Les Soeurs Lumière

10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 Mei/Mai/May 20:00
11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23 Mei/Mai/May 18:00
Duur/Durée/Duration: 28'
Wereldpremière/Première mondiale/Worldpremière

Fascinated by astronomy and close encounters of a third kind, Karen Vanderborght has scripted a fable about light and its mysteries. "Without it, there wouldn't be images!". Two friends, Stella and Lucia, who know each other only through their correspondence, are separated by death. The surviving friend drives off at night, heading for Belgium of the twinkling motorways, searching for the missing body of her friend. With an empty heart, she drives, seen by a strange eye, the camera watching her. It is a journey from the half-light to brightness, interspersed with luminescence, a road between what is real and what lies beyond it - an obsessive search.

Scenario, regie/Scénario, réalisation/Script, direction: Karen Vanderborght
Acteurs/Actors: Valerie Mannaerts (Lucia), Pilar Arcas (Stem/Voix/Voice Lucia), Viviane De Munck (Stem/Voix/Voice moeder Lucia), Mathilde Beriot (Stella kind/enfant/child), Wendy Van Humbeeck (Stella engel/ange/angel & Stem/Voix/Voice Stella))
Fotografie/Photographie/Photography: Ruben Impens
Montage/Montage/Editing: Octavio Iturbe & Karen Vanderborght
Muziek/Musique/Music: Thomas Köner & Roland Kentrup
Decor/Décor/Set: Agnes Vermeiren
Geluid/Son/Sound: Werner Matheus, Karen Vanderborght
Regieassistent/Assistant à la mise en scène/First Assistant: Kim Wyns
Opnameleiding/Régie/Location Manager: Barbara Lenssens
Electro's/Electriciens/Electricians: Dries Engels, David Oeyen
Copywriting voice-overs: Virginie Vral
Vertaling/Traduction/Translation voice-overs: Alice Evermore
Handschrift Stella/Ecriture Stella/Stella's handwriting: Catherine Claeys
Productieleiding/Direction de production/Production managment: Hans Bocxstael
Productie/Production: De Filmfabriek bvba (Bierbeek)
Coproductie/Coproduction: Fonds Film in Vlaanderen, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie van het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Fatalimagefatale v.z.w., KunstenFESTIVALdesArts
Presentatie/Présentation/Presentation: Kladaradatsch! Palace, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

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She considers the streams of light created at night by Belgium's twinkling motorways to be "an ideal landing strip for UFOs!" When she was little she wanted to be an astronaut. Isaac Asimov's science fiction novels and Stephen Hawking's essays on astrophysics fascinate her. She has never hidden her passion for signs of extra-terrestrial life and is convinced that angels exist. Karen Vanderborght, the young filmmaker trained at Sint Lucas, has decided to crystallise her interest in parallel lives and the beyond in her new medium-length film, Les Soeurs Lumière.

The story is a simple one. Stella is an astronaut living in Belgium, a country where light pollution and the cover of grey clouds make it extremely difficult to see the stars. Lucia lives in Spain, a country bursting with light. Despite her poor eyesight - she has to wear tinted glasses - she makes lamps. The two women send each other postcards. Lucia has forbidden them from ever talking or seeing one another. They have made a pact - if one of them should die, the other will become her guardian angel. Stella dies suddenly in a car accident, her body is never recovered. Totally at a loss, Lucia takes to the road at night. Travelling on illuminated motorways and staying in gloomy motels, she heads off to look for her friend.

"The camera filming her is watching her - a strange eye that follows her closely from nightfall to daybreak. This presence captures everything, both the visible and the invisible. Is it an enemy spirit or a guardian angel? The night is full of mystery - mythologies have filled it with demons, films have filled it with hostile and supernatural presences. Les Soeurs Lumière is a film about light, a necessary condition for creating an image, and thus for cinema. What better name could there be for photographers than the Lumière brothers!" Stella and Lucia, sisters in correspondence, are given this name.

To inspire her writing, Karen entertained herself by watching science fiction films of all kinds: philosophical, theological and horror films like Star Trek, Battle Star Galactica, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Event Horizon, Sphere, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. She read UFO's over de Lage Landen by the Belgian UFO expert Lucien Weverbergh, astronomical revues, books on astrophysics, essays on black holes, pages in the Bible containing appearances by angels and all sorts of accounts where evidence of supernatural presences comes with significant changes in light.

Karen undertakes to carve atmospheres out of light. "I like manipulating images. I want to play with the contrast between old film techniques and new electronic techniques, using each for what it is." She decided to explore different forms of light radiation at night: pale luminescence, motorway lights refracted by rain, phosphorescence at twilight, intriguing reflections in mirrors. "There are moments when I also try to make something physical out of light, creating an enigmatic silhouette whose physical substance is purely light radiation."

The film's soundtrack and music is provided by Thomas Köner, a composer in the mould of Brian Eno. "The first recording on the soundtrack is the large-scale, obsessive drone of the motorway. On top of this are the rhythmic tones of other environments and music. The aim is to emit some of the energy found in a scary thriller. The soundtrack has to echo what the eye of the ever-present camera captures in Lucia's private moments. The soundtrack has to show the camera's latent presence and make the audience feel that the camera already knows something that Lucia and the audience don't. My next film will be about vampires!", says Karen, bursting out laughing.

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