Nuits Sans Sommeil
Stories keep me awake at night
Acquisition for a broadcast by Finland’s and Belgian’s national public broadcasting TV in between end of 2021 and 2024.
“Nuits sans sommeil” est le portrait d’une enfance au quotidien. Un village, une famille, un petit garçon qui aime porter des robes, le retour du loup et la vie de chaque jour, ordinaire et banale, sont la matière d’un récit qui raconte les désirs enfouis.
“Stories Keep Me Awake At Night” is the portrait of day-to-day childhood. A village, a family, a little boy who likes to wear dresses, the return of the wolf and everyday life, ordinary, banal. These elements are used to tell of hidden desires.
“Gender Trouble. Shot in 16mm, STORIES KEEP ME AWAKE AT NIGHT (Press Award at Côté Court and selected in Brive) achieves the almost perfect match of form and narrative through the portrait of a dysfunctional family in an ageless house, in the heart of a mountain worthy of a Grimm fairy tale. An androgynous little boy wearing dresses and heels, a father and a mother flaunting their nudity without scruple, an indifferent sister experiencing her first emotions with a boy… In this rural prosaism where everything must be named and standardized, everyone watches each other and the unease sets in insidiously. A wolf prowls the valley and slaughters the sheep, a metaphor for male libido. Staged with an almost hypnotic minimalism, starting with an astonishing opening scene where the child faces a psychiatrist, this third short by Jeremy van der Haegen is one of the revelation of this selection.”
Julien Bécourt (Mouvement – Cinéma du désarroi)
“Jérémy van der Haegen’s film could echo deeply to many gay or queer men who lived that moment in their childhood when they were not sure about their gender belonging. But the qualities of STORIES KEEP ME AWAKE AT NIGHT go beyond this sheer identification with the young character. It is also a matter of how the story is told, in a subdued, naturalistic and true-to-life manner. There is an uncanny quality to the storytelling style of the film that places it at a crossroad between a (cruel) fairytale and a tender coming-of-age story.”
Head of the Jury Paolo Bertolin (Cannes Director’s Fortnight and the Venice Film Festival).
Press Prize Festival Côté Court (France) :
“We unanimously chose to award the press prize to a family chronicle in which desire and sexuality are embodied in a unique way in each of the characters. We were touched by the way the film seizes on a very contemporary subject and turns away from the social angle sketched in the first sequence to prefer the trouble of a fantastic atmosphere carried by a strong esthetic ambition.”
(Les Cahiers du Cinéma, Les Inrockuptibles, Trois couleurs, Bref, Le Cercle, 7 minutes de réflexion)
“Honorary Mention for narrative consistency and precise form, perfectly illustrating the universal desire for freedom.”
First Prize Best Actor for Vidal Arzoni at the Rhode Island International Film Festival – USA !
Special Mention by the jury, BSFF
“Here, we go out here at night because we dream of monsters, and because we see them, without being afraid of them. The monstrosity is, here, out of its stereotypes. The journey, poetic and brutal, of a lifetime. You assert yourself, too, at eight years old. A special mention for these dialogues, superbly written. A staging, surprising and bewitching. A singular film, of mad poetry. We, spectators, immersed in a story between norms and disorders, and without moral judgment. This special mention goes to Jérémy Van der Haegen for STORIES KEEP ME AWAKE AT NIGHT.” Jury statement by Pierre François Créancier.
Jérémy van der Haegen
Cinematography and camera
Sound designing and Mix
First director assistant
First camera assistant
Aurélien Bodinaux (Neon rouge productions)
Jérémy van der Haegen (After Hours ASBL)
With the help of the audiovisual and cinema centre of the French community of Belgium and Walloon Television distributors and the Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government.
© NRW SPRL Neon Rouge Productions 2020