2019 Film Fest Ghent: Matthias Schoenaerts, filmmaker Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre and “The Mustang”

“The Mustang” is a film inspired by true events. It has been a passion project for several years for French first-time director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, with Belgian-born actor Matthias Schoenaerts committed to the project to play the leading role of an inmate two years before they began shooting the film. During that period, they visited three maximum-security facilities, and spent time with inmates to get to know their world, as Mr. Schoenaerts’ character of a convicted inmate seeks redemption in a rural Nevada prison by taking part in a rehabilitation program to train wild mustangs. Through this non-verbal interaction with the horses, his character goes through an intuitive and emotional process. It allows both him and his horse to become better versions of themselves.

The film opened earlier this year to rave reviews in the U.S.; in its March 15, 2019, film review, The Hollywood Reporter gave kudos to Mr. Schoenaerts’ ‘bedrock-solid performance which is central in this humanist film, and which is rooted in the belief that even broken people can grow.’ The film grossed over $5 million dollars in the U.S., where it’s now available on DVD and Blu-ray. “The Mustang” was executive produced by Robert Redford.

Both Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre and Matthias Schoenaerts attended the Ghent Film Festival on October 18, where the film was screened at the Festival’s closing night.

Mr. Schoenaerts was briefly in Belgium—only for two days—to promote the film release. “The Mustang” will be out in his native country from October 23.

“The Mustang” (2019, trailer)

THE MUSTANG (2019) DIR Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre PROD Adrian Politowski, Catherine Morisse SCR Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, Mona Fastvold, Brock Norman Brock CAM Ruben Impens ED Géraldine Mangenot MUS Jed Kurzel CAST Matthias Schoenaerts (Roman), Jason Mitchell (Henry), Bruce Dern (Myles), Gideon Adlon (Martha), Connie Britton (Psychologist), Josh Stuart (Dan), Thomas Smittle (Tom)

Matthias Schoenaerts and filmmaker Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre at the screening of “The Mustang” during the Ghent Film Festival. Photograph: © Leo/Film Talk
Matthias Schoenaerts posing for selfies with his fans at the Ghent Film Festival. Photograph: © Leo/Film Talk