By: Emily von Seele
Theo Maassen’s debut feature, Billy, is a black comedy that explores the darker side of art, fame, and creative partnerships. Ventriloquist Gerard de Groot (Bruno Vanden Broecke) initially leapt to stardom as the result of an altercation with a surly judge on a comedy reality show. Despite the 15 minutes of fame nature of his debut, he managed to stay on top of the entertainment business for the next decade with his act, a back and forth conversation with his overly surly, filterless dummy, Billy. Gerard and Billy built and empire together and it seemed that nothing could bring them down.