STORY (spoiler alert!):
Simon is a young gay man from Cameroon. When neighbours take the law in their own hands and decide to punish him for “having chosen the path of the Devil”, Simon runs away and decides to escape to Europe. In Belgium, he meets Tom, an older man, on a gay dating site. The two men hook up and what follows is a story of sex and intimacy. But when their cultural differences become more challenging, Tom is faced with a dilemma.
We start shooting “Skai Blue” at end of February 2017 and shoot through summer 2017. Post-production will follow so that the film will be ready early fall 2017.
We have already secured a talented cast, crew, and great locations, but your help is essential to complete production of this unique and important film.
You can help bring this film to the public with a financial donation! There’s no gift to modest, every little bit helps, and to provide incentive, please take a look at the great rewards you will receive! All backers at every level from modest to generous gifts will receive regular updates from the set and the cutting room, as well as receive the latest exciting news as we present the film at the festivals, screenings, and beyond! With your gift, you become a part of our collective creative process and help bring attention to this important issue.
We would appreciate it if you could share this link with your friends and connections, as every euro and dollar counts to help us share this beautiful and timely story with the public. With our short film, we want to reach out and not only inspire the LGTB community, but the public at large in order to raise important timely issues about political refugees and honour the asylum seeker that lives inside of each one of us, seeking freedom from discrimination.
GUIDO VERELST (WRITER/DIRECTOR)
After earning a Master’s in French literature at Antwerp University, Guido studied theater and film at the Université de Strasbourg. He earned a Master’s from Brussels Film School INSAS in directing.
Since 2000, he has worked as a freelance director, editor, and producer for his company DEEP FOCUS.
In 1997, Guido’s short fiction ‘Hadewijch’ won the award for best cinematography at the short film festival in Namur, Belgium, and in 2012, he received the award for best newcomer for his fashion film ‘Showroom Belgium – London Fashion Week’ at the Berlin Fashion Film Festival.
With the short film ‘Skai Blue’, Guido is returning to his roots in the medium of fiction filmmaking and is preparing a feature film based on the same story.
DIEGO DEZUTTERE (DOP)
After film school at Narafi Brussels, Diego (1977) began his career as a camera assistant in drama. it was a great learning experience! He saw ‘how magic works’ and fell in love with cinematography. Later he became a cameraman, a new challenge. He filmed “easy on the eyes” documentaries all around the world, corporate movies, current affairs and commercials. “Filming documentaries trains you to listen, to pay attention to the story and find the best way of filming in every situation… The challenge is to remain creative in unexpected changing circumstances. In these environments you’re constantly making decisions on the spot… here you get experienced!” he says. Diego has served as director of photography for several TV series (Red Sonja, Amigo's, Gent-West ...) and feature films (Danni Lowinski, Allemaal Familie ...)
KEVIN HOED (Producer)
Kevin Hoed first studied Economics-Modern Languages before moving over to more creative outlets. In Genk, he earned his Master’s in Audiovisual Arts at the Media & Design Academy. Soon after graduation, he began his career as a location manager. He did this for 8 years, and decided to direct his first short feature ‘Bleu’ (2014). Soon after the release of this movie, he founded a production company Skladanowsky, together with his partners Steve De Roover and Robin Pipeleers. Since 2015 they have produced promotional spots, music video’s and three short features.
STEVE DE ROOVER (Producer)
Steve De Roover worked as a film critic and freelance writer. He also worked as location manager, extras coordinator and script supervisor on a wide array of Flemish and international productions like the 2nd season of ‘The Missing’ for BBC, the Konstantin Bojanov directed ’Light Thereafer’, world war II epic ‘The Exception’, Lee Tamahori's ’Emperor’, ‘Missing Persons Unit’ and the upcoming TV-show ‘Gent-West’. In 2013 he finished his short film ‘Un Homme bien". The vampire short premiered at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival in 2013 and was awarded as 'Best social short' at the 2014 Krivoy Rog Film Festival. Following the success of ‘Un Homme Bien’ led in 2014 to the 'Newbie Award' winning short thriller ‘Bleu’, which Steve De Roover co-produced alongside director Kevin Hoed. In 2015 Steve and Kevin formed Skladanowsky. Together they produced the short thriller ‘The Barrier of Silence’ which was nominated for best camerawork by the Belgian Society of Cinematographers and Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah's upcoming short thriller ‘Hashtag’ The feature length horror documentary ‘Forgotten Scares’: An In-depth Look at Flemish Horror Cinema" - directed by Steve De Roover will soon be released, and recently received the award for 'Best foreign feature' at the annual Hollywood Florida Film Festival 2017.
PEPO RUIZ DORADO (Costume Designer)
Born in Cadiz and based in Madrid, Pepo started working as a visual artist, but soon thereafter dedicated himself to film. Since 2005,Pepo has been working as a costumer, costume designer, and wardrobe supervisor on multiple internationally- acclaimed films such as ‘Submergence’ (Wim Wenders), ‘Hands of Stone’ (Jonathan Jakubowicz), ‘Hitman:Agent 74’ (Aleksander Bach), ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ (James Bobin), ‘Les Misérables’ (Tom Hooper), ‘Biutiful’ (Alejandro Iñarritu), and many more.
This creative and restless artist also designed the magnificent costumes for the TV series ‘La Sonata del Silencio’ , ‘El Tiempo entre Costuras’ and ‘Narcos’.
