The Flemish film Girl, the feature debut by Lukas Dhont, has received the Sutherland Award for best debut feature at the London Film Festival. The film also picked up the public’s prize at the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon festival in Pingyao in China. This was only the second edition of the festival.
According to the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF), this is the second time the Sutherland Award has been given to a Belgian feature. The previous winner was L’Homme au crâne rasé (The Man with the Shaven Head) by André Delvaux in 1966.
Dhont was present in London, together with actor Arieh Worthalter, to receive the award.
Girl opened in Belgian cinemas last week, following a short preview season in Ghent which attracted 90,000 visitors. The film also finished the week in third place at the box office in Paris. The premiere took place at the Cannes film festival earlier in the year, where it was awarded the Caméra d’Or for a first film. It is also this year’s Oscar entry from Belgium.
The film is based on a true story, about a teenager born a boy, but who longs for a career as a ballerina.