Country: Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Armenia
Year: 2023
Duration: 94'

Luka, a young and ambitious soldier, embeds himself in the legendary Fort Kairos where heroic warriors defend the remains of civilization. His hopes to serve as an elite sniper are crushed when he is assigned to maintenance and must submit to the code of Kairos: obedience-endurance-sacrifice. As he rises through the ranks, Luka finds joy and strength in friendships with Konstantin, an enigmatic radar engineer, and Geronimo, a light-hearted private.


film director

Jessica Woodworth

(Washington, Usa, 1971) is a Belgian-American film director, screenwriter and producer based in Belgium. Her previous fiction feature films are Khadak, Altiplano, The Fifth Season, King of the Belgians and The Barefoot Emperor, made with Peter Brosens. These films screened in over 350 festivals and won over 70 awards. Jessica grew up between Belgium, Switzerland and the US and has since studied and worked in Italy, France, China, Mongolia and Morocco. She has a degree in literature from Princeton University and a masters in documentary film from Stanford University. She gives workshops for actors and directors, has been on juries worldwide and is a frequent mentor for film students.


Urga Song (cm, 1999), The Virgin Diaries (mm, 2002), Khadak (coregia/codirector Peter Brosens, 2006), Altiplano (coregia/codirector Peter Brosens, 2009), La cinquième saison (La quinta stagione, coregia/codirector Peter Brosens, 2012), King of the Belgians (Un re allo sbando, coregia/codirector Peter Brosens, 2016), The Barefoot Emperor (coregia/codirector Peter Brosens, 2019), LUKA (2023), La Flotte (cm, 2023).


film director

“Luka was inspired by the book Il deserto dei Tartari, by Dino Buzzati, a haunting masterpiece that has as many interpretations as readers. LUKA, the film, transposes the premise of the story to a wind-swept, parched earth of the future that reflects our deepening climate emergencies. The evocations of profound solitude, the engaging hero, the sheer absurdity of waiting endlessly for an enemy to appear and the magnitude of the landscapes offered the core ingredients. The protagonists inhabit a run-down military- industrial complex, Fort Kairos, that serves no obvious purpose. Stretching northwards are mountains of ash that harbour their deepest fears and hopes. They are all held hostage by illusions and to the march of time that renders their existence increasingly absurd. Luka's hunger for war slowly subsides as he falls under the mysterious spell of Fort Kairos and into the comfort of newfound friendships with two fellow soldiers, Konstantin and Geronimo. Their bond brings warmth and light into their otherwise bleak world until things take a tragic turn. The entire story is built towards Luka’s understated yet fiercely courageous final act of defiance that causes Fort Kairos to fall. A colossal unfinished dam in Sicily and the awe-inspiring slopes of Mount Etna provided the ideal stage for Luka.”


& Credits

DIRECTOR, SCREENPLAY: Jessica Woodworth. STORY: inspired by Dino Buzzati’s Il deserto dei tartari. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Virginie Surdej. EDITING: David Verdurme. PRODUCTION DESIGN: Sabina Christova. COSTUMES: Eka Bichinashvili. MUSIC: Teho Teardo. SOUND: Stefano Campus. CAST: Jonas Smulders, Geraldine Chaplin, Jan Bijvoet, Samvel Tadevossian, Django Schrevens, Sam Louwyck. PRODUCED: Peter Brossens. PRODUCTION: Bo Films. CONTACT: Palosanto (Flaminio Zadra)