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Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2016: #15. Peter Brosens & Jessica Woodsworth’s Kebab Royal

Kebab Royal

Directors: Peter Brosens & Jessica Woodsworth
Writers: Peter Brosens & Jessica Woodsworth

Another Belgian directing duo we’re committed to championing is Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodsworth (who we also included prematurely on our 2015 list). Starting out as documentarians, they segued into narrative film with 2006’s Khadak, eventually spinning a loosely related trilogy with 2009’s Altiplano and 2012’s The Fifth Season (2012). While it’s possible to obtain copies of the first two, for some confounding reason, their last feature never received distribution in the US even though it’s a fascinating, transfixing film. They filmed their latest, Kebab Royal, past March, which is now in post-production. Their films are often characterized by offbeat, surreal flourishes, and their latest concerns Nicolas II, the onerous Belgian King. Stuck on an economic mission in Istanbul, he learns of Flanders’ declaration for dependence while he’s away, and a simultaneous solar storm knocks out communication and airplanes. His journey home is full of misfortune and takes on aspects of fairy tale as the Belgian king gets lost in the Balkans.

Cast: Peter Van den Begin, Titus de Voogt, Valentin Ganev, Lucie Debay

Production Co./Producer(s): Bo Films’ Peter Brosens, Artémis’ Patrick Quinet (Almayer’s Folly), Topkapi Films’ Frans Van Gestel (Nude Area).

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic/international).

Release Date: With two of their films premiering in Venice (in 2006 and 2012) and Altiplano playing in Critics’ Week at Cannes, 2009, we’re thinking the timing is right for Brosens & Woodworth to return to Cannes in the Directors’ Fortnight or UCR.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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