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24 february 2012 - 10:55:12 spacer  
An Oscar for Wallimage/Bruxellimage ?
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Belgium has fallen prey to a feverish expectation the last few weeks, as Bullhead prepares to take part in the highlight of the film industry: the Oscar ceremony. Whereas nobody believed in its chances just a few months ago, now the film is believed to be a worthy contestant for the final award. A tremendous destiny for this national co-production, co-financed by Wallimage/Bruxellimage.
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Even more than in Paris, marital drama Une Séparation is tipped as absolute favourite in the category “Best Foreign Film”. However, the breathtaking advance Bullhead is making is seriously worrying the Iranian camp. It must be said that the campaign set up first by the Belgian producers and followed through by the American distributors was no less than genial: participating in selected festivals where the film was rewarded, an advanced release in cinemas to try and influence the voters and in the end, critical acclaim. An example, among many? Read this excerpt from the L.A. Times, with a more than enthusiast critic.

"Bullhead is an intense, shattering film, a confident and accomplished, punch-in-the-gut debut by Belgian writer-director Michael R. Roskam that starts out like a thriller and turns into a disturbing tragedy in an unlikely and unexpected key."

The 84th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, 26th February, in L.A. at 7.30 PM local time. In other words, we will have to stay up late to catch the results and know whether the members of the Academy, stemming from all professions related to the film industry in Hollywood will have voted for a bull on steroids rather than for a troubled couple.

In order to efficiently fight sleep together, Flagey organises a prestigious Oscar Night on Sunday, complete with animations, a concert and of course a live broadcast of the ceremony on the big screen. The question on everyone’s mind: Will Bullhead be the first Belgian film to win an Oscar?

It will only be the 6th time that a national production is in the running for the award. Its predecessors are Paix sur les champs by Jacques Boigelot (1970), Le maître de musique by Gérard Corbiau (1988); Daens by Stijn Coninx (1992);Farinelli by Gérard Corbiau again (1994) and Iedereen beroemd by Dominique Deruddere in 2000.

Whatever the outcome, the story of Bullhead is simply stunning. Who would’ve thought that a such little albeit terribly dark drama film, peeking around the corner in January 2011 would be nominated for the Oscars just a year later? In the meantime, it was seen by close to half a million Belgian viewers, dominated the Vlaamse Filmprijzen, won 4 Magrittes and a whole slew of other prizes in very diverse festivals all over the world, was released in the United States and France, gaining critical acclaim and made Matthias Schoenaerts an international star and Michael R. Roskam one of the most considered directors of the past decennium.

This fantastic story could culminate on Sunday in Hollywood, where legends are born...
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