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Magritte Awards: Debut feature ‘Dalva’ triumphs at Belgian cinema ceremony

Dalva film - award winner at Magritte film awards 2024
16:58 11/03/2024

Winning a total of seven awards, Dalva by Belgian filmmaker Emmanuelle Nicot swept the prize ceremony of the Magritte Awards 2024 for francophone films.

Picking up best film, first film, director, promising female actor, female supporting role, scenario and sound, it was a triumphant evening for the Franco-Belgian debut feature that was nominated for nine categories.

An emotional and shocking drama, Dalva (Love According to Dalva) centres on the gradual rehabilitation of a 12-year-old girl (Zelda Samson) who has been abused by her father.

The 13th award ceremony at Theâtre National in Brussels on 9 March was chaired by Belgian award-winning actor and director Bouli Lanners.

Among other prize winners, Lubna Azbal won her third Magritte for best actress for her role in Le Bleu du caftan by Maryam Touzani. Arieh Worthalter was awarded both best actor for his performance in Le Procès Goldman by Cédric Kahn and best supporting actor in Delphine Deloget’s Rien à Perdre.

The best Flemish film award went to actress Veerle Baetens’ first title, Débacle. The dual Flemish/francophone production relates the story of a traumatised young woman who is haunted by the memory of a summer when she experienced a tragic event.

For Dalva, Nicot conducted careful research into the care system as well as survivors of abuse and incest. Her sensitive treatment and focus on the victim’s perspective help the film transcend its disturbing subject matter. The documentary feel to the movie is aided by the fine acting and the intricate portrayal of Dalva’s foster home.

Following its Magritte success, Dalva returns to cinema screens from 13 March, notably Vendôme, Palace and Stockel, as well as cinemas in Wallonia. More information on the Magritte Cinema Tour at

Photo: ©Dalva Caroline Guimbal Helicotronc Tripode Productions

Written by Sarah Crew