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Jessica Woodworth Luka

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 200 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2023: #96. Jessica Woodworth’s Luka

Top 200 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2023: #96. Jessica Woodworth’s Luka


Shot in glorious B&W and Super 16mm, Belgian-American filmmaker Jessica Woodworth mounted this solo adventure utilizing the backdrop of Sicily back in October of ’21. Before being selected for the upcoming edition of Rotterdam, Luka was known as “Fortress” and was in the works dating back to 2017’s TorinoFilmLab. Jonas Smulders toplines the project sharing the screen alongside Geraldine Chaplin, Samvel Tadevossian, Jan Bijvoet, Sam Louwyck, Django Schrevens and Hal Yamanouchi. As we already know Woodworth was part of the filmmaking team with Peter Brosens beginning with Khadak which preemed at the Venice Days, followed by 2009’s Altiplano in the Cannes Critics’ Week, 2012’s The Fifth Season as a comp title in Venice, The King of the Belgians in Venice’s Orizzonti and The Barefoot Emperor a Toronto selection. Worth noting, Woodworth also has a short in the works and should premiere this year as well in “La Flotte”.

Gist: Adapted from Dino Buzzati’s 1940 Italian novel The Tartar Steppe, this is about a young solder, hungry for battle, who embeds himself in an isolated fort where men wait in vain for an enemy to strike.

Release Date/Prediction: After its IFFR world premiere will likely be followed by more film festival play before domestic releases.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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