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Awards and Events

BALLAST Receives Grand Prix in Next Generation at the Brussels Short Film Festival

Bullion director Daniel Howlid enjoys continued festival success with BALLAST

BALLAST Receives Grand Prix in Next Generation at the Brussels Short Film Festival

Bullion director Daniel Howlid’s film BALLAST has received the Grand Prix award in the category Next Generation at the Brussels Short Film Festival

A graduate of the prestigious Lodz film school, Daniel is a filmmaker’s filmmaker and a magician behind the camera. BALLAST is the story of a neglected child who discovers how a momentary impulse holds fateful consequences. The film has been screened at eighteen festivals in fourteen countries, however the Brussels Short Film Festival was the first physical festival that the film has screened at since Covid.

Daniel’s weighs in on his creative process and the story that influenced BALLAST: “When setting out to do what became BALLAST, I had only one goal, and that was to tell someone’s story without the use of dialogue. Both the kid and the film have that in common that they lack words to express themselves. They both compensate by action. While the film succeeds in doing that, the kid fails miserably.

"The idea came when I was staying in an old factory in Poland on a similar mattress. One night I woke up, and the air was going out. My bodyweight made the mattress wrap around me like a hot dog. I was too sleepy to get up and do something about it, so I reached for the switch and hoped for the best. It surprised me how strong the pump was since it managed to lift me without the slightest problem. I fell asleep and woke up in the morning, laying again on the concrete floor. During those days, I was reading about the childhood of a Norwegian mass murderer. The book describes how the little boy was doing all sorts of odd behaviour, presumably to get seen.”

The festival jury explain why BALLAST received the Grand Prix award: “One film stood out by the mastery of its direction, the incredible performance of its young actor and the impact of its topic: “BALLAST” by Daniel Howlid. The jury was very impressed by the quality of this short film. 

"BALLAST tells the story of a young boy surrounded by adults who don’t see him as they are too occupied with themselves. This drives the young boy to play dangerous games that result in a fatal outcome.

"Daniel’s direction is razor sharp. Everything underlines the despair and the boredom of this young boy, with a touch of comedy that makes the film even more bitter. Congratulations on this amazing film, we are very much looking forward to following his future career.”

An excerpt of the film is available to watch below.

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Category: Short Films and Music Videos , Short films

Genre: Storytelling