Belgian playground bullying drama wins at London Film Festival

Belgian playground bullying drama wins at London Film Festival
Credit: Lumière

Playground (original title ‘Un Monde’), the first feature film by Belgian director Laura Wandel, was awarded the top prize in the First Feature Competition at the London Film Festival (BFI) on Sunday, distribution company Lumière announced in a statement.

“I’m very proud to see that the film crosses the language border and that it can reach an English-speaking audience”, the director said, Belga News Agency reports.

The film tells the story of Nora, who is confronted with the bullying of her older brother Abel when she begins school. The handling of schoolyard bullying through the eyes of the young girl makes it “arguably one of the best films ever made about childhood; without doubt, one of the most gripping, and lucidly truthful,” BFI explains.

“It’s an intimate film that everyone can identify with and connect with, and yet has a striking and singular voice, with a courageous commitment to its vision,” Isabel Sandoval, First Feature Competition president, said of the movie.

“It has a visceral ability to capture beautifully and clearly how we are shaped by our experiences, and through an insular setting shows us a microcosm for the human condition, laying bare the power dynamics of people.”

The movie has already won over audiences at other festivals, winning the Fipresci Prize for International Film Critics in the “Un Certain Regard” at Cannes. The film also won awards in Guanajuato, Ourense and Sarajevo and is nominated for the European Film Awards.

The Belgian premiere was held on Saturday at the Ghent Film Festival. It will be released in cinemas on 20 October.

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