Jaco Van Dormael (born 9 February 1957) is a Belgian film director, screenwriter and playwright. His complex and critically acclaimed films are especially noted for their respectful and sympathetic portrayal of people with mental and physical disabilities 1).
Van Dormael spent his childhood travelling around Europe, before going on to study filmmaking at the INSAS in Brussels, where he wrote and directed his first short film, Maedeli la brèche (1981), which received the Honorary Foreign Film Award at the Student Academy Awards. Van Dormael's feature debut, Toto le héros (1991), was an immediate hit and won the Caméra d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2).
Five years later Van Dormael was among the prizes again at Cannes with Le huitième jour (1996), when his two leading actors, Daniel Auteuil and Pascal Duquenne, were jointly awarded the prize for Best Actor. His third feature film, Mr. Nobody (2009), received further critical acclaim and many accolades, winning six Magritte Awards, including Best Film and Best Director 3).