Masset-Depasse thriller 'Mother's Instinct' sweeps Belgium's Oscars

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Brussels (AFP)

Olivier Masset-Depasse's retro psychological thriller "Mother's Instinct" swept the Magritte Awards on Saturday, winning nine of the 10 categories it was nominated in at Belgium's version of the Oscars.

Favourite and Cannes-winner "Young Ahmed" won just two gongs -- most promising actor for Idir Ben Ali, 14, who plays a radicalised teenager, and best supporting actress for Myriem Akheddiou, who plays his teacher and victim.

Adapted from Belgian author Barbara Abel's detective novel "Behind the Hatred" and with nods to David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock, "Mother's Instinct" took home best film, best director and best original screenplay, in a night to remember for the 49-year-old director from Charleroi.

Veerles Baetens won best actress for her role in Masset-Depasse's third offering that explores how the friendship between two neighbours descends into tragedy after the child of one of them is killed in an accident.

Belgian actor Bouli Lanners won in the best actor category for his role in Claire Burger's "Real Love".

"Mother's Instinct" also swept the field for technical awards, taking home gongs for best sound, best editing and best cinematography.

Belgian-Guatemalan director Cesar Diaz won best first film for "Our Mothers", which delves into Guatemala's civil war and the search for "missing politicals".

It also won the Camera d'Or at Cannes last year for best first feature.

Belgian Mya Bollaers, 23, won most promising actress for her role in "Lola", which tells the story of a young transgender woman's struggles with her father as they both come to terms with the death of her mother.

And it was only by chance that Bollaers, who is herself transgender, auditioned for the role.

"The casting was wild," she told a French newspaper in December.

"The announcement was made on social media. It was a Sunday, I had nothing to do. I said to myself: 'OK, I'll reply. If I get through the casting then that could be funny'."

"Young Ahmed" and "Lola" will be in competition at the Cesar awards in France at the end of this month for best foreign film.