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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Belgium

Madly in Life and Playground dominate the Belgian Cinema Magritte awards

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- Two first films –one by Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni, and the other by Laura Wandel - scooped almost all the trophies at the awards ceremony’s 11th edition

Madly in Life and Playground dominate the Belgian Cinema Magritte awards
The team behind Madly in Life at the 2022 Magritte ceremony (© Frederic Sierakowski/Isopix)

After “skipping” a year on account of Covid, the Magritte Film Awards for Francophone Belgian films returned for one of its strongest editions, selecting a whopping 22 Belgian fiction feature films in competition (versus a dozen or so in previous years). Two titles were light years ahead in terms of nominations: Madly in Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Raphaël Balboni & Ann Sirot
film profile
]
by Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni, and Playground [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laura Wandel
film profile
]
by Laura Wandel, two first films which earned themselves 12 and 10 nominations respectively and which pipped two well-known Belgian filmmakers to the post, namely Joachim Lafosse with The Restless [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile
]
- which is competing in Cannes this year - and Fabrice Du Welz with Adoration [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fabrice du Welz
film profile
]
, each of which garnered no less than 6 nominations.

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In the end, Madly in Life and Playground each walked away with a staggering 7 prizes, showing just how torn viewers were between the two works, and perhaps how big an appetite the members of the André Delvaux Academy truly have for new faces – even though the Academy has only been around since 2011. Both films are 100% Belgian productions, which is a rare thing in Francophone Belgium, and something very special for their respective production companies Hélicotronc and Dragons Films.

It was Madly in Life by Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni which won the "supreme" prize of Best Film, alongside trophies for Best Screenplay, Best Set Design and Best Costumes, and three acting awards which emphasise the fundamental role played by the cast in the project’s success: the Best Actress award for the rare and priceless Jo Deseure, Best Actor for Jean Le Peltier, and Best Supporting Actor for Gilles Remiche.

The other major winner of the evening was fresh-faced filmmaker Laura Wandel. Her first feature was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize within the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section last year, as well as earning itself countless other trophies at festivals unfolding all around the world. It was also among the 15 finalists for the Best International Film Oscar. Playground ultimately walked away with the Magritte for Best First Film, Best Direction, Best Sound, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actress, Best Female Newcomer and Best Male Newcomer.

Only two Magrittes remained for the other fiction feature films in the line-up: that for Best Music was awarded to Vincent Cahay in recognition of his wonderful partnership with Fabrice du Welz for Adoration, while that for Best Photography went to Ruben Impens for his work on Titane [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Julia Ducournau, Vincent Li…
film profile
]
, which also won the award for Best International Co-Production. This is the second Magritte bagged by Julia Ducournau after Raw [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Julia Ducournau
film profile
]
in 2018, both films having been actively co-produced in Belgium by Frakas Productions.

The full list of award-winners is as follows:

Best Film
Madly in Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Raphaël Balboni & Ann Sirot
film profile
]
- Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni

Best First Film
Playground [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laura Wandel
film profile
]
- Laura Wandel

Best Director
Laura Wandel - Playground

Best Actress
Jo Deseure – Madly in Life

Best Actor
Jean Le Peltier – Madly in Life

Best Supporting Actress
Laura Verlinden - Playground

Best Supporting Actor
Gilles Remiche – Madly in Life

Best Female Newcomer
Maya Vanderbeque - Playground

Best Male Newcomer
Günter Duret - Playground

Best Original or Adapted Screenplay
Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni – Madly in Life

Best Flemish Film
La Civil [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Teodora Ana Mihai
film profile
]
- Teodora Ana Mihai (Belgium/Romania/Mexico)

Best International Co-Production
Titane [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Julia Ducournau, Vincent Li…
film profile
]
- Julia Ducournau (France/Belgium)

Best Documentary
Petit Samedi [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Paloma Sermon Daï
film profile
]
- Paloma Sermon-Daï (Belgium)

Best Photography
Ruben Impens - Titane

Best Sound
Mathieu Cox, Corinne Dubien, Thomas Grimm-Landsberg, David Vranken - Playground

Best Set Design
Lisa Etienne – Madly in Life

Best Costumes
Frédérick Denis – Madly in Life

Best Original Music
Vincent Cahay - Adoration [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fabrice du Welz
film profile
]
(Belgium/France)

Best Editing
Nicolas Rumpl - Playground

Best Fiction Short
Sprötch - Xavier Seron

Best Animated Short
On est pas près d’être des super-héros - Lia Bertels

Best Documentary Short
Mother’s - Hippolyte Leibovici

Honorary Magritte
Marion Hänsel

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(Translated from French)

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