Altaplana, world of Francois Schuiten and Benoit Peeters

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Van Dormael, Jaco


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).

Jaco van Dormael worked together with François Schuiten on both Toto le héros as Mr. Nobody. From 2016 until 2019 they worked together with Thomas Gunzig and Laurent Durieux on a tribute album of Blake and Mortimer called Le Dernier Pharaon.

Also Jaco Van Dormael and Thomas Gunzig worked together before in 2013 and 2014 when they wrote the script for Van Dormaels film Le Tout Nouveau Testament.

Jaco van Dormael looks a lot like Edgard in the Schuiten album La Douce.

Interview by Parlez-vous Cinéma? 4) with Jaco van Dormael at Rendez-Vous de la Bande Dessinée d'Amiens.