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CZAR FILM & TV

BELGIUM

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EURYDICE GYSEL

Managing Partner & Executive Producer

info@czar.be

www.czar.be

COMPANY PROFILE

CZAR FILM & TV is the fiction department of the international acclaimed production company CZAR BE. It produces and coproduces feature films, quality short films and series. The department focuses on author driven and visual films with the emphasis on innovation within an international and European frame and network. The goal is to create a platform for defiant directors and to export Belgian talent. The division is managed by producer Eurydice Gysel and producer/director Koen Mortier.

In 2006 and 2008, ‘Ex Drummer’ and ‘22nd of May’, two feature films by Koen Mortier, were produced by CZAR. Both movies enjoyed an extensive festival career. Afterwards CZAR FILM & TV produced the feature film ‘Waste Land’ by Pieter Van Hees (world premiere in Toronto (TIFF)), the creative documentary ‘Standby Painter’ by Amir Yatziv and Guy Slabbinck (Visions du Réel Nyon), the feature film ‘Angel’ by Koen Mortier (Opening Film Festival Ostend, TIFF) and the first feature film of Kenneth Mercken, ‘Coureur’ (Ghent & IFFR). 
The production company also produced the short films ‘A Gentle Creature’, ‘Rivers Return’, ‘Perfect Drug’, ‘Playing Away from Home’, ‘Feel Sad for the Bunny’, ‘Homesick’ and ‘Her Voice’, several of which premiered on international A-list film festivals. CZAR FILM & TV also co-produced ‘Borgman’ (in competition in Cannes) and ‘Schneider vs. Bax’ (Locarno), both directed by Alex van Warmerdam, ‘Supernova’ by Tamar van den Dop (Generation Berlinale 2014), ‘L'étrange couleur des larmes de ton corps’ by Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (Locarno & TIFF), the documentary ‘Doel’ by Frederik Sølberg and the short film ‘Vihta’ by François Bierry.
In the meantime, there were also a number of interesting and intensive collaborations with the BBC, such as the series ‘The White Queen’ and two seasons of the successful series ‘The Missing’ (nominations for The Golden Globes, People's Choice Awards, BAFTA TV Awards and many other prizes). Currently the spin-off series of ‘The Missing’, ‘Baptiste’, is in post-production. The 6-piece costume drama ‘Les Misérables’ - also in collaboration with BBC - with Dominic West, David Oyelowo and Lily Collins will be released on BBC in January 2019.

CZAR FILM & TV is currently developing 2 new projects: ‘True Biker’, the first feature film by Lieven Van Baelen and ‘Skunk’ (after Geert Taghon), a new feature film by Koen Mortier.

Eurydice Gysel

Managing Partner & Executive Producer

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

 

ANGEL 2018

Format:            Feature film

Genre:             Drama

Director:          Koen Mortier

Screenplay:     Koen Mortier

Cast:                Vincent Rottiers, Fatou N'Diaye, Paul Bartel, Aïcha Cissé

 

Angel follows the encounter of a prostitute, Fae, and a world-famous athlete, Thierry. During his vacation in Senegal, he falls head over heels for the African beauty. They find dignity and hope with each other in order to get out of their troublesome situations.


But more important than these mutual desires, they found love. Until, later in the evening, Thierry starts behaving strangely, under the influence of substances. Fae is forced to leave him but when she discovers that Thierry has passed away the next morning, she's arrested despite her innocence. To move on with her life, she must return to the place where it all started.
Director Koen Mortier wanted to portray the world, dreams and fears of Fae and the story of what she goes through meeting the world class cyclist. In a way they lead similar lives: both have to give the best of themselves and their bodies to delight fans or clients. 'Angel' is based on the acclaimed novel Monologue of Someone Accustomed to Talking to Herself by renowned Belgian author Dimitri Verhulst (The Misfortunates). 

