Cast: Niels Willaerts, Koen De Graeve, Fortunato Cerlino, Nicola Rignanese, Karlijn Sileghem, Günther Lesage

Director: Kenneth Mercken Screenplay: Monica Stan & Kenneth Mercken Cinematography: Martijn van Broekhuizen Producers: Eurydice Gysel - CZAR Film & TV | Giovanni Pompili - Kino Produzioni | Olivier Rausin - Climax Films World Sales: Intramovies

With the support of Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Le Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Screen Flanders,Canvas, RTBF, IDM Südtirol – Alto Adige Film Fund & Commission (BLS), Friuli-Venezia Giulia Film Commission

Country: Belgium-Italy Year: 2018 Length: 96’


Felix grows up as an inside spectator at veterans’ bike races - a violent, drug-infused world where his father dominates with both pedals and fists. Felix follows in his father’s footsteps making him proud but jealous at the same time. On his way to becoming a pro rider, Felix rebels and flees to Italy, the promised land of youth cycling. However, his body doesn’t respond to the widespread miracle drug EPO and he ends up drained by the brutal training. His father comes to the rescue giving him a blood transfusion. Now nothing can stop them, not even the threat of cancer. After all, what is cancer compared to winning the race of your dreams?


“25/08/1998. I find myself in a car packed with cyclists on our way to an Italian race. Each time we neared a border, I’d grab some cortisone tablets and turn my head slightly towards the window. At a moment when nobody paid attention, I’d quickly stuff it into my cheek. In case of a border control, I was determined to swallow the whole lot. It was a time of paranoia; one month after the scandalous 1998 Tour de France, where it had come to light that several top teams were using EPO and other substances. Some were running through my veins, through most of the guys' veins in that car probably. And we were nowhere near the Tour de France yet. At that time, no one had heard of me. A year later, I was crowned national cycling champion. The year after that, I found myself facing a choice: a fantastic career with the risk of cancer, or quitting. Coureur is an intense, raw story about those who long for victory, sniff around the pot of gold, and then disappear forever into oblivion”. Kenneth Mercken


Film Fest Gent 2018: Explorezone - Closing Night