Belgian director Lukas Dhont’s Close, which explores the fragile world of childhood bonds in his second feature, has been chosen by Belgium as its contender for best international feature at the 2023 Academy Awards.
The drama, starring Eden Dambrine and Gustave De Waele, won the Grand Prix trophy at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was one of the highest profile films in competition. Close sees main characters Léo and Rémi as 13-year-old best friends with a seemingly unbreakable bond that suddenly and tragically breaks apart.
Close is the follow-up for Dhont to Girl, which won the Camera d’Or for best debut feature in Cannes in 2018. That film portrayed a young trans woman who wants to dance on pointe with the other girls. Girl won another three Cannes trophies that year — the FIPRESCI film critics honor, the Un Certain Regard best performance trophy for lead Victor Polster, and the Queer Palm for best LGBTQ movie.
Close, a coming-of-age tale that Dhont co-wrote with Angelo Tijssens, also stars Emilie Dequenne, Kevin Janssens, Igor Van Dessel, Marc Weiss, Léa Drucker, Marc Weiss and Leon Bataille. Mubi acquired Dhont’s Cannes competition winner, which also played in Telluride, for the U.K., Ireland, Latin America, Turkey and India.
The Match Factory is handling international sales.