Sum of Histories, directed by Lukas Bossuyt, and Pieter-Jan De Pue’s The Land of the Enlightened both received their Asian premiere at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, which ended on 4 April. The programme also included four co-productions with Flanders: Schneider vs Bax, The White Knights, Les Cowboys and the short film Splintertime. Finally, Flemish actor Jan Bijvoet was also featured in Embrace of the Serpent, in which he plays one of the main roles.

Sum of HistoriesLukas Bossuyt’s directorial debut Sum of Histories received its Asian premiere at the Hong Kong Film Festival after premiering at the Montreal World Film Festival last summer. It is the story of Viktor, a brilliant young professor who discovers a way to manipulate time. Now he can finally change the past and help his beloved Lena. But as Viktor soon learns, changing the past is not without risk. Producers are Frank Van Passel and Ivy Vanhaecke for Caviar (Black, Paradise Trips).

Pieter-Jan De Pue’s The Land of the Enlightened also screened in Hong Kong. The Asian screening is the latest addition to the film’s festival agenda which already includes Sundance – where it won a prize for cinematography – and Rotterdam. De Pue’s hybrid film tells the story of a group of Kuchi children who wage their own mini-wars in the daily madness of life in Afghanistan. The film is produced by Bart Van Langendonck for Savage Film (The Ardennes, Bullhead).

Hong Kong also welcomed four co-productions with Flanders. In Schneider vs Bax, directed by Alex Van Warmerdam, things become complicated when hit man Schneider takes on a rush job, targeting the secluded writer Roman Bax. The film was co-produced by Eurydice Gysel for CZAR (Waste Land).

The White Knights, directed by Joachim Lafosse, tells the story of Jacques Arnault and the rescue of 300 child victims of a civil war. But things do not go according to plan when Arnault and his NGO team find themselves complicit in a humanitarian disaster. Flemish co-producer is Antonino Lombardo for Prime Time (Kid, Little Black Spiders).

Thomas Bidegain’s Les Cowboys is about Alain, a father who fears his disappeared 16-year-old daughter has fallen prey to Islamic extremists. Les Cowboys was co-produced for Flanders by Lunanime (Offline).

A fourth Flemish co-production, Splintertime, directed by Rosto, was selected in Hong Kong’s Short Film Competition. The animated short tells the story of a group of sleeping ghosts in an ambulance. Flemish co-producer is S.O.I.L (Beast!, No Offense).

Finally, more talent from Flanders was to be seen in Embrace of the Serpent, in which Jan Bijvoet (The Ardennes, Cordon) plays one of the main roles. Earlier this year, the Colombian film was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar.

Sum of Histories, The Land of the Enlightened, Schneider vs Bax, The White Knights and Splintertime all received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz. Sum of Histories and Schneider vs Bax were also backed by the Screen Flanders economic fund, under the aegis of Flemish Economic Affairs Minister Philippe Muyters and Cultural Affairs Minister Gatz.

Published on Thursday 31 March 2016

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