The Netherlands, Belgium 2015
The story, which pays great attention to character development, unfolds like a crime thriller that reaches its climax in the Ardennes (in Wallonia, the French-speaking southern region of Belgium). I wanted to explore the theme of loyalty between brothers and friends, with a specific focus on the harsh environment of these individuals. This is also a recurring theme in my previous short films – characters who act according to standards and values that are different from what is considered normal and who live in a world where violence is the solution and drugs are invariably present. I always had a great affinity for people who live at the margins of society and who seek, consciously or not, extremes. Despite the dark source material, the story also has humorous moments, because humour is a part of life: how people nevertheless try to make things bearable by finding humour in all situations, even if it might be out of place.
The complicated love triangle between Dave, Sylvie and Kenneth is central to the plot. It is the main thrust of the story. None of the three characters are happy with where they are right now in their lives and, although it is easy to portray Kenneth as the 'bad guy' of the story, this is not what interests me as a filmmaker. I wanted to explore the grey areas between good and evil and to ask myself why people are the way they are and do what they do. After all, everyone is a cute baby at birth - a blank canvas. The answers to the questions of how Kenneth ends up in jail, whose corpse is in the trunk and why it is there, ensure that the characters are always seen in a different light by the viewer, and that is what I want to achieve.
The collaboration with Jeroen Perceval as co-screenwriter gives unique impetus to the script. The stage play on which the script is based has already proven itself and enjoyed much success. But this screen adaptation, also by Jeroen, has been translated in every way possible into the medium of film. While my short films have always contained a certain element of chaos and frenetic camera work, I wanted to take more time in this film to allow the characters and images to breathe, so to speak, in order to strike relentlessly in the third act, where I close in on the protagonists. From the third act onwards, we are in very dense pinewoods, characterised by a certain isolation and obscurity. Just as the Coen brothers and Tarantino often strike a balance between black humour, suspense and character development, I wanted to convey just as effectively the bleakness that British filmmakers portray so strikingly - an excellent example being Shane Meadows.
Jeroen is not only also the author of the film, he also plays one of the main characters. The nervousness with which he plays is perfect for the character of Dave.
What is also very important is that my three characters all speak the Antwerp dialect, to enhance the naturalness and credibility of the story. It promises to be a dark journey.
2010 - INJURY TIME, short
2008 - PLAN B, short
Cast & Crew
Directed by : Robin Pront
Written by : Jeroen Perceval
Produced by : Bart van Langendonck
Director of Photography : Robrecht Heyvaert
Editor : Alain Dessauvage
Production Design : Geert Paredis
Costume Design : Catherine Van Bree
Hair & Make up Artist : Barbara Bilejic
Composer : Hendrik Willemyns
Main Cast : Jeroen Perceval (Dave)
Nominations and Awards
- EFA Selection 2016