World premiere

The Magnet Man

Local title
Original title
De magneet man
Gust Van den Berghe
Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands
27th Black Nights Film Festival
Official Selection - Competition
love, belonging

Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome! The most inventive Flemish Master & Primitive Cineaste in the World Gust Van den Berghe (winner of PÖFF 2014 with the unique circular “Lucifer”) returns with a melancholic circus show, indirectly inspired by silent films and slapstick comedies of the Golden Age.

In the splendidly decorated barbaric world of Antwerp, an ordinary lonely Lucien has an inhuman capability to stick metal objects to his body. An introverted Buster Keaton-like man of a few words is a hapless artist, clown, freak, and musician with a wounded heart and a quiet violin. His vocation is to entertain the common people despite his burning pain and guilt for the inevitable loss of an estranged father.

After the funeral of his mother, Lucien grabs a train ticket to Paris and finds shelter in the travelling theatre “Malfait” among magicians, opera singers, spooky ghosts, holy spirits, and a tearful buffoon (extended cameo by Jan Bijvoet, who also appears in “Natasha’s Dance”). The illiterate dreamer is stunned when he meets the graceful Gervaise to improvise an irresistible love tango with a beautiful magnet.

Deadpan Chaplinesque mishaps of a Flemish kind adventurously fulfilled by darkly physical humour. The well-crafted dynamic spectacle lost two actors during the endless pandemic post-production but preserved magnificent quality, novelty, artistry, catchy songs, a rich instrumental soundtrack, and a solid charismatic acting debut by circus man Danny Ronaldo.

Edvinas Pukšta

Gust Van den Berghe
Gust Van den Berghe
Danny Ronaldo, Isolda Dyachuk, Mieke Dobbels, Karel Creemers
David Williamson
Thomas Pooters, David Verdurme, Benjamin Mirguet
David Van Keer, Birger Embrechts
Filmstop Inspiration
World sales
Coproduction Office
Dutch, French
Estonian, English, Russian
Gust Van den Berghe

Gust Van den Berghe (1985) is a multidisciplinary artist and film producer. He worked with the Royal Ballet of Flanders where he combined dance with music production. Between 2005 and 2009 he composed and produced music for various music groups, ballets, and theatre pieces. He studied audiovisual arts at the RITS in Brussels. His first full-length film “Little Baby Jesus of Flandr” (2010) was presented at Cannes in the Directors’ Fortnight section as was his second film “Blue Bird” (2011). Both were also screened at PÖFF. His third feature film “Lucifer” (2014) won the Grand Prix at PÖFF.

En waar de sterre bleef stille staan (Väike beebi Jeesus Flandriast, PÖFF 2010), Blue Bird (PÖFF 2011), Lucifer
(PÖFF 2014), De magneet man (The Magnet Man, 2023)

Grand Prix for The Best Film, grant of 20 000 euros from the city of Tallinn, Award for Best Director, grant of 5000€ from Alexela


Chill-Hall Apollo Kino Coca-Cola Plaza
Screening130101 / Magnetmees
SubtitlesEnglish, Estonian, Russian
Q&A guestsGust Van Den Berghe (Director, Screenwriter), Danny Ronaldo (Cast), Karel Creemers (Cast)
Q&A duration
Screening duration
Hall Athena Center, Tartu
Screening144101 / Magnetmees
SubtitlesEnglish, Estonian, Russian
Screening duration
4th Hall Apollo Kino Solaris
Screening151404 / Magnetmees
SubtitlesEnglish, Estonian, Russian
Screening duration
PÖFF TV - Meet the Filmmakers
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