EN - A Ukrainian father and his two sons travel from Kiev to Brussels in search of a better life. But on their arrival they are confronted with a harsh reality and become the victims of exploitation.

FR - Un père ukrainien et ses deux fils voyagent de Kiev à Bruxelles en espérant y mener une vie meilleure. A leur arrivée, ils sont confrontés à la dure réalité et deviennent victimes d’exploitation et d’humiliation.


Title Cockaigne
Original title Cockaigne
Original language Ukrainian, Russian
Status Completed
Production Majority Flemish
Category Shorts
Year 2011


Cast Oleg Farchteyn, Stas Farchteyn, Oleg Danilov, Beterbek Sedoj Behzod, Mohamed Ouachen, David Servais, Inga Toussaint, Marina Novikova
Photography Robin De Wit, Dries Deraedt
Editing Sam Sermon
Sound Kobe Deschrijver
Costume Tim Timmermans
Music Adriaan Swerts

Technical specs

Running time film 12'47"
Release format 35mm
Aspect ratio 2.35 (scope)
Sound format Stereo
Colour Colour


Croisette crawl

In the week the Cannes line-up was announced, Emilie Verhamme still couldn't quite believe that her short film Cockaigne had been selected for the official competition. She was also a little embarrassed, since she is only in her second year at Sint-Lukas film school in Brussels. 'I don't want people to think: "What a cocky person! In your second year, you send your movie to Cannes!" I just sent it to a lot of festivals and then totally forgot about it. But why not try?'

Emilie Verhamme (c) Bart DewaeleHer initial idea for the film involved immigrants arriving at a sea port, but the people she met while researching the project were mostly from the Ukraine, where connections with Europe are more naturally over land. So she listened to their experiences and thought again.

Published on Thursday 10 May 2012

Two Flemish shorts in Cannes line-up

Emilie Verhamme’s short film Cockaigne is to screen in the Competition of the 65th Festival de Cannes (16-27 May), while Leni Huyghe’s Matteus has been selected for the fest’s Cinéfondation competition. Both films are graduation projects of the Sint-Lukas Brussels University College of Art and Design.

Emilie Verhamme's CockaigneIn Cockaigne (13’), Emilie Verhamme depicts the tale of a Ukrainian father and his two sons Andriy and Oleksander. Hiding in coffins, they travel from Kiev to Brussels in search of a better life.

Published on Thursday 19 April 2012

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Last edited on 4 November 2015

Short info

Director Emilie Verhamme
Producers Tomas Leyers
Writers Emilie Verhamme

Minds Meet
Tomas Leyers
Havenlaan 108-110 Avenue du Port
1000 Brussels
T +32 2 266 66 66
F +32 2 250 11 11


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