A panel of 21 European film professionals will select three finalists from the selected titles, which will be announced on July 25th. They will be screened in more than 40 cities in the 28 member states of the European Union during the LUX Film Days and will be subtitled in 24 languages. The film that will win the LUX Prize is determined through a voting by the members of the European Parliament. The winner will be revealed at the plenary session in Strasbourg on November 15th.
In ‘King of the Belgians’, Nicolas III (Peter Van den Begin) is on a state visit in Istanbul when Wallonia, Belgium’s southern half declares its independence. The King must return home to save his kingdom. But a powerful solar storm disrupts all telecommunication and air traffic. The King and his entourage are now stuck in Istanbul. With the help of a British filmmaker they manage to escape from Turkey, incognito, hidden amidst a group of Bulgarian singers. Thus begins an odyssey through the Balkans in which the King discovers real life and himself.
‘King of the Belgians’ is the sixth Belgian film that receives an official selection since the foundation in 2007. ‘Le Silence de Lorna’ by the brothers Dardenne won the LUX Prize in 2008, while Felix van Groening’s ‘The ‘Broken Circle Breakdown’ was a favourite in 2013. The film did not only win the LUX Prize itself, but was also chosen by Europe’s film lovers as the winner of the LUX Audience award.
The nomination for the European prize is yet another addition to the flawless trail of ‘King of the Belgians’. The film had its world premiere last summer in the Orizzonti competition of the Venice International Film Festival, received its Asian premiere in Busan and was invited to Film Fest Gent in its own country. There were also stops in Valladolid, Tallinn, Zagreb, Dubai, Les Arcs, Gothenburg and Palm Springs. At the International Film Festival Rotterdam, ‘King of the Belgians’ managed to snatch the KNF Award – the prize of the Dutch film critics. In addition, the film was awarded the Global Vision Award at Cinequest and received a special mention in Chicago. Other premieres took place at festivals in Hamburg, Sofia, Sao Paulo, Thessaloniki, Cleveland and Sydney.
In the coming months, ‘King of the Belgian’ will continue to travel to Taipei, Perth, Croatian Pula and Munich bringing the sum up to over 50 festivals worldwide. The film has also been selected for the international competition of Odessa International Film Festival, (14 – 22 July) where it will be competing for the Golden Duke Award. In addition, sales agent Be for Films has sold cinematic rights to more than 25 countries including the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Russia, Canada, China and Japan. Television and VOD rights have also been purchased in over 15 territories.