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Matthias Schoenaerts Wins Best Actor Palm Springs International Film Festival

Los Angeles, CA – Monday, January 16, 2012 – Matthias Schoenaerts has won the Best Actor prize at Palm Springs International Film Festival 2012, for his role in the Official 2012 Belgium Oscar® entry “Bullhead”. Jury quotes: “The Best Actor prize goes to Matthias Schoenaerts in Bullhead (Rundskop, Belgium, 2001, directed by Michaël R. Roskam), for his superb portrayal of an innocent and sensitive man trapped in a truculent body.”

“Bullhead” has already won 25 awards worldwide and numerous Best Actor awards. Schoenaerts has become a leading man of Flemish cinema, earning him the starring role, with Marion Cotillard, in Jacque Audiard’s new film “Rust and Bone”.

Matthias comments from Belgium: “To be awarded Best Actor on this festival and in this strong competition is truly an honor. It’s touching to experience so much appreciation for our film. I wish I could be there to thank everyone live, that would so much easier, than trying to write something down! Now let’s hope this is a sign we might get the Oscar nomination for best foreign film. That too would be an absolutely wonderful reward for the passionate work that has been put into this film on every level and for so many years. Thank you so much Palm Springs!”

Schoenaerts spent two years preparing for his role in Bullhead. Eating 3000 tins of tuna, several hundred chickens, plenty of oats, rice and pasta and combining them with days spent pumping iron and long nights of uninterrupted sleep. This is the regime that enabled the slender Flemish actor Matthias Schoenaerts to transform himself into the bulky and brooding figure we see on screen in Michaël R. Roskam’s debut film, Bullhead. It’s a remarkable piece of character acting in the vein of Robert De Niro’s celebrated turn as Jake La Motta in Raging Bull.

Matthias states: “Even without words, you can express a lot of what is going on with yourself. That was a challenge but at a certain point, it all came naturally. I had so much time to grow into this part… all of a sudden you get into the zone.”

“Bullhead” is distributed domestically by Drafthouse Films and will be released in early 2012.

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