Writer and Director (2 August 1941).François Weyergans was born in the Brussels suburb of Etterbeek in 1941. His father was Belgian and a writer: his mother was from Avignon in France. He went to school in Brussels (where Hergé, the creator of Tintin, was his classmate) and then to the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (IDHEC) (the Belgian higher-education centre for film studies) where he specialised in the films of Godard and Bresson. After graduating, he wrote film reviews and articles for Les Cahiers du Cinéma (the leading French-language film magazine) and wrote, directed and produced documentary films on the Belgian ballet star Maurice Béjart in 1962, on the artist Hieronymous Bosch in 1963, on Bresson’s films in 1965 and on the poet Baudelaire in 1967. He then had a nervous breakdown and went on to write a satirical account of his treatment in his novel Le Pitre (“The Clown”) which was published in 1973 to critical success: it won him the Roger-Nimier Prize. He went on to direct a further six films and to write five more novels, including Macaire le Copte (winner of the 1981 Rossel Prize & Les Deux Magots Prize), Le Radeau de la méduse (winner of the 1983 Méridien Prize) and Trois jours chez ma mère (winner of the 2005 Goncourt Prize). He famously writes at night, starting at midnight and finishing at noon.