RIVERS RETURN (12', Belgium / Slovenia, 2011)

Screening: Fr, 13 Dec., Studio Cinema, 9:00pm

Mixing stunning violin music, symbolic choreography and images of constant motion and ephemerality, RIVERS RETURN is a powerful emotional experience, an almost magical allegory of life shown as a continuous, ever-transforming flow of events. If the constraints of time are proven to be unreal, with past, present and future constantly intermingling, time’s burden becomes ever more concrete. Caught in a race with no discernible destination, the characters hastily move about, trapping themselves in suits and then evading, taking a lifetime to find love. This visual essay of people’s shared destiny awakens the viewer’s realization of transience, of a life passing as quickly as water in the riverbed. (Diana Mereoiu, BIEFF 2013)



Cast: Eva Bar Ravnikar, Radomir Milosevic, Lidija Iskric

Screenplay: Joe Vanhoutteghem

Cinematography: Nicolas Karakatsanis

Editing: Dieter Diependaele

Producer: Eurydice Gysel, Saskia Verboven, Delphine Dewitte

Production: Czar.be


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Eurydice Gysel





JOE VANHOUTTEGHEM began as an animation director of commercials and TV titles. This last decade, he has evolved into an SFX films specialist. His distinguished style, and taste for the surreal has won him the CCB Film director award for 2 consecutive years. In 2009, VANHOUTTEGHEM received the Best Director Silver Lion Award at Cannes Lions, for the commercial SWIMMING POOL, a film about child abuse. He also works as a directing team under the name of Lionel Goldstein together with Koen Mortier. With this project, the two decided to follow a different path from that which each of them had established individually. With the absurd, near documentary style that they adopt, Lionel almost immediately won international prizes – the Golden Lion Prize at the Cannes Advertising Festival in 2002 and 2003, and the BTAA Best Director Award.



Locarno International Film Festival 2012

Abu Dhabi International Film Festival 2012

Warsaw International Film Festival 2013

Brussels Film Festival 2012

New York City Shot Film Festival 2012


“Some people are struggling to fit in, to go with the flow. Others are fighting to stand out. Who wants to be in a rat race that leaves no room for personality? The fact is: we never get any younger, no matter how much we buy into the illusion. In the end there’s only a painful cycle of disappointment. The film started as part of a project for my favourite TV station (Arte) to make short leaders to run in between programs. I came up with all kinds of images where people went through transitions. Then I found I wanted to tie all these fragments together with a work of fiction, a kind of looped world that lets the viewer discover that everything is connected.” (JOE VANHOUTTEGHEM)



“By use of camera movements the director assembles a visual experiment that plays with the notion of illusion and connectedness between people. The wonderful music of Ólafur Arnalds forms a kind of hypnotic soundscape, a dreamy and playful atmosphere. Because the experience takes precedence over the narrative, the visual part creates a certain friction with the music, which is still and quiet while the images sometimes play at a faster pace. RIVERS RETURN's greatest strength is ultimately in the splendor of the images that are conjured up on the screen. These images exude a lot of atmosphere and are a true feast for the eyes.” (Jeroen Van Rossem)

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