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Activities - 22/02/2016


Bouli Lanners’ THE FIRST, THE LAST wins Europa Cinemas Berlinale Label


February 19, 2015: THE FIRST, THE LAST (Les Premiers, Les Derniers), directed by Bouli Lanners, has won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European film in the Panorama section, it was announced today by a jury of four exhibitors from the network, the twelfth time the Label has been awarded in Berlin. Bouli Lanners is the first filmmaker to win the Europa Cinemas Label for the second time. His second feature ELDORADO won the Label at the Quinzaine in 2008. THE FIRST, THE LAST will now benefit from promotional support from Europa Cinemas and better exhibition thanks to a financial incentive for network cinemas to include it in their programme schedule.

The jury issued the following statement: “THE FIRST, THE LAST is a quirky arthouse delight, warm-hearted but with darker moments too. Bouli Lanners brings us a kind of European Western. Two hired thugs with hearts of gold embark on an odyssey through a rarely seen rural and industrial France in search of a stolen mobile phone. The film looks great, has a strong script and impressive performances with characters that really develop. The kaleidoscope of strangely eccentric characters is portrayed with real warmth, topped by cameos from Michel Lonsdale and Max von Sydow. We feel this has real potential to please audiences around Europe. We would also like to commend two other films whose artistic quality really struck us – Zrinko Ogresta’s ON THE OTHER SIDE and Aslı Özge’s ALL OF A SUDDEN.”


Sold internationally by Wild Bunch, Bouli Lanners is both director and screenwriter, with Jean-Paul de Zaeytijd as the Cinematographer, Ewin Ryckaert the Editor, music composed by Pascal Humbert, Sound by Marc Bastien and Thomas Gauder, Sound Design by Jean Minondo, Costumes by Elise Ancion and Production Design by Paul Rouschop. Producers are Jacques-Henri Bronckart, Olivier Bronckart and Catherine Bozorgan. The film is a French/Belgian co-production between Versus Production (Belgium) and ADCB Films (France).

Esther and Willy are handicapped. And in love. And on the run. Perhaps from Gilou and Colise, two burly, bearded snoopers in the van who are trying to get a fix on Willy’s mobile phone? Or from the man who calls himself Jesus and has the stigmata on his hands to prove it? Or from the men from a nearby warehouse who are searching for the perpetrator who has violated the wife of their boss? And who is the mummy in the sleeping bag? Set in a sparse European landscape dissected by electricity pylons and roads, Belgian director Bouli Lanners’ film is a weirdly beautifully late western in which roughnecks show their soft side and the fact that two people belong together is symbolised by their wearing of high-vis jackets. Terseness meets love, violence meets faith. Michael Lonsdale cultivates orchids and the incomparable Max von Sydow as a priest sings a farewell song to a corpse. Lanners, who also plays a leading role, directs with a talent for surprise and excitement. The film hides clues about the plot in buildings, cars and in the dialogue. And anyone who thinks they have figured out the story after five minutes is wrong.


Bouli Lanners was born in Moresnet-Chapelle, Belgium in 1965. He studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Liège and first worked as an actor before becoming a film director in 1995. His 2011 film LES GÉANTS (The Giants) screened in the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and also won the Magritte Award for Best Film in Belgium.


The Label Jury consisted of Greta Akcijonaite, Kino Pasaka, Vilnius, Lithuania; Gosia Kuzdra, Kino Muza, Poznan, Poland; Mathias Holtz, Folkets Hus och Parker, Sweden; and Torsten Raab, Puschkino, Halle, Germany.


PR: Charles McDonald:

+44 7785 246 377