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Brosens & Woodworth’s Kebab Royal wraps


Kebab Royal, a dramatic comedy by Venice Lion-winners Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens, had its last day of shooting on July 4. Shot in Brussels, Istanbul and Bulgaria, this Belgian-Dutch-Bulgarian coproduction is a comic road movie about the last King of the Belgians lost in the Balkans.

King Nicolas II, played in the film by Peter Van den Begin (The Fifth SeasonWaste Land), is on a symbolic mission to Istanbul with his entourage. They are joined by a British filmmaker, Duncan Lloyd, who has been commissioned by the palace to shoot a documentary intended to improve the image of the King. Back home, however, Wallonia (the southern half of Belgium) declares its independence. The Kingdom has collapsed and the King must return home at once to fulfil his only true royal duty: to keep the bickering Belgians united. But the fates decide otherwise. A solar storm causes air travel and communications to shut down. Thus begins the King's odyssey across the Balkans which includes marvellous encounters, mayhem and moments of grace.

Directed by Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens, this is the fourth film on the directing duo’s slate. In 2006, their first film Khadak won the Luigi de Laurentiis Award at the Venice Days, while follow-up Altiplano (2009) was invited to the Critics’ Week in Cannes. The third instalment in their trilogy, The Fifth Season, premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2012.

Kebab Royal is produced by Bo Films, in co-production with Entre Chien et Loup (Belgium), Art Fest (Bulgaria) and Topkapi Films (the Netherlands). The film received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz and was also backed by the Screen Flanders Economic Fund, under the aegis of Economic Affairs Minister Philippe Muyters and Cultural Affairs Minister Gatz.