It's not about fame and fortune, It's about the footprints we leave behind, ANKH!
Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?
ANKH, the ancient Egyptian sign for the key of life, is about the symbolism of eternal life. Not in physical form, but with the footprints we leave behind during our lives. Through the eyes of a mummy brought to life, we relive a cruise on the Nile in all the splendor of ancient Egypt.
What are your ambitions with your project?
The life expectancy of people with Brugada syndrome, like myself, is much lower than the average. But I'm not afraid to die. I do want to leave something behind after I'm gone. My career has never been about money or fame, but I do want to leave a footprint.
I now leave that footprint with our film 'Ankh', with images of our honeymoon in Egypt in 2007 with my husband Luc. I have been restoring, cutting and assembling those old cassette rolls for fifteen years. It's kind of the icing on the cake of my career. I also wrote the soundtrack myself. It is not so much that the music reinforces the images, but the other way around, the images in Ankh reinforce the music. An ambition that was surely successful.
Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
When I filmed more than 25 hours of film footage 16 years ago, it never occurred to me that this would result in a full-length film. We are therefore happy and pleasantly surprised that ANKH has already won many awards all around the world.
For what group of spectators is your film targeted?
For young children, our full-length film may seem frightening. But once they realize that it's all just fiction, there's no age on our target audience. Especially people who are interested in ancient Egypt will be more than happy to experience or relive a cruise on the Nile through our film.
Why should distributors buy your film?
Very few films or documentaries exist that give a large and complete overview of ancient Egypt. In an hour and a half, the spectator is immersed in all the splendor. And this without having to get tired. All those beautiful images also bring the beautiful music of Gravity Noir to life.
How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
It's definitely an art house movie. There was an enormous amount of experimentation with the footage that had largely been lost over the years. I've been restoring, cutting and editing those old mini-DV cassettes for fifteen years now. But ANKH can just as well be classified as a documentary or a spiritual fantasy film.
Why did you decided to become a filmmaker?
My 35 years of experience as a singer, composer, and music producer also resulted in making music videos. It is with that experience that I took up the challenge to make a feature film. So now I can also add the title of filmmaker to my resume. But this all happened very spontaneously.
Who is your role model?
I suppose Boy George from Culture Club is still my role model to this day. It is thanks to him that I became interested in the music world. I became known in the 80s as a well-known Boy George live singing impersonator. And to this day I still admire George for what he still accomplishes. He is incredibly creative and talented. Also in making music videos. YouTube is full of his amazing creations.
Which movies are your favorites? Why?
I've always been a fan of the horror genre. Even in my early teens I watched the most horrific horror films, under the supervision of my parents that is. What interested me most were the many special effects they used in the most gory scenes. My absolute favorite still is 'Friday The 13th' by Sean Cunningham. Nowadays everything is realized with CGI, also very clever, but for me a bit too realistic for my sensitive stomach.
Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
I mainly get my inspiration from historical costume dramas. But of course also in the many ways in which scenes are experimented with.
Which topics interest you the most?
History, biographies, art, culture and music.
What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?
Definitely the making and completing ANKH. Leaving my footprint for when I'm long gone. My name will pop up from time to time if, by chance, I'm sure.
What do you consider most important about filming?
Images should be a blank canvas with outlines only. They must give the viewer the opportunity to discover and fill in their own imagination and creativity. What is Art...
Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?
Bird's eye shot or long dramatic shot
How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?
Nowadays they use too much CGI. It loses too much authenticity. I realize it's also an important art form, but I still believe in the most natural way to bring scenes to life. The choice of colour filters is also debatable. But that's just personal taste.
What can disappoint you in a movie?
The overuse of CGI and colour filters throughout the film.
Who supports you in your film career?
In the first place, everywhere and with everything, my dear husband Luc Verlinden. Who also plays the lead role in ANKH. But also my best comrade and mental coach Marc Broeckx. He has always believed in my projects from day one.
Ankh introduces audiences to the lifelong partner (Luc Verlinden) and showcases his hopeful treasure-hunting Egyptian adventure to find his departed husband Patrick Knight (As himself) and accidentally brings him back to life. During his resurrection, the viewer is taken into memories during a cruise down the Nile which ends in Cairo, where a complete transformation in the look-alike of Queen Nefertiti is accomplished. Ofra Haza, the Madonna of the east follows them closely and helps them in their search for the key to life, Ankh, the afterlife. Ankh is a travelogue through ancient Egypt and makes the beautiful soundtrack, (music by Gravity Noir), come to life. It's not about fame and fortune, it's about the footprints we leave behind...
Despite heart disease, Patrick Knight (58) wins tons of international film awards: "I'm not afraid of death, but I want to remain immortal like ancient pharaohs".
The now 58-year-old Hoboken resident Patrick Knight has been making music for 35 years and has scored mainly abroad. Now he is venturing for the first time on the film 'Ankh', which he himself recorded, directed and provided with a soundtrack and has won no fewer than nineteen (!) international film awards. The film, inspired by ancient Egypt, is about the transience of life and the need to leave something behind. "I never wanted money or fame, but I do want to leave a footprint."
Boy George impersonator:
Patrick who exactly? Patrick Knight (58) - his father was a British soldier who met his Belgian mother after the liberation in 1945 - has been involved in music for 35 years. He then became known in Antwerp as a Boy George impersonator and drag queen performer in competitions such as Playback and the iconic Soundmix show. With the band Gravity Noir he plunged into the underground scene, but his music did not catch on in Belgium.
Overseas, where he lent his voice to the British rave formation GTO in the early nineties, resulting in the international club hit 'Listen To The Rhythm Flow'. Afterwards, he mainly performed covers and remixes