Warsaw-based sales outlet New Europe Film Sales has signed an international sales deal for the upcoming Belgian debut “Julie Keeps Quiet” by Leonardo Van Dijl, whose short film “Stephanie,” also repped by New Europe, played in Cannes competition in 2020.
Both films are set in the world of competitive youth sports: the short explored the world of gymnastics, while the feature film takes on tennis. The feature is to be shot in the second half of this year with delivery planned for mid-2024.
In “Julie Keeps Quiet,” when the practices of a prominent tennis coach are investigated, attention quickly shifts to Julie, a young and promising player who is always around him. As pressure mounts for her to share her experiences, Julie chooses to keep quiet and focus on her game, leaving the investigation and the coach’s future in doubt.
Van Dijl said: “In a society where speaking up is highly valued, ‘Julie Keeps Quiet’ poses the question: what if we choose not to? I wanted to give power to the silence of a young tennis player, who feels immense pressure to reveal her secrets but is unsure if her audience is ready to hear them.”
Van Dijl was an editor for Vice magazine and directed numerous shorts, which competed in Locarno, Cannes and Toronto. He also made a number of music videos and worked for brands such as Prada, Dior and Dries van Noten. He is managed by Amelia Shugrue at 2AM.
“Julie Keeps Quiet” is produced by Gilles Coulier, Gilles De Schryver, Wouter Sap and Roxanne Sarkozi for De Wereldvrede (“Roomies,” “Albatros,” “Cargo”), and Delphine Tomson for Les Films du Fleuve (Dardenne brothers’ “Rosetta,” “L’enfant”). It is supported by the Flemish Audiovisual Fund, the Centre du Cinema et de l’audiovisuel of the French community in Belgium, the Belgian Tax Shelter and Flanders Image.
De Schryver said: “Leonardo van Dijl brings new depth to a familiar narrative that explores the complex world of young athletes. The thought-provoking themes and conscious contemporary relevance of this coming-of-age story are both a continuation and deepening of his oeuvre, which we have firmly stood by from the beginning.”
The film will be lensed by Nicolas Karakatsanis (“I, Tonya,” “Violet,” “Bullhead”). Van Dijl wrote the script in collaboration with Ruth Becquart.
The movie was scouted by New Europe’s head of acquisitions Marcin Łuczaj, who said: “Leo is the kind of talent we’re always looks for – he is smart, has a great eye for cinema, and empathy for the characters he’s portraying.”