Oscar 2007: Belgium's Nominee is Ben X

September 14, 2007–Ben X,” the debut feature of Nic Balthazar, has been selected as Belgium's entry for the foreign language Oscar.

The Flemish-language drama was unanimously selected by a jury of Belgian film professionals, drawn from across the country's Flemish and French speaking communities. This follows its success at the Montreal Film Festival, where it received the top jury and public prizes.

The film tells the story of autistic teen Ben
(Greg Timmermans) whose withdrawn personality at school contrasts with his warrior persona in on-line fantasy videogames. Pressure from two school bullies leads to blurring of his two worlds.

Balthazar is best known as a film critic and presenter of cultural programs on Flemish TV. Before the movie, he told the story of “Ben X” in a novel and a stage play.

Produced by MMG in Belgium, in collaboration with Belgian public TV station Een and BosBros in the Netherlands, “Ben X” has found several foreign distributors since its Montreal success. It opens in Belgium on Sept. 26.