Manaki Brothers - International Cinematographers’ Film Festival


September 29, Bitola – At the last press-conference of this year’s edition of the Manaki Brothers, the official competition for Golden Camera 300 selector, Blagoja Kunovski – Dore introduced the film Girl, a Belgian-Dutch co-production. A guest at the festival is the cinematographer from The Netherlands, Frank van den Eeden.

-I selected this film with great pleasure. As critics, it is always our duty to look at the official competition in Berlin, Cannes and you have to be careful in the choice. The director is a new talent among the critics, but the cinematographer also contributes to the attention the film has, Kunovski says.

The interesting thing for the attendees was the fact that the film is bilingual. The main character Lara speaks French with her dad, and she speaks Dutch in the hospital.

-I think the language thing can be new and confusing for the audience, but, in my opinion, it is a typical Belgian thing because of the two different language areas in Belgium. There is no special reason for the bilingualism in the film, but we just wanted to showcase something that is part of the life in Belgium. They come from Brussels, where they speak French, but then they move to Antwerp and speak Dutch there. By the way, this is a true story, Lara really exists, I met the girl during the filming, but she didn’t want to be too exposed and she didn’t interfere in the script. When the film was screened, she introduced herself to the Belgian media, she was very brave and wanted to support the idea of discussions about trans-gender people, Van den Eeden talked.

Victor Polster played the role of Lara and it is a general rate that he is a very good choice of the director for this role.

-It was more of a lucky choice, as he has never before been in front of a camera. He is a professional dancer, he had experience with working in front of an audience, but he hadn’t had experience in front of a camera. We didn’t know how he will react to the filming, as he was in every shot, each day and he was happy with the choice, Van den Eeden explained.

He didn’t know the director of the film, Lukas Dhont, from before.

-I met him when he handed me the script and he said that he wants someone more experienced in the crew so the problems can be overcome easier. I liked the way he made the script. It was all quite focused and after reading 10 pages of it I knew it is a well-written script, Van den Eeden.