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