• Interviews

Lukas Dhont, Belgian Filmmaker – Golden Globes Around the World Podcast

When Belgian filmmaker Lukas Dhont won the 2018 Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard prize for his trans-female ballet dancer film debut, Girl, he couldn’t have imagined four years later he would be back – not just showing his second film, Close, but taking home the Grand Prize.

“When I heard that the Cannes film festival wanted to put this film in competition among many directors that I deeply admire, like Kelly Reichardt, Claire Denis, and David Cronenberg, I was in an Airbnb in Amsterdam and I jumped around for 25 minutes straight and then called my mother and shouted into the phone!” the writer-director told fellow Belgian colleague, HFPA member Greet Ramaekers, in our “Golden Globes Around the World” podcast. “I’ve known that I wanted to make films since I was 12 years old, so to then end up in a competition with a film that you made, it’s surreal.”

Close, which also went on to win the top prize at the Sydney Film Festival, follows the friendship of two 13-year-old boys, Leo and Rémi, the latter of which commits suicide. 

The podcast episode comes as Pride Month ends in the U.S., and the openly gay filmmaker hopes the film’s themes around masculinity and not belonging will provoke more conversation. “It’s about that idea of what we expect of men or of a friendship between men and how we allow the space they’re in to be fluid or flexible”, he explains. “I think they are themes that queer people have been very confronted by, so there are many themes related to queer subjects.”