• Film

Belgian Female Film Director/Authors Eva Kupper and Fien Troch

Female Pioneer, author/ director Eva Kupper is a powerful documentary maker in Belgium, who has worked throughout her career with multiple European productions. Like many Belgian talents, Küpper graduated in 2009 from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Gent with Whatʼs in a Name, a feature-length documentary that won several prestigious prizes, including the IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary in 2010. Another, Gardenia Before the Last Curtain Falls, tells the inspiring story of aging drag queens on one last tour won the Special Jury Prize at Hot Docs FF 2014.

In 2021 Dark Rider was received with great claim. A stunning cinematic documentary film that was set in Australia and tells the incredible story about a blind motorcycle Champion who wants to become the fastest blind motorcyclist in the world on an Australian salt flat. Küpper worked six years on Dark Rider and received an Ensor nomination in her home country Belgium. 


Küpper recently directed her latest documentary Big Waves Will Rise Us, a touching story that highlights what it’s like to live not only with a physical disability but also a psychological vulnerability as a young person. The film follows a 20-year-old Belgian adaptive surfer who battled for over a decade with aggressive Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and made the bold decision to have her leg amputated.

Another strong female talent from Flanders Belgium is Flemish auteur/ director Fien Troch who in 2016 won the best director award at the Venice Film Festival in the Horizons section for her drama Home, a beautiful story about troubled adolescents. Now, six years later, Troch is putting the final touches to her next adventure, her new feature Holly. Holly was presented as a work in progress at Belgians annual industry event Connext in Antwerp where a line up for new films and TV dramas that are made in Flanders and Brussels were showcased. Holly tells its tale in the aftermath of a big school fire, where a teenage 15-year-old girl gets treated by a traumatized community in mourning as a savior with a special talent to heal.

Perhaps most interesting to note is that the talented Troch is working for the first time with the adored double Palme d’Or winners the Dardenne brothers and their company, Les Films Du Fleuve, as a co-producer.  “I’ve known them for a long time before this collaboration. They are very picky in the projects they choose. The fact they read the script and were very enthusiastic was already step one. If they don’t like a script, they just will not do it,” said Troch to the VAF during Connext. “They had remarks which were very useful but I don’t think they felt they should correct me.”

As for being viewed as part of a new Belgian wave of filmmakers alongside Lukas Dhont (who just recently received an Oscar nomination for his film Close) and Felix van Groningen, Troch had this to say: “Belgian cinema is not very comparable. That’s the nice thing. Belgium is a very electric country…but it wouldn’t feel as if I lose any of my identity being in that group. If you’re in a group of quality, you are just happy you are in that group,” she says.