Black wins the Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival

  • 21.09.2015

” This is truly amazing, ” said Adil El Arbi after hearing the news in Toronto. ” We are extremely honored to have won this award at the most prestigious festival in North America. It is a proof that we have made a universal film that can reach an international audience. It’s a dream come true! Thank you to all the team and all the actors of Black!!!”

The Dropbox Discovery Award is being presented for the first time this year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the festival. The winner was chosen from the 30 films that were part of the selection. Last week, the jury had already selected five finalists and Black won among these. The jury was composed of industry professionals: Dan Guando, Executive Vice President of Acquisitions, Production & Development at The Weinstein Company, Pia Lundberg, Head of International Department at the Swedish Film Institute, and Alice Tynan, Head of Product Marketing at Dropbox.

The jury praises ” the clear cinematic vision of Black which is staged with creativity and sass. Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah made a strong impression with the captivating and sensitive way they managed to highlight the loyalty and oppressive atmosphere of youth gangs, both visually and aurally. It’s a real find.”

Black had its world premiere on September 11th at the Toronto International Film Festival. Kerri Craddock, Director of Programming, has already praised the film for ”  its restless pace and raw realism reminiscent of such classics as  The City of God and Goodfellas. ” But also to most of Martin Scorsese’s films.

Pamela Leu of Be For Films, who is handling international sales of the film, hopes to announce soon which territories have already purchased the film. Many negotiations are underway.

Black is based on the books  ‘Black’ and ‘Back’ by Dirk Bracke, adapted for the screen by Nele Meirhaeghe, El Arbi, Fallah and Hans Herbots. The main roles are played by Martha Canga Antonio and Aboubakr Bensaïhi. Robrecht Heyvaert (who also worked on D’Ardennen) was in charge of the photographic direction. The original music is by Hannes De Maeyer. The film is produced by  Frank Van Passel, Bert Hamelinck and Ivy Vanhaecke for Caviar.

After screenings at the Ghent and Namur festivals, Black will be released on November 11th. It is distributed in Belgium by Kinepolis Film Distribution.

This weekend will remain in the memories of the directors El Arbi and Fallah. This Saturday night, their first film Image won the Telenet Audience Award at the Ensor, the award ceremony for Flemish Belgian films.

Co-produced by Wallimage/Bruxellimage, Black was supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) / Film Fund of the Minister of Culture Sven Gatz. Image was born thanks to the help of a Wildcard awarded by the Audiovisual Fund of Flanders that El Arbi and Fallah had won with their graduation film Broeders.