Death by Death, a Belgian feature film wins at the Palm Springs Festival


Je me tue à te le dire (Death by Death) by Xavier Seron won Best First Film at the 27th Palm Springs International Film Festival which took place on 9 January. This award is worth 60,000 dollars.

The jury lauded "this Belgian dark comedy for its humour and unique, unexpected approach to narrative storytelling that pushes form and structure within a story that follows themes that are common to many films".

Death by Death tells the story of an everyday man Michel Peneud (Jean-Jacques Rausin) in his thirties and haunted by the fear of death. His mother (Myriam Boyer) has breast cancer. Michel watches her let herself go waiting for the end; he observes her because he too develops similar symptoms (hair loss, a lump in his chest). For her doctor, it's a benign tumour, for Michel, he's had it: he's going to die.

Although the film deals with a serious issue, Xavier Seron manages to insert humorous phases that lighten the film's dramatic aspect. This undoubtedly leads to its success: the incongruous situations into which the lead character gets drawn and bad jokes, but never inappropriate.

Presented at a world première Death by Death competed against 12 other films in the New Voices/New Visions section dedicated to first works. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the most prestigious in the United States and every year welcomes over 136,000 cinema goers and presents more than 180 films from 70 different countries. The festival takes place annually in early January and occupies a strategic position in the race to the Oscars which is held in February, one of the most anticipated events for the specialised media. February is coming!