Alabama Monroe broken circle breakdown

"Breakdown" reps Belgium in the Oscar's Foreign-language race

PARIS– Felix van Groeningen’s romance drama “The Broken Circle Breakdown” (“Alabama Monroe”), which reps Belgium in the Oscar’s foreign-language race, has snatched up the Lux Award, a nod handed out by the European Parliament.

The Lux award, voted on by the 766 members of the European Parliament, will allows”Breakdown” to receive promotional support. The nod, launched in 2007, rewards  films that address contempo political and social issues.

Penned by van Groeningen and Carl Joos and adapted from Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels’ play, the Flemish-language pic turns on a love affair between a tattoo artist (Veerle Baetens, “The White Queen”) and a bluegrass musician (Johan Heldenbergh). The couple’s passionate relationship is put to test when their daughter is diagnosed with Leukemia.

Sold by The Match Factory, the pic has been a box office success in Europe since world-preeming at Berlin, where it won the Panorama Audience award. “Breakdown” went on to nab the screenplay kudo at Tribeca, and nine Ensor awards (including film, director, actress and music) in Belgium. “Breakdown” also competed for the People’s Choice prize at the European Film Awards, where the film’s star, Baetens, took home the best actress nod.

“Breakdown” beat out two other critically-acclaimed pics: Clio Barnard’s “The Selfish Giant,” which opened at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight and just won the top nod at Stockholm, and Valeria Golino’s “Miele,” which bowed at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard and nabbed the Ecumenical jury prize.

All three films – “Breakdown,” Giant” and “Miele” — were translated in 24 European languages and played in 40 cities across the 28 E.U. member states, as part of the Lux Film Days. The trio will now vie for the Public Mention prize at Karlovy Vary.

“Breakdown” was produced by Dirk Impens at Menuet and was backed by Flanders Audiovisual Fund. Tribeca Film released it in the U.S. on Nov. 1.

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