Belgium offers film fans much more than Hercule Poirot and the younger Tintin. Here are four brilliant and award winning Belgian short films.

Gridlock by Dirk Beliën (2001) (Belgium) (7m) 15 Certificate

Written by Johan Verschueren, Gridlock (Fait d'hiver) was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003. It is a comic drama in which a businessman stuck in traffic (gridlock) decides to call his wife on his new mobile phone. However, he is told by his little girl that mummy is in the bedroom with 'Uncle Wim'. On hearing this news, our hero gives instructions, which have amusing and tragic consequences.



Flatlife by Jonas Geirnaert (2004) (Belgium) (10m) *

Flatlife is a comical animation from Belgian Jonas Geirnaert. We are given a side view of four rooms that divide up the screen equally and watch as an action in one room has an effect on another. There is also a constant flow between the different flats with what goes around coming around. Flatlife was nominated for the Palme d'Or and won the Jury Prize for best shot film at Cannes in 2004. I do not exactly know why the panda is flyiing despite the TV images.

Butterfly of Love by Nicolas Provost (2003) (4m) (Belgium) *

I will tell anyone who will listen that Kurosawa was the best director there ever was (making only one not great film). Most of Hollywood is indebted to him on some level. So imagine my delight that Belgian filmmaker Nicolas Provost created this mesmerising, reflective montage of Kurosawa's work, Papillon d'Armour (Butterfly of Love), which won an honourable mention at the 2004 Sundance Flim Festival. It falls into the category of experimental but is mesmerising!

Butterfly of Love

Argentine Tangos by Guy Thys (2006) (Belgium) (14m)

Usually known by its original title, Tanghi Argentini, this short film is a beautiful comedy drama from Belgian (of course) filmmaker Guy Thys. It was nominated for the Best Short Oscar as well as winning the Best Foreign Short at the LA Shorts Fest. Full of the Christmas spirit, Tanghi Argentini follows a middle-aged office-worker trying to fulfill his Christmas passion while keeping a snowy-white lie secret. I promise you will thank me for showing it to you!

Argentine Tango
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