwan, an abortion drama based on the book of the same name by Annie Ernaux, was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival. In Eva Husson's lucious costume drama Mothering Sunday, Colin Firth, Olivia Colman, Josh O'Connor and revelation Odessa Young deliver standout performances.
We are looking forward to experiencing and celebrating cinema together again and to welcome the public and the (Flemish) film industry in Ostend for the first winter edition. In 2022, we will finally be able to present our new competitions COOP!, in which we focus on Belgian and Dutch co-productions, and SOON!, with which we want to put young talent, who made a first or second feature film, in the spotlight. With our first titles, we lift a corner of the veil on a promising and varied programme of debut features, premieres of new Flemish films, and new work by renowned international directors.
We also reveal the first titles from the brand new COOP! and SOON! competitions. For COOP!, the competition in which Belgian and Dutch co-productions are awarded, this is Rien à foutre, a Belgian-French comedy with Adèle Exarchopoulos. In the SOON! competition, where debut films and second features are honoured, the first title is the North Macedonian Oscar entry Sisterhood, an intriguing film by Dina Duma about a toxic friendship.
You can also drop by Ostend for some high-profile avant-premières, such as the Spanish Oscar entry The Good Boss with Javier Bardem as a charming but sneaky employer and the Finnish Oscar entry Compartment N°6 by Juho Kuosmanen, in which two complete strangers share a train compartment. Or the ambitious and anarchic biopic Miss Marx, about the tumultuous life of the youngest daughter of the German thinker. The composer Ennio Morricone, who died in 2020, is celebrated with the documentary Ennio: The Maestro.
Since our first edition in 2007, FFO has also paid tribute to television series. It is with great enthusiasm that FFO premieres the new series by Tom Lenaerts and Paul Baeten Gronda, the duo behind Over water, in Ostend. The psychological thriller series Twee zomers can count on a Flemish star cast headed by none other than FFO Master Koen De Bouw.
With Bovary, FFO is bringing theatre to the big screen. Last year KVS director Michael De Cock and stage director Carme Portaceli made a theatre version of Gustave Flaubert's famous book. Unfortunately, it could not be performed due to the pandemic. Film director Jaco Van Dormael, known from Toto le héro and Le tout nouveau testament, took up the challenge and turned it into a beautiful film, with Maaike Neuville as Madame Bovary.
In close consultation with the festival locations, FFO will draw up a corona policy that will guarantee a safe festival visit. Changing government measures will be closely monitored, applied and adjusted where necessary.
Of course, we are aware of the current covid measures and with our whole team we will do everything we can to welcome everyone safely to our film festival. We have chosen to hold the festival because we realise that a collective cultural experience is important and necessary, not only for relaxation or distraction, but also to counteract social isolation. Moreover, we want to support the film industry, which has already been hit hard in recent months.