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Lieven Debrauwer

Lieven Debrauwer

Lieven Debrauwer was born in a small town called Roeselare in Belguim in 1969. His passion for filmmaking started at an early age. Lieven's parents owned a small cafe in the centre of town. At the tender age of twelve, Lieven's hobby was projecting his home made ViewMaster slide shows in the hall of his parent's cafe. He would invite all the neighborhood childern to come and watch his productions. He became so enthralled with the projector and movie making that on his 15th birthday, Lieven made his very first short film. The next year, he joined a film club called Kinaro in his hometown of Roeselare. Most of the members were the age of his parents and grandparents, but they all were impressed by this very young newcomer. Soon after that, his parents bought him his own Canon 514 XL-S Super-8 camera. He won silver and gold medals at amateur film competitions and won the award for best camerawork five years in a row. Lieven represented his country five years in a row at the Jeunesse competition of the international UNICA-festival for non-professionals in former-Yougoslavia, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Italy. Lieven went on to study Photography in the HIGRO in Ghent. He graduated as best student Photography/Technology. After that, he went to Filmschool NARAFI in Brussels, where again, he graduated as best student.

After 5 years as a free lancer. In 1996, he founded a limited company in Belgium called GATEWAY FILM for the production of his short film LEONIE, which was supported by the Flemish community. Lieven convinced legendary Belgian actress Dora van der Groen to star in his first professional short film. American audiences may have seen Dora van der Groen as the mother in ANTONIA'S LINE, Academy Award winner for best foreign language film.

Lieven was so impressed by her professionalism and her personality that he decided to have another project ready as soon as LEONIE was finished. He thought it would be a great idea to bring two Belgian legendary actresses together on the big screen for the very first time; Ann Petersen and Dora van der Groen. That's when the idea for PAULINE & PAULETTE started (1996).

LEONIE won the prize for the Best Belgian film at Flanders International Film Festival 1996 and was selected for the official selection (in competition) at the 50th anniversary of the Cannes International Film Festival in 1997. There he won the Prix du Jury (Jury-president was French actress Isabelle Adjani). The film also won the Best Short Film award at the Newport Beach International Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Soon after that, Lieven finished TESTAMENT. It was a very personal film about his grandmother Emma, who wrote 6 letters (for each of her children) before she died. The film was not intended for the public, but started as an intimate souvenir only for family-members. When a stranger, who never knew Lieven's grandmother, saw the film and was very moved, Lieven decided to send it to festivals. TESTAMENT had its official première at the Flanders International Film Festival in 1997.

Then came DICHTEN, WAT IS DICHTEN DAN?, a short film on the works of Flemish priest and poet GUIDO GEZELLE, who died 100 years ago. This film presents several characters, played by renowed Flemish actors, who read, talk about or simply reminesce about Guido Gezelle's work.

Lieven took a brief stint at teaching film when his former film schoolteacher retired. That would only last a year because he then began to work on his first feature length film PAULINE & PAULETTE.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Lieven Debrauwer Facts

BirthdayApril 15, 1969 (52)
BirthplaceRoeselare, Belgium

Selected Filmography

Pauline & Paulette
Pauline Y Paulette : Pauline Et Paulette
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