short by Leonardo Van Dijl

After winning her first international title, an 11-year-old gymnast experiences both new pressures and a new degree of self-awareness. The more recognition she gets, the more she realizes that the game only has begun.


Stephanie smiles as she's applauded by the crowd. The 11-year old gymnast jus won her first title. Her coach Patricia embraces her as they both admire the gold metal they have worked so hard for. The girl is crushed with attention, everybody wants to have a picture with her and expresses their high hopes. But the more recognition she gets, the more she realises that the game has only begun. 

'Stephanie' by Leonardo Van Dijl is part of the Official Short Film Competition of the 73rd Cannes Festival. The festival announced that the film will be screened later this fall in attendance of the jury. 

Leonardo Van Dijl closes his trilogy of short films with 'Stephanie', after his previous films 'Get ripped' and 'Umpire', that all investigate complex relationships in a sport arena. Van Dijl won the VAF Wildcard in 2015 with his graduation short 'Umpire', about a fourteen-year-old tennis talent and her coach. He then made 'Stephanie' with this VAF Wildcard, mentored by Fien Troch ('Home') and produced by De Wereldvrede. He is currently also in development of his feature film debut in collaboration with De Wereldvrede.

The film stars debuting actrice Charlotte Verwimp and Sofie Decleir ('The Day') as her coach. Daniel Bouquet ('Sound of Metal') acted as DoP and Ludo Troch ('Daens') edited the film. The sound was provided by Yanna Soentjens, hair & make-up by Michelle Beeckman, costumes by Ellen Blereau and the art direction executed by Silke De Rycke.

'Stephanie' was written and directed by Leonardo Van Dijl and produced by Gilles Coulier, Gilles De Schryver and Wouter Sap for De Wereldvrede. The film was supported by The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF). The festival distribution is handled  by Wouter Jansen of Square Eyes and Polish New Europe Film Sales is taking care of the international sales. #stephanieshortfilm


written & directed by Leonardo Van Dijl

produced by Gilles Coulier, Gilles De Schryver & Wouter Sap

line producer Roxanne Sarkozi

with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF)

supported by Belgian Tax Shelter, Flanders Film Funding, deAuteurs

sales New Europe Film Sales

festival distribution Square Eyes - Wouter Jansen

PR & Promotion Post Bills - Riema Reybrouck

DOP Daniël Bouquet

editor Ludo Troch

art director Silke De Rycke

costume designer Ellen Blereau

hair & makeup Michelle Beeckman

sound engineer Yanna Soentjens

sound designer Boris Debackere

music by Marc Grauwels


Stephanie cast

Stephanie crew

Stephanie stills

Awards & nominations

Cannes International Film Festival2020
San Sebastian International Film Festival2020
Toronto International Film Festival2020
Moscow International Film Festival2020
Festival de Cine de Alcalá de Henares2020
Best Short Film at Festival Internacional de Cortometrajes de Aguilar de Campoo2020
Ensor for Best Short Film2021