This year’s Flemish blockbuster Loft by director Eric Van Looy has broken the record of ticket sales in Belgium set in 1990 by Stijn Coninx’s Koko Flanel. Last week Loft bypassed the long-standing total of 1,082,000 tickets sold. Koko moves into second place, and Coninx also holds on to third and fourth place with Hector and Daens. Van Looy resurfaces in fifth place with 2003’s De Zaak Alzheimer.
Famous Belgian harmonica player Toots Thielemans, 86, will take part in this year’s jubilee edition of Night of the Proms at the Antwerp Sportpaleis. Thielemans, who was already 11 years old when the venue was built in 1933, took part in the last jubilee 25 years ago. “I’ll be there again in another 25 years,” the veteran jazzman promised.
The French-speaking public broadcaster RTBF will begin subtitling Dutch speakers in news programmes instead of dubbing them into French, as at present. “French speakers are not accustomed to subtitles,” said a spokesperson. “But we are a public broadcaster in a multilingual country that’s open to the whole world.”
Bart De Pauw, TV maker and screenwriter of smash hit film Loft, is making plans for a new adventure game series for families, under the working title De Puzzel. De Pauw, in his first solo project since leaving production house Woestijnvis, is looking for families with children between 10 and 15 for a three-week audition in the Ardennes in August. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jazz music in Flanders could be facing a crisis because of the lack of attention paid by subsidy panels to the rapid evolution of the sector, according to Antwerp’s alderman for culture, Philip Heylen. Current policy, he argued, supports established institutions like the Brussels Jazz Orchestra and Octurn, while ignoring individual musicians and innovative venues such as Rataplan in Borgerhout and De Werf in Bruges.
The city of Antwerp is organising a major cultural festival from March to June to draw attention to its plans to give the docks area a massive facelift over the next 10 years. “Kaailand” will feature concerts, exhibitions, architectural installations and theatre, as well as a spectacular dinner cooked by top Dutch chef Arend Jan van der Heijden.
Management offices of Anima Eterna will be installed in the Ezelpoort in Bruges from 2010, the orchestra announced. Anima Eterna is the house orchestra of the recently rebuilt Concertgebouw, but its offices are still housed in Brussels. The Ezelpoort is one of the four remaining city gates in Bruges, built in 1297 and rebuilt in 1369.
Dimitri Verhulst is the favourite author of young people aged 15 to 25, according to the annual survey of youth in Flanders, carried out by the Young People’s Cultural Passport (CJP). Humo is the favourite magazine, Facebook.com the top website, Loft the top film and Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon the favourite recording. Radio personality Peter Van De Veire was voted Cult Figure of 2008.