EN - The King of the Belgians is on a state visit in Istanbul when his country falls apart. He must return home at once to save his kingdom. But a solar storm causes airspace and communications to shut down. No planes. No phones. With the help of a British filmmaker and a troupe of Bulgarian folk singers, the King and his entourage manage to escape over the border. Incognito. Thus begins an odyssey across the Balkans during which the King discovers the real world - and himself.

NL - De Koning der Belgen is op staatsbezoek in Istanbul wanneer zijn koninkrijk onverwacht uit elkaar valt. Hij moet meteen terug om zijn koninkrijk te redden! Maar een ongewoon sterke zonnestorm verstoort alle telecommunicatie en luchtverkeer. De Koning zit vast in Istanbul. Met de hulp van een Britse cineast en een groepje Bulgaarse zangeressen slagen de Koning en zijn entourage erin om uit Turkije te ontsnappen. Incognito. Aldus begint een odyssee doorheen de Balkan waarin de Koning het leven - en zichzelf - ontdekt.

FR - Le Roi des Belges est en visite d'Etat à Istanbul et c'est ce moment que choisit la partie francophone de son pays pour déclarer son indépendance. Le Roi est obligé de rentrer immédiatement afin de sauver son royaume. Malheureusement, au même moment, une éruption solaire provoque la fermeture de l'espace aérien européen et la paralysie de tous les moyens de communication. Plus aucun avion ne décolle, impossible de téléphoner. Avec l'aide d'un ingénieux cinéaste britannique et d'une troupe de chanteuses folkloriques bulgares, le Roi et son entourage parviennent à s'échapper en traversant la frontière, incognito. Ainsi commence une odyssée à travers les Balkans au cours de laquelle le Roi découvre le monde tel qu'il est et... lui-même.


Title King of the Belgians
Original title King of the Belgians
Original language English, Dutch, French, Bulgarian
Status Completed
Production Majority Flemish
Category Features
Genre road movie
Year 2016
World première / first public presentation 2016-09-03


Cast Peter Van den Begin, Lucie Debay, Titus De Voogdt, Bruno Georis, Pieter van der Houwen, Goran Radakovic, Nina Nikolina, Valentin Ganev
Photography Ton Peters
Editing David Verdurme
Sound Pepijn Aben
Art director Sabina Christova
Costume Eka Bichinashvili, Claudine Tychon
Makeup Petya Simeonova
Music Michel Schöpping

Technical specs

Running time film 94'
Release format DCP
Aspect ratio 1:1.85
Sound format 5.1 surround
Colour Colour
Available in 2D


Supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Screen Flanders, Dutch Film Fund & Dutch Production Incentive, Bulgarian National Film Center, CCA of the Walloon-Brussels Federation, Casa Kafka & Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government, Media Programme, EURIMAGES
Production partners Entre Chien et Loup (BE), Art Fest (BG), Topkapi Films (NL)
Tax shelter partners Casa Kafka


2016: Orizzonti - Venice International Film Festival (IT); Busan International Film Festival (KR); Hamburg Film Fest (DE); Film Fest Gent (BE); Open Horizons - Thessaloniki Film Festival (GR); Official Competition - Valladolid International Film Festival (ES); Antalya Film Festival (TR); Sao Paolo International Film Festival (BR); Together Again Competition - Zagreb Film Festival (HR); Panorama - Black Nights International Film Festival (EE); Playtime - Les Arcs European Film Festival (FR); Cinema of the World - Dubai International Film Festival (AE), Festival du Film International de Bruxelles (BE); Offcial Competition - Marrakech International Film Festival (MA); Festival International du Film de Comedy de Liège (BE)

King of the Belgians nominated for Lux Film Prize

Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth's fourth feature King of the Belgians, is nominated for the LUX Film Prize Competition, a yearly initiative organised by the European Parliament. All 10 films in the Official Selection have been carefully selected to provide a comprehensive panorama of the best current European cinema.

King of the BelgiansA panel of 21 European film professionals will further select three finalists among the 10 nominees, which will be announced on July 25th. During the LUX Film Days, the three remaining features will be screened in over 40 cities in the 28 member states of the European Union. Mid-November, members of Parliament will vote for the winner of the LUX Prize 2017.

Published on Sunday 2 July 2017

Home, Le Ciel Flamand and King of the Belgians to Göteborg

Fien Troch’s Home, Peter Monsaert’s Le Ciel Flamand and King of the Belgians by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth have been invited to the Göteborg International Film Festival (27 January – 6 February). The line-up also includes three co-productions with Flanders and a retrospective of the work of the Dardenne brothers.

Le Ciel FLamandNew Voices, a section showcasing films by upcoming directors in search of new trends, welcomes Monsaert’s Le Ciel Flamand. Home and Brosens and Woodworth’s royal odyssey King of the Belgians are to screen in the Five Continents programme, a collection of films from around the world.

Published on Tuesday 17 January 2017

Wouter Bouvijn pitches debut feature at Les Arcs

Belgian director Wouter Bouvijn has been invited to the Arc 1950 Co-Production Village in Les Arcs where he will pitch his upcoming debut feature Escape. The festival has also announced its full line-up, which includes the animated short Catherine as well as some co-productions with Flanders. As previously announced, Fien Troch’s Home and Brosens and Woodworths’ King of the Belgians will also screen in Les Arcs.

Wouter Bouvijn (c)Titus SimoensOver three days, the Co-Production Village presents a selection of 20 European feature films in development to professionals interested in a financial or production participation. Among those invited this year is Wouter Bouvijn (Crossroads), who is currently preparing his debut feature Escape (fka (F)light).

Published on Wednesday 30 November 2016

Royal visit to Marrakech and Dubai

Continuing its festival tour, King of the Belgians by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth will screen at the Marrakech International Film Festival (2-10 December), where it is in Competition. After that the film goes on to the Dubai International Film Festival (7-14 December), marking its 15th festival selection to date.

King of the BelgiansBrosens and Woodworth’s fourth feature premiered at the Venice Film Festival and has been successfully travelling the international festival circuit ever since. King of the Belgians has already screened in Hamburg, Thessaloniki, Valladolid, Antalya, Sao Paolo, Zagreb and Tallinn. In Marrakech, it will be one of 14 features competing for the festival’s main prize.

Published on Wednesday 30 November 2016

Home and King of the Belgians invited to Les Arcs

Fien Troch’s Home has been selected for the Official Competition at the European Film Festival in Les Arcs (10-17 December). In addition, King of the Belgians, directed by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth, celebrates its 10th festival selection as part of the Playtime programme. The line-up also includes Layla M., a co-production with Flanders.

HomeHome is one of 10 European features in Official Competition in Les Arcs vying for the Crystal Arrow, the main prize. Last year, Troch’s film was chosen for the festival’s Works-in-Progress sessions. Les Arcs’ Playtime section, which explores what European entertainment has to offer, includes King of the Belgians, the new film from Brosens and Woodworth.

Published on Wednesday 9 November 2016

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Last edited on 20 December 2016

Short info

Director Jessica Woodworth, Peter Brosens
Producers Jessica Woodworth, Peter Brosens
Writers Jessica Woodworth, Peter Brosens

Bo Films
Peter Brosens
Ooilamstraat 8
9000 Gent


Be for Films
Pamela Leu
Avenue des Villas, 28/0A
1060 Brussels
T +33 6 14 34 37 55

Website www.kingofthe.be
Preferential partners