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The Barefoot Emperor


The Barefoot Emperor tells how the last king of the Belgians became the first European emperor.

In King of the Belgians, the king saw his kingdom crumble. In this sequel, the king is shot in the ear in Sarajevo and wakes up in the summer residence of Tito, the former Yugoslav president, on an island off the west coast of Croatia.

He tries to escape, but is restrained and then named the first emperor of European nationalist Nova by a special delegation. However, the king no longer wants his life to be dictated by others and he decides to take his destiny into his own hands.

Technical sheet

Director: Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth

Casting: Peter Van den Begin, Geraldine Chaplin, Lucie Debay, Titus De Voogdt, Bruno Georis, Udo Kier

Run Time: 98 minutes

Year: 2020

A Bo Films production

In co-production with Wajnbrosse, Topkapi (Netherlands), Propeler (Croatia) and Art Fest (Bulgaria)

With the support of the Center du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (CCA), the Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government, the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Eurimages, Flanders Image & Connext, Lumière Invest, Netherlands Film Fund (NFF), Croatian Audiovisuel Center (HAVC), Bulgarian National FIlm Center (BNFC), VOO & BETV, Telenet, Be For Films, Canvas, Lumière, Zagreb Film Festival, RFF International

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"(...) denouncing the return of fascism in Europe The Barefoot Emperor is devilishly interesting"  

La Libre

The Barefoot Emperor is a satire, a dystopia in a future that seems so present, a potentially chilling political farce, both the themes addressed and the abuses denounced seem realistic. "  


The barefoot Emperor tackles a serious subject with humor and poetry. "



“A touching feel-good movie, fresh and full of humanity. "



Film Fest Gent 2019 (Ghent, Belgium);

TIFF 2019 (Toronto, Canada);

Torino Film Fest 2020 (Turin, Italy);

Palm Springs International Film Festival (United States);


As well as 28 other festivals including Warsaw, Seville, Avanca, Tallinn, Göteborg, Mediterranean FF, Odessa FF, Cairo, Chicago, Shanghai and Taipei



Special mention  - Avanca Film Festival 2019

Joseph Plateau Honorary Award for Geraldine Chaplin - Filmfest Gent 2020

Golden Arenas for Best Film - Pula FF 2020

Golden Arenas for Best Director - Pula FF 2020

Golden Arenas for Best Actor - Pula FF 2020

Audience Award - AFI European Union Film Showcase 2020


Grolsch People's Choice Award - TIFF 2019

Eurimages Award Best European Co -production - Festival de Seville 2020

Best International Feature & ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman & Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award - Cleveland IFF 2020

FEDEORA Jury Prize - Pula FF 2020