August 2021, distribution news

"Victoria"

by Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer & Isabelle Tollenaere

Over the course of two years in California City, a huge, eerie planned city in the desert that is cut off from Los Angeles by a mountain range, Victoria unfolds, en passant, a city map that eludes orientation: we see time passing, sandy streets being tended to, kids on their way to school and hanging out. Out of documentary images and phone videos taken by Warren, the protagonist, virtual views and a voiceover of his diary entries, an image of the city and a city of images are formed in parallel. The construction of reality becomes visible here, as does its potential for the poetic: a turtle race in the desert sand, fountains that gush from burst pipes, memories of Los Angeles surfacing during a virtual stroll with Google Maps, black holes as gateways to another galaxy.

Watch the Trailer and get more information on the Berlinale film homepage

Winner of the Caligari Film Award 2020 at the Berlinale Forum.

The Directors' statement: Adventurers, gold seekers, stranded people
It started with an anecdote, a story picked up somewhere. About a city in a desert, California City, which hadn’t fulfilled its promise (yet) to become the third largest city in California. Driven by curiosity to this unfinished place, we ended up there together and found ourselves going back regularly during four years. In search of what our film might become, in this place always coming into being. We met countless people, stranded in California City. People who started over, seekers of gold and fortune.
That’s how Lashay came across our path by chance, or better still, how we walked onto his, and we hit it off immediately. Even though we don't share the same background, there and then we shared the same place and a bond developed. A commitment rose because of the temporarily shared space, as well as a mutual fascination for and empathy towards each other, and the longing to make a film together.
read more on the Berlinale Forums page

Sofie Benoot was born in Bruges, Belgium in 1985. In 2007, she completed a master’s degree in Audiovisual Arts, specialising in documentary film, at the LUCA School of Arts in Brussels. She now teaches there.

Liesbeth De Ceulaer was born in Diest, Belgium in 1985. She studied Audiovisual Arts, specialising in documentary film, at the LUCA School of Arts in Brussels.

Isabelle Tollenaere was born in Gent, Belgium in 1984. In 2007, she earned a master’s degree in Audiovisual Arts, specialising in documentary film, at the LUCA School of Arts in Brussels.

VICTORIA
Belgium 2020,  Running time: 71 Min. Language: English. Language Version: OV with German subtitles. Directed by Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Isabelle Tollenaere. Montage: Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Isabelle Tollenaere. Camera: Isabelle Tollenaere. Music: Lashay Warren, Annelies Van Dinter. Sound Design: Kwinten Van Laethem. Sound: Liesbeth De Ceulaer. With Lashay T. Warren, Sharleece Bourne, Mark Martinez, Ernest Dove, Markiece Glover, Elliot Lacey. Production: Bo De Group. Production Company: Caviar (Mechelen, Belgien).

Theatrical releae: September 2, 2021 accompanied by the Caligari Film Award tour

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