Leonardo van Dijl
Writer / Director
Leo van Dijl (1991, Belgium) made his debut with the short Get Ripped which was awarded with the Grand Jury award at Outfest Los Angeles. Leo continued to direct a myriad of things, from documentary to music videos. In 2015, Leo realized his 2nd short Umpire, which had his international premiere at the Festival of Locarno, it was given a Wildcard for Best Short by the Flemish Audiovisual Fund and honoured with a Special Mention at the Festival of San Sebastian.
‘Stephanie’ is a story about a young ambitious gymnast with Olympic dreams. She pushes and stretches her body to the point that she overcomes physical pain, as pain is something she has to deal with on a daily basis. She silently endures her injuries and growing pains in order to maintain the troubled relationships with her coach and everyone around her. When she literally trips into a downward spiral of self-medication, she comes to understand that winning has always been the engine in her pursuit of love and acceptance. Something she is now, more than ever, desperately in need of. Stephanie’s struggle questions us, how much we stretch our own limits, while our bodies cry no, in a society where pressure seems to be ever increasing. Stephanie is a story about all of us. It is a call to look after each other..