Directed by Lukas Dhont
Belgium, The Netherlands, 2018
Duration 105 minutes
Screenplay: Lukas Dhont, Angelo Tijssens
Cinematography: Frank van den Eeden
Music: Valentin Hadjadj
Editing: Alain Dessauvage
Cast: Victor Polster (Lara), Arieh Worthalter (Mathias), Katelijne Damen (dr. Naert), Valentijn Dhaenens (dr. Pascal), Oliver Bodart (Milo), Tijmen Govaerts (Lewis), Magali Elali (Christine), Alice de Broqueville (Loïs), Alain Honorez (Alain), Chris Thys (Hannah), Angelo Tijssens (Hendricks), Marie-Louise Wilderijckx (Marie-Louise), Virginia Hendricksen (Alain's assistant)
Festivals, awards (selection)
Cannes 2018 (Best Debut Film, Queen Palm, Un Certain Regard – Best Actor Award), Sydney 2018, Karlovy Vary 2018, Jerusalem 2018, Ghent 2018
The first feature from Belgian director Lukas Dhont enraptured the Cannes Festival audiences with its story about a transgender girl training to become a ballerina.
15-year-old Lara is committed to becoming a professional ballerina. Determinedly pursuing her goal, Lara moves to a new city with her family to study at one of Belgium’s most famous dance academies. With the support of her father, she throws herself into this quest for the absolute at the new school. Lara’s adolescent frustrations and impatience are exacerbated when she realises her body does not bend so easily to the strict discipline because she was born a boy.
"In 2009, I read an article in a Belgian newspaper about a young girl, born in a boy's body, who wanted nothing more than to become a ballerina. The story immediately struck me and I kept thinking about it and going back to it for ages. I fell in love with this girl. To me she was an example of courage and I said to myself: if I make a first feature I want it to be about her." (Lukas Dhont)