From 29 April-7 May at Docville in Leuven, Belgian documentaries will be in the spotlight once again. This year’s National Competition has a distinctly Flemish tinge, with screenings including The Land of the Enlightened, Samuel in the Clouds, No Man Is an Island and The Invisible City [Kakuma]. Two Flemish documentaries - Wim and Truth or Consequence - will also receive their world premieres at Docville.

Samuel In The CloudsIn Wim, filmmaker Lut Vandekeybus dives into the complex poetic universe of her brother, acclaimed choreographer and director Wim Vandekeybus, while Truth or Consequence by Sam Ostyn is a captivating and poetic portrait of a tiny town in the New Mexico desert that changed its name to the title of a radio show.

Pieter-Jan De Pue’s The Land of the Enlightened follows a group of Kuchi children who wage their own mini-wars in the daily madness of life in Afghanistan, whereas Samuel in the Clouds by Pieter Van Eecke portrays Samuel, an elderly ski-lift operator who remains hopeful that the snow will return, even though climate change has caused the glacier to vanish for ever.

Tim De Keersmaecker went to Lampedusa for No Man Is an Island, asking – through two unique adoption stories – whether it is the promised land or a prison in mid-Mediterranean. The Invisible City [Kakuma], meanwhile, follows director Lieven Corthouts to Kakuma, a Kenyan refugee camp where countless unaccompanied minors arrive every day.

Also selected is Reach for the Sky, directed by Steven Dhoedt and Choi Wooyoung, a documentary about the half-a-million-plus high-school students who take part in the National University Exam in South Korea each year. And in Bobbejaan, Benny Vandendriessche provides an intimate and emotional portrait of Flemish entertainer Bobbejaan Schoepen in the final stages of his life.

The line-up also includes Oratorium zonder Doel, directed by Manu Riche. The film tells how, in 1965, the village of Doel was sacrificed for the expansion of the port of Antwerp; but, half a century later, Doel is still there. Finally, A Leak in Paradise - a Walloon/Flemish documentary - tells the story of Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer who leaked sensitive information about the secrets of a Swiss bank in the Cayman Islands.

In addition to Docville’s National Competition, the TV Documentaries section will screen Flemish documentary series Archibelge! and A Matter of Happiness, A Matter of Luck.

The Land of the Enlightened, Samuel in the Clouds, No Man Is an Island, The Invisible City [Kakuma], Reach for the Sky, Wim and A Leak in Paradise received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz. Archibelge! was backed by the VAF/Media Fund of Flemish Media Minister Gatz.

Published on Friday 22 April 2016

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