Michaël Roskam has cinema in his soul
Michaël Roskam is passionate about crime dramas and is the Belgian director that the Belgian and international scene are clamouring for.
Michaël R. Roskam (real name Michaël Reynders) was born on 9 October 1972 in Sint-Truiden. After his secondary studies, he entered the Saint-Luc School of Arts in Brussels. He wanted to tell stories but was convinced that films were the preserve of Hollywood. So he followed the example of Hergé and moved into comics. The student proved to be very versatile and could draw as well as paint or write, giving him a difficult career choice. After graduating in graphic design (1996), he earned his living by writing for the daily newspaper De Morgen, among others, and became a copywriter for an advertising agency. He did not feel fulfilled and continued to dream of the cinema. It would take the intervention of a filmmaker friend, Ief Desseyn, to convince him to give it a go. Ief took charge of producing his first short film, and the filmmaker in Roskam could finally express himself. Cinema allowed him to tell stories, to draw and to work on images and music. He entered the world of cinema under the artist name Michaël R. Roskam, his mother's birth name.
The short films Haun (2002) and Carlo (2004) marked the debut for the filmmaker, who was accompanied by director of photography Lieven Van Baelen. The One Thing to Do (2005) explored the criminal underworld and marked his first collaboration with actor Matthias Schoenaerts, with whom he immediately got along.
He then joined the Binger FilmLab in Amsterdam, from which he graduated with a master's degree in screenwriting.
His career took a new turn in 2012 when he reunited with Matthias Schoenaerts for Bullhead, a gangster film set in Belgium. This earned him recognition, racking up awards, being nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film and boosting the reputation of Matthias Schoenaerts, as well as that of Roskam. He caught the eye of American studios and directed The Drop, 2014, a thriller with Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and Matthias Schoenaerts. In Racer and the Jailbird (2017), Schoenaerts became a big-hearted robber and was joined on screen by Adèle Exarchopoulos.
Roskam is taking things up a notch on the other side of the Atlantic. He is currently directing The Tiger (adaptation of the book by John Vaillant) and the pilot of the series Buda Bridge for the American TV channel HBO, which produces promising projects and series.
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