EXCLUSIVE: Director Lukas Dhont is to reteam with his Girl co-writer Angelo Tijssens and producer Dirk Impens (The Broken Circle Breakdown) on his next movie, which will be “different but also in the style of Girl.”
“We’re slowly starting to shape and write it,” the director told us about the as-yet untitled project. “It’s going to be different but also in the style of Girl. At the centre of it is a queer character. We’re working on the script and will present it to other parties when it’s ready. It will be a European production, probably in the same languages as Girl.”
Dhont’s Golden Globe-nominated debut feature, about a 15-year-old girl, born in the body of a boy, who dreams of becoming a ballerina, is largely told in Flemish and French.
Impens is the regular collaborator of director Felix van Groeningen whose 2012 drama The Broken Circle Breakdown was Oscar-nominated. The prolific Belgian producer had said in 2017 that he was retiring from the film business but he has confirmed to us that he will be making Dhont’s next film and possibly another by van Groeningen before stepping back.
Girl has been among the most talked about foreign language films of the year. The Belgian drama has also become a lightning rod for the growing discussion over on screen representation.
The movie won four prizes at Cannes including the prestigious Camera d’Or and was subsequently snapped up by Netflix and key arthouse buyers. It went on to score awards at a string of festivals and Dhont won a European Film Award last weekend but it has also experienced stinging criticism from some trans critics and missed the cut on the Foreign Language Oscar shortlist.
We spoke to Dhont last week about his film’s aims, the controversy it has provoked among trans critics and the growing waves of discontent in society over actors and directors taking on subjects they haven’t directly lived.