Masterclass Jessica Woodworth

15 H Film Screening
16: 45 H Masterclass


Masterclass: Turning Reality into Fiction, Tales of Resistance from the Mongolian Steppes
(with the screening of Khadak)

Director, writer and producer Jessica Woodworth (USA/Belgium) will reveal the origin and genesis of the feature Khadak that was shot in winter in Mongolia with a local cast. The film brought her the Lion of the Future for Best First Feature at the Venice Film Festival 2006. She will describe the struggles with writing the script, how the scenes were conceived on set and how the audio-visual approach evolved through post. Then she will explain how 'Khadak' lead to an unintended trilogy that includes 'Altiplano' (2009), shot in the Peruvian Andes, and 'The Fifth Season' (2012), a pre-apocalyptic fable shot in Belgium.

Jessica Woodworth, an American-Belgian filmmaker based in Ghent, Belgium. She studied literature and classical theatre at Princeton University, and holds an MA in Documentary Film from Stanford University. Her documentary The Virgin Diaries was nominated for the FIPRESCI Award at the Amsterdam Documentary FF 2002. In 2011, she was president of the jury at the Ghent IFF. With Peter Brosens, she directed and wrote films Khadak (Venice IFF 2006 – Lion of the Future Award), Altiplano (Cannes 2009 – Critics’ Week) and The Fifth Season (Venice 2012 – Official Competition). The three films were screened at over 150 festivals and won numerous awards.



Khadak, Jessica Woodworth, Peter Brosens

Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, 2006, 105’, color, HD

Bagi and his grandparents live a nomadic life herding sheep in the frozen hills of Mongolia. Their pristine world is disrupted when a military convoy arrives, letting Bagi's family and others know that a plague has struck the animals in their region and they must relocate to a mining town, complete with high-rise apartments. In their first fiction film, documentary filmmakers Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens apply a distinctly impressionistic style to an original story with haunting themes. Capitalism is expanding into the most remote of regions and creates ongoing tensions between the past and the future, creation and destruction, and accepting or denying one's fate.


festivals and awards: Venice International Film Festival 2006 – Lion of the Future for Best Feature Film Debut; Bratislava International Film Festival 2006 – Special Mention, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury – Special Mention