PABLO PIATTI (Production Designer)
Pablo Piatti studied Art at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina and after graduating he moved to Belgium in the early 90s. Ever since he’s been working as a stylist and Illustrator for several European brands. Presently he works with interior designers and architects in decoration projects where he creates bespoke murals and wallpapers. He joined DEEP FOCUS as set designer for ‘Skai Blue’.
TOM (Steven Van Watermeulen)
Steven Van Watermeulen (1968) studied at the Conservatoire in Antwerp and has worked with numerous directors including Guy Cassiers, Johan Simons, Ivo van Hove, Pierre Audi, Alize Zandwijk, Theu Boermans, Julie Van den Berghe, Christoph Marthaler, Peter Van Kraai and Dora van der Groen. He performed in ‘Splendids’, ‘Bérénice’, ‘Streetcar Named Desire’, ‘Romeo en Julia’, ‘Caligula’, ‘Measure for Measure’, ‘Thyestes’, ‘The Kiss of the Spider Woman’, ‘The Lady of the Camellias’, ‘Flirt’, ‘India Song’, ‘Faces’ (Het Zuidelijk Toneel), ‘Het jachtgezelschap’ (Kaaitheater), ‘Macbeth’, ‘Leonce en Lena’, ‘Lavalounge’, ‘Mijn avonturen’ door V. Schwrm and Proust 3 (RO Theater). For his part in ‘De Wespenfabriek’ by the RO Theater he received a Louis d'Or.
In 1997 he directed ‘Last Tango in Paris’ for Het Zuidelijk Toneel, an adaptation of Bertolucci's film. This was followed by ‘Sterremix’ (SKAGEN) and ‘Nest’ by Oscar van den Boogaard (RO Theater). Together with Sara de Roo, Oscar van den Boogaard and the B-architecten he made ‘Lucia Smelt’ for tg STAN. In 2009 he created the opera ‘Die Entführung aus dem Paradies’ for Transparant.
Under the name of BLITZ, Steven Van Watermeulen, Oscar van den Boogaard and Sven Grooten (B-architecten) worked as curators for the shows ‘Rimbaud’ in Brussel, ‘Een seizoen in de hel’ (BOZAR, Brussels, 2004), ‘MOI, VERONIQUE Branquinho to(u)t(e) nu(e)’ (MOMU, Antwerp, 2008) and ‘Bij Ensor op bezoek’ (Muzee, Ostend, 2010).
In 2006, Steven Van Watermeulen debuted as a writer and has been very successful since. Since 2005, Steven is part of the NTGent theatre company, and from the 2017-2018 season on, Steven will be a full-time member of Toneelgroep Amsterdam.
SIMON (Adams Mensah)
Adams Adjetey Mensah (°Accra, April 2 1991) is a Ghanaian-Belgian actor, writer and dancer.
In 2007 he performs in the play ‘Genesis’ directed by Greet Vissers. Since then he appeared in plays from companies such as Sering, Tutti Fratelli, kunstZ, Productiehuis Brabant, Lampekap, Muziektheater Transparant …
He collaborated with directors such as Guy Cassiers, Jo Roets, Michael De Cock, Sabri Saad El Hamus, Neske Beks, Franz Marijnen and Reinhilde Decleir.
In 2009 he creates with Greet Vissers the dance performance ‘Ford Escort’ inspired by Adams’s idol Michael Jackson, which toured through Flanders.
In 2011 Adams started his audio-visual training at the Brussels School for Sciences and Arts. On September 9 of that year he debuts as a director with the film ‘Genade’ (‘Mercy’) in which he performs, and for which he wrote the screenplay. The film tells the story of how far a mother will go to protect her child.
Two years later Adams collaborates with Werner Kolf at the youth film project ‘Stad in Beeld’ from kunstZ, resulting in the short fiction ‘The Birthday’ which was shown at the Mestizo Arts Festival 2014.
In 2014 he leaves to Ghana to film his documentary ‘Me a Belgian, my mother a Ghanaian’, for which he won the Prize of the Jury at the 2016 Zanzibar International Film Festival.
Risks and challenges
'Skai Blue' is not an easy film to make, but an important one. The subject is quite controversial but current. In an historical moment when countries are closing their borders, I hope to raise awareness for (gay) refugees, not only in the LGTB community, but also among those who believe that all human beings, regardless of gender, race, background or belief deserve a chance for a better life. In the light of the current refugee crisis, Skai Blue makes an important intervention and tells the story of an invisible group of refugees: those who are forced to stay in the closet in their own countries, where homosexuality is considered a crime, and those who remain in the closet even after they find shelter in foreign refugee centres.
'Skai Blue' is not a high-budget film production. You will not encounter any special effects or complicated green key shots.
On the contrary. Skai Blue’s minimalistic approach contributes to the “huis-clos” setting, focusing on the intimacy between the main characters and accentuating the cultural distance that divides them. Skai Blue also has that peculiar documentary approach, looking for real-life situations and painfully showing what it means for a refugee to arrive in a distant country and how to build up a new life in a completely strange surrounding.
In order to complete production, we are still looking for 15.000 USD / 14.110 €
Please have a look at the great rewards you will receive as a backer.
Thanks for helping to bring this project to life!
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- (30 days)