Toronto International Film Festival, Filmfestival Oostende, Film by the Sea, Nederlands Film Festival, Parool Film Fest,Warsaw Film Festival, Leiden International Film Festival, Pöff - Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, AFI European Union Film Showcase, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Glasgow Film Festival,  Istanbul Film Festival

 

 

COUREUR 2019

Format:            Feature film

Genre:             Drama

Director:          Kenneth Mercken

Screenplay:     Kenneth Mercken, Monica Stan

Cast:                Niels Willaerts, Koen De Graeve, Karlijn Sileghem, Fortunato Cerlino, Nicola Rignanese 

 

‘COUREUR’ follows the struggles, glory and dreams of a young 'flandrien' cyclist who will do whatever it takes to succeed, no matter the consequences for himself and those around him.
Felix Vereecke grows up as an insider at his father’s veteran league cycling races, an outlandish milieu with no shortage of alcohol, violence, and prohibited substances. He wants to become a pro no matter what, like his father Mathieu, who seeks to fulfil his own failed dreams of cycling glory. As an adult, Felix turns out to be incredibly gifted. When he becomes national junior champion, he follows his own path towards the promised land of youth cycling: Italy. The merciless competition and his feeble health, however, threaten to become his downfall.
‘Coureur’ is inspired by director Kenneth Mercken’s own turbulent past as a talented cyclist. Kenneth also grew up among the frames and the smell of leg cream. But it took a while before he really got serious about cycling. In 2000, he won the national championship for elite riders without a contract. Later, while on the payroll of an Italian team, he discovered that his body couldn’t cope with all the hardships of the sport and the sacrifices he had to make in order to reach his goal. He turned his back on his childhood dream and enrolled in film school. The script for 'Coureur' was selected for Binger Writers Lab, Script & Pitch TorinoFilmLab, the coproductionplatform of Les Arcs, and Kenneth Mercken received the Emerging Talent Award in 2014 at the When East Meets West. The project also won the Pitch Perfect Award at Flanders Next 2016.

Film Fest Gent, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Göteborg Film Festival, Festival International du Film de Mons, Sport Film Festival Rotterdam

 

 

LES MISERABLES  2018

(A co-production)

Format:            TV-series

Genre:             Drama / History / Romance

Director:         Tom Shankland

Screenplay:     Andrew Davies

Cast:                Dominic West, David Oyelowo, Lily Collins

            

Television adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel which follows Jean Valjean as he evades capture by the unyielding Inspector Javert. Set against a backdrop of post-Napoleonic France as unrest begins to grip the city of Paris once more.

BAPTISTE  2019

(A co-production)

Format:            TV-series

Genre:             Crime / Drama / Thriller

Director:         Jan Matthys & Börkur Sigþórsson

Screenplay:     Jack & Harry Williams

Cast:                Tchéky Karyo, Tom Hollander & Talisa Garcia

            

Julien Baptiste is staying in Amsterdam where his daughter has recently had a child. Forever under their feet and restless he is invited to meet up with an old flame, Martha Horchner, chief of police in Amsterdam. But this isn’t a lunch to catch up on old times, she wants his help to find a missing girl, Natalie, the niece of an Englishman, Edward Stratton. She believes the case is connected to a Romanian sex trafficking gang. It’s vital that they find her.

Julien meets up with Edward and they begin their search but it’s not long before Julien realises that all is not as it seems. Why does nobody want to talk about the missing girl? Who is the man following Celia, Julien’s wife? What is the connection between the case and the transsexual brothel where the owner has sent someone to follow them? Who is the mysterious woman, Kim Vogel, who helps the sex industry girls and tells them that Natalie has run away to Germany? As Julien starts to uncover some of the truths behind the lies, he realises there is more to this case than meets the eye. By the time Baptiste becomes aware of the danger that he has been drawn into, Julien’s own family is in danger and Julien is caught in a trap.

Baptiste is a nail-biting ride full of twists and turns where nothing is as it seems.