Nic Balthazar wins the prize for best director in Montreal


Everybody Happy, the new film from Nic Balthazar, received the prize for best director at the World Film Festival in Montreal. Everybody Happy is Balthazar's third movie and it tells the story of Ralph Hartman, a successful comedian who fights with his worst enemy: himself.

Acting in the main roles alongside Peter Van den Begin and Ralph Hartman are Barbara Sarafian, Josse De Pauw, Jeroen Leenders and Leen Dendievel. The soundtrack was written by Henny Vrienten (Doe Maar) and Triggerfinger, and the photography is by Robrecht Heyvaert (ImageD’Ardennen, Black, Dode hoek). Balthazar wrote the film scenario himself. 

"I actually find an official film competition rather a daft idea", was Balthazar's initial reaction. "Unless of course you win a prize. Sorry for the play on words but: I am rather happy. The fact that people seem to have understood what we were trying to do and say with our film - even as far as the other side of the ocean. And the timing is perfect. On Friday we are opening the Film Festival in Ostend, and the film will be launched in cinemas at the end of the month, so it's come just at the right moment."                                                                                                               

Balthazar's reunion with Montreal, the festival and particularly the enthusiastic audience, was a very special and happy one. He also went there in 2007 to receive the Grand Prize, the Prix des Amériques, the Audience Award and the Prize from the Ecumenical Jury for his movie debut Ben X . Montreal turned out to be a great starting point for his career as a director and his film sold in over 50 countries.

"Montreal was a fantastic platform from which to launch my first film. It would of course be fantastic if the dream was to come true once again. It was quite an impressive achievement 9 years ago: first film, first festival, first appearance on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. You then come back and think: it couldn't possibly happen again, but I stood there on the stage this evening and it still gave me a real kick."