Loa Yan and Eddy both work for a company called CREG (Chinese Railway Engineering Company). They have just set up camp near the remote mining town of Kolwezi in the Katanga province of the RDC. The goal of the company is to redo the road – covering 300km - that connects Kolwezi with the capital of the province Lubumbashi.
Loa Yan is head of logistics of the group. He is responsible for the equipment, building materials and food (mainly chickens) to arrive in the isolated Chinese prefab camp. The Congolese government was supposed to deliver these things but so far the team hasn’t received anything.
With Eddy (a Congolese man who speaks Mandarin fluently) as an intermediate, Loa Yan is forced to leave the camp and deal with local Congolese entrepreneurs, because without the construction materials the road works will cease. What follows is an endless, harsh, but absurdly funny roller coaster of negotiations and misunderstandings, as Lao Yan learns about the Congolese way of making deals.
|Title||Empire of dust|
|Original title||Empire of Dust|
|Original version||French, Chinese, English|
|Year of production||2011|
|Editing||Bram Van Paesschen & Dieter Diependaele|
|Music||Ferre Grinard, Nick Drake, SMOG, Lee Hazlewood (non-original music)|
|Running time film||80'|
|Sound format||Emmanuel Gras|
At the closing ceremony of this year’s International Documentary Festival DOCVILLE, Bram Van Paesschen’s Empire of Dust has been awarded the SCAM Award for Best Belgian Documentary. The young director’s third passage at the festival marks his third prize, as he already received a special mention at DOCVILLE in both 2005 and 2008. After Empire of Dust, Van Paesschen is currently working on Welcome to Chocolate City, the third instalment in a documentary triptych.
In Empire of Dust, two men representing two different cultures clash in the dust of the former Belgian colony, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This week, the Open Doek Festival (20 – 29 April) kicked off in Turnhout, while Leuven is getting ready for the 8th edition of the International Documentary Festival DOCVILLE (27 April – 5 May). Both programs house a large selection of Flemish titles, ranging from Daniel Lambo’s Dry Branches of Iran to Berlinale attendees Anton Corbijn Inside Out andAsparragos.
For the eighth consecutive year, DOCVILLE highlights the best documentaries and awards prizes in various sections. This year, Flanders is well represented in its national competition with more than ten short and feature-length film titles.
Manu Riche & Patrick Marnham’s Snake Dance and Bram Van Paesschen’s Empire of Dust have been invited to the Etat d’Esprit section of the Visions du Réel International Film Festival (20-27 April) in Nyon, Switzerland. Both documentaries will compete for the festival’s Audience Award, worth more than €8,000.
Both documentaries are set in the Democratic Republic of Congo but take entirely different approaches. In Snake Dance, which premieres internationally in Nyon, director Manu Riche and English writer Patrick Marnham embark on a cross-cultural journey that retraces the events leading up to the making of the H-bomb. Through the writings of art historian Aby Warburg, Snake Dance composes a filmic essay of a world that now more than ever is on the verge of complete destruction.
Sarah Vanagt’s The Corridor, Bram Van Paesschen’s Empire of Dust and Tim De Keersmaecker’s Aperture were recently selected for the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival (8-13 Nov). All three films are travelling the festival circuit extensively and again testify to the vibrancy of documentaries and video art from Flanders.
Bram Van Paesschen’s Empire of Dust kicked of its festival tour with selections at DOK Leipzig and Kassel but more recently the film was also confirmed for IDFA’s Panorama section. Empire of Dust is produced by Bart Van Langendonck for Savage Film (Bullhead, The Co(te)lette Film). In the documentary wo men representing two different cultures clash in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The result is an endless, harsh but absurdly funny rollercoaster of misunderstandings, as Yang is introduced to the Congolese way of dealmaking.
A record-breaking haul of eleven documentaries and four docu projects from Flanders have been selected for this year’s IDFA, the international Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (16-27 November). Works from Jeremy De Ryckere and Kristof Bilsen, who recently graduated from RITS and NFTS (UK) respectively, are shown in the Student Documentary competition. The other entries feature in the Reflecting Images: Panorama, Paradocs section and IDFA pitching Forum.
Both Jeremy De Ryckere’s The Heir and Kristof Bilsen’s White Elephant compete for the IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary, worth €2,500. The Heir tells the story of a father, Raf, and a son, Dominique, and their relationship to their passion: horse racing, a long family tradition. White Elephant is a documentary about the Central Post Office and its employees in Kinshasa, DR Congo. This grandiose relic of a colonial past has trapped its employees in a frozen timewarp from which they are planning their escape. Last year the Award for Best Student Documentary went to the Flemish doc What’s in a Name by Eva Küpper.
Last edited on 23 October 2012