Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Isabelle Tollenaere | Belgium, USA 2020 | 75 Min. | OmeU
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In the desert of Southern California lies California City, planned in the 1950s to rival Los Angeles in size and population. A few settlements, faded street signs, and streets drawn in the sand remind us of the mega-city that was never completed. Against this abstract backdrop, we meet Lashay, who left his turbulent past in L.A. behind and moved here with his family to make a fresh start.
In metaphorical collages, VICTORIA conveys a dystopian and bizarre insight into the lives of the few inhabitants of this forgotten city, where Lashay takes us into his forays through the semi-wilderness.
Directors, Editors: Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Isabelle Tollenaere
Producer: Dimitri Verbeeck
Cinematographer: Isabelle Tollenaere
Sound: Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Kwinten Van Laethem, Lashay Warren, Annelies Van Dinter
Colour Grading: Olivier Ogneux
Screenings and Awards
Berlin IFF 2020 – Forum – Caligari Award, Indie Lisboa – TVCine Award, Olhar de Cinema – Special Jury Award, Open City London – Open City Award, PlayDoc – Best Play Doc Picture, Beldocs – Special Jury Mention, Docville – Best Belgian Film, Jean Rouch IFF – Award for Anthropology, Belfort IFF, Kasseler Doc Fest, San Francisco DFF, FICUNAM, ARICA DOC CHILE, Big Sky IDFF,
Sofie Benoot lives and works in Brussels. Her films are patchworks of different stories, which are carefully puzzled together to reveal hidden connections. Fronterismo (2007), Blue Meridian (2010), and Desert Haze (2014) played at internationally renowned film festivals such as Visions du Réel, Camden International Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Doclisboa, and BAFICI. She teaches at LUCA School of Arts in Brussels.
Liesbeth de Ceulaer is a Belgian independent filmmaker based in Brussels, whose films explore the tense and complex relationship between man and his environment. These cinematic explorations lead us into captivating worlds, in which documentary and fiction are in continuous exchange. The Best Act on the Isle (2008) and Behind the Redwood Curtain (2013) has been shown on film festivals such as Docville (B.E., Jury Prize Best Belgian Documentary), Hamptons International Film Festival (USA), Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (USA), GIFF (KOR), Ânûû-rû Âboro – Festival International du Cinéma du Peuple (N.C.).
Isabelle Tollenaere is an independent filmmaker from Belgium, making short and feature-length films that playfully move between the codes and conventions of documentary and fiction, film, and contemporary art. Her work deals with the connections between the current shifts in reality and the memory of the past. Recent titles include Viva Paradis (2011, short), Battles (2015, feature-length), and The Remembered Film (2018, short). Her films have been widely presented, amongst others at IFFR (Fipresci award 2015), Centre Pompidou, Viennale, Visions Du Réel, FID Marseille, IDFA, CPH:DOX, 25FPS (Grand Jury Prize 2018), EMAF, Dokufest Kosovo, Ji.hlava, and many others.