Lieven Van Baelen

Production status
Belgian cinema release: 8th of September 2021
Netherlands cinema release: 7th of October 2021

Rookie follows the story of Nicky (Matteo Simoni), a young ambitious and confident pure-blooded motorcyclist. He always puts his life on the line while racing, not for the money but for kicks, respect and fame. When he gets into an accident, his world crumbles apart, not sure whether he’ll ever be able to race again. He has trouble accepting this new life and turns to his sister-in-law Vero (Veerle Baetens) and her son Charlie (Valentijn Braeckman) to start over. But the adrenaline junkie inside him rears his ugly head and Nicky tries to relive his dream by coaching his nephew Charlie. It quickly becomes clear though that they’re not cut from the same cloth.

Director – Lieven Van Baelen
Writers – Charlie Brafman, Magnus McCullagh & Lieven Van Baelen
Producers – Eurydice Gysel & Koen Mortier (Czar Film & Tv)
Co-producers – Jacques-Henri Bronckart (Versus Production), Frank Hoeve (Baldr Film)
Cast – Matteo Simoni, Veerle Baetens, Valentijn Braeckman, Stefaan Degand, Tibo Vandenborre, Bjarne Devolder and Guy Combes

Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF)
Film and Audiovisual Center of Wallonia Brussels Federation (CFWB)
The Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government
BNP Paribas Fortis Film Finance (BNPPFFF)
Netherlands Film Production Incentive
Screen Flanders

Sales and Distribution
International Sales & Benelux Distribution: Dutch Filmworks International (DFW)
Belgian Theatres: Kinepolis Film Distribution (KFD)

Bio Director
Lieven van Baelen (1973) studied at the RITS film school in Brussels. He started as a telecine operator and soon became one of Belgium’s leading colour graders. The next logical step for Lieven was to also do set exposures. He became director of photography (DOP) for a whole series of commercials and video clips. Later he became director. His career as a director got off to a flying start with the short film ‘The Thread’ (1999). The film was warmly received all over the world and won the ‘Best Future Talent’ award in Locarno. Around the same period Lieven started working at CZAR and was mainly active as a DOP for striking projects like ‘Carlo’ (Michaël R. Roskam), ‘Blush’ (Wim Vandekeybus) and ‘Oh My God?!’. (Christophe Van Rompaey). Despite the ambitious projects and nominations as DOP, Lieven chose to focus on directing. His clear vision, knowledge and passion soon made Lieven a much sought-after director. He has an intense visual directing style and specializes in car commercials with high-level post-production skills. His versatile talent can be seen, for example, in Stromae’s music video ‘Ta Fête’. ‘Rookie’ is Lieven’s first feature film.

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