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English Titles B

Ben X

Original title: Ben X
German title: Ben X
Belgium, Netherlands, 2007

Director: Balthazar, Nic
Production company: MMG
Co-producers: Bos.Bros, Amsterdam
Age recommendation: 14 years and up

Ben is a bit different. His life is full of strange rituals and he often seems to be living in a completely different universe, full of computers. In reality his life is pretty tough –?largely because he is tormented mercilessly by two of his fellow-students at vocational college. One day, Ben cooks up a plan: murder! Shortly afterwards, his online chat girlfriend, Scarlite, appears on the scene. But this wasn’t part of the plan at all.
Nic Balthazar: “It is sometimes said you do not find a story, the story finds you. This may well have been the case here. One sunny afternoon in Brussels I was asked whether I would like to write a book. ‘For youngsters who do not read’, they said. ‘How convenient’, I said. ‘Because I am a writer who does not write’. Around the same time a boy of 17 leaped to his death from Gravensteen castle in Ghent. It turned out that the boy had a mild form of autism and had virtually been harassed and tormented to death. ‘I will never get over this’, said his mother in an interview. The same night I started writing a story. A book which, although it would not give her any real comfort, would nevertheless provide her with a measure of sympathy and understanding. It would be a story about the harassment and torture of those who are unable to defend themselves. I typed out the title. ‘Niets Was Alles Wat Hij Zei.’ In English: ‘Nothing Was All He Said’. It had to be a book full of suspense, with an element of surprise, a kind of thriller. Something like a movie, I thought. Everyone likes a movie.”

"A sensitive and cinematically pure image of painful life experiences through a child's eyes and feelings." (FIPRESCI.Jury at Istanbul IFF 2008)

Marketing strategies:
Feature film, based on succesfull novel and theater play by Nic Balthazar

Montreal World Film Festival (awarded), Generation 14+ Berlin 2008, Istanbul IFF 2008 (awarded), Kristiansand 2008, Cinepaenz Cologne 2008, Discovery Dundee 2008, Alekino Poznan 2008, Youngabout Bologna 2009 (awarded)

World sales address/es:
Playtime (FR)

Sold to:
Studiocanal (DE)
Matthias-Film (D)
Bundesverband Jugend und Film (DE)
Agora (CH)