Belgium has selected Omen, the debut feature from rapper-turned-filmmaker Baloji, as its entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the 2024 Oscars.
The pic, which debuted in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes 2023, follows Koffi, a young Congolese man who — after spending years living in Belgium — returns to his birthplace of Kinshasa to confront the intricacies of his family and culture.
A Belgian-Dutch-Congolese-French-South African co-production, Omen picked up the New Vision Award at Cannes. Starring is Marc Zinga, best known for his work with the Dardenne brothers alongside Lucie Debay, Eliane Umuhire, Yves-Marina Gnahoua, and Marcel Otete Kabeya.
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The film is set for a theatrical release in Belgium on November 15. Pan Distribution is the French distributor, while Memento International is handling world sales. Production companies are Special Touch Studios, Wrong Men, New Amsterdam Film Company, Tosala Films, RadicalMedia, Serendipity Films, and Big World Cinema.
Belgium’s Oscar pick last year was Lukas Dhont’s Cannes-winning title Close. The film debuted in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Prix in a tie with Claire Denis’s Stars at Noon. Close was produced by Michiel Dhont and Dirk Impens for Menuet and co-produced by Diaphana, Topkapi Films, and Versus Productions. After being shortlisted, the film was eventually nominated in the category alongside Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front (Germany), Santiago Mitre’s Argentina, 1958 (Argentina), Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO (Poland), and The Quiet Girl by Colm Bairéad (Ireland).
Here’s the list of category submissions so far:
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