Broken Circle Breakdown: Belgian Oscar Nominee

The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium’s acclaimed love story by director Felix van Groeningen, was nominated today for the Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

Produced by Dirk Impens and starring Veerle Baetens and Johan Heldenbergh, The Broken Circle Breakdown is Belgium’s seventh Oscar nomination in this category. The film is currently being released theatrically in the U.S. by Tribeca Film.

The Broken Circle Breakdown has gathered international acclaim, leading the European Film Awards with five nominations, with Veerle Baetens taking home the Best Actress award. It was honored with the Panorama Audience Award at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, the Best Actress and Best Screenplay awards at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, and this past weekend won the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year at the 2014 Palm Springs International Film Festival.  The film was also recognized as Best Foreign Language Film by the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association.
The Broken Circle Breakdown is a portrait of the great love affair between tattoo artist Elise (Baetens, “The White Queen”) and bluegrass musician Didier (Heldenbergh). After bonding over their shared passion for American music and culture, they dive headfirst into a sweeping romance that plays out on and off stage — but when an unexpected tragedy hits their new family, everything they know and love is tested. Heldenbergh co-wrote the hit play that The Broken Circle Breakdown is based on. It was adapted for the screen by van Groeningen with Carl Joos (The Memory of a Killer).
The film’s composer, Bjorn Eriksson, weaves together a soundtrack of both existing bluegrass songs and new arrangements, which deepens the understanding of the characters’ inner lives. The album has become the best-selling soundtrack of all time in Belgium and is available on digital platforms in the U.S. Lead actors Veerle Baetens and Johan Heldenbergh perform their own songs and are part of the off-screen Broken Circle Breakdown Bluegrass Band, whose European tour is sold out through 2014.
“This is a truly exciting moment for Felix, Dirk, Veerle, Johan and the Belgian filmmaking community,” said Geoff Gilmore, Tribeca’s Chief Creative Officer. “This is a great recognition for a film that really deserves the Academy’s attention and we hope it will be a gateway to new audiences to discover the film.”
Tribeca Film began the film’s theatrical release on November 1, 2013. Starting February 4, 2014 The Broken Circle Breakdown will be released via on demand platforms, making it available in more than 50 million homes in the U.S. through a variety of video-on-demand offerings, as well as iTunes, Amazon Watch Instantly, VUDU, Xbox, Google Play and YouTube. A DVD release will follow on March 11, 2014.
About the director
Felix van Groeningen’s previous film, The Misfortunates, was a selection of the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight where it won the CICAE Award. This year Variety selected van Groeningen as one of “10 European Directors to Watch.” He is represented by Jay Baker of CAA and Eryn Brown of 360 Management.