Screened as part of NZIFF 2022

Playground 2021

Un monde

Directed by Laura Wandel Widescreen

A 7-year-old child becomes caught in a conflict of loyalty after her beloved brother falls victim to brutal schoolyard bullying.

Jul 31

ASB Waterfront Theatre

Aug 04

ASB Waterfront Theatre

Belgium In French with English subtitles
72 minutes DCP


Director, Screenplay


Stéphane Lhoes
Jan de Clercq


Frédéric Noirhomme


Nicolas Rumpl


Maya Vanderbeque (Nora), Günter Duret (Abel), Karim Leklou (the father), Laura Verlinden (the teacher)


Cannes (Un Certain Regard), London, San Sebastián, NZIFF Wellington 2021


FIPRESCI Prize (Un Certain Regard) 2021 & Sutherland Trophy (Best First Feature), London Film Festival 2021


“One of the discoveries of 2021, winning the FIPRESCI Award for the Un Certain Regard section in Cannes and the Sutherland Trophy at the BFI London Film Festival. One of the most insightful and incisive films made about childhood, it is set entirely at a school. As suggested by the original French title, Un monde ('A World'), its playground is a self-enclosed universe, where children learn how to integrate into the sometimes brutal rituals of society.

The story focuses on seven-year-old Nora (extraordinary discovery Maya Vanderbeque), an anxious newcomer plunged into the playground's hierarchies and rituals. Initially dependent on the protection of her older brother Abel (Gunter Düret), she finds herself trying to protect him when he becomes a victim of bullying.” — Jonathan Romney, Sight & Sound

“A gut-punch of a film that is not so much a portrait of schoolyard bullying as it is a sensory immersion… Playground is a sit-up-and-take-notice blend of outstandingly natural performances enhanced by spot-on cinematic choices.” — Lisa Nesselson, Screendaily