Pieter-Jan De Pue’s debut feature The Land Of The Enlightened and Tim De Keersmaecker’s No Man Is an Island have both been selected for the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival (28 April – 8 May) in Canada. No Man Is an Island is set to receive its North American premiere as part of the International Spectrum Competition, while The Land Of The Enlightened will be presented in the World Showcase programme. Hot Docs is the largest documentary film festival in North America.

No Man Is An IslandIn The Land of the Enlightened - a poetic mix between fiction and documentary - Pieter-Jan De Pue tells the story of a group of Kuchi children who wage their own mini-wars in the daily madness of life in Afghanistan. In January, the film had its world premiere at Sundance, where it took home a prize for Best Cinematography, followed by its European premiere in Rotterdam. Next stop on the film’s successful festival tour is Hot Docs, where it will be presented in the World Showcase section, a collection of the world’s best documentaries of the past year.

Meanwhile Tim De Keersmaecker’s No Man Is an Island is set to receive its North American premiere at Hot Docs, where it will compete in the International Spectrum section together with 10 other films, all competing for the main prize (Best International Feature), which is worth $10,000.

No Man Is an Island tells the story of Omar and Adam. Doctor Bartolo found Omar, a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant, stranded on Lampedusa’s coast. He offers Omar a family, a home and a job as an interpreter in the local detention centre. Around the same time Adam, a 16-year-old from Ghana, is also taken in by a hotelier’s family and works as a valet. Both boys have been lucky. Or have they?

Also selected for Hot Docs is Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan’s Strike a Pose, a co-production with Flanders. Having premiered in Berlin, the documentary feature is part of the Special Presentations programme. In 1990, seven young male dancers joined Madonna on her controversial Blond Ambition Tour, as captured by the iconic documentary Truth or Dare. Now, 25 years later, the dancers reveal their individual stories and the difficulty of living the liberated life they were promoting during the tour. Ellen De Waele from Serendipity Films (82 Days in April) co-produced Strike a Pose for Flanders.

The Land of the Enlightened was produced by Bart Van Langendonck for Savage Film (The Ardennes, Bullhead), while Emmy Oost produced No Man Is an Island for Cassette for Timescapes (Problemski Hotel). All the above documentaries received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz.

Published on Tuesday 29 March 2016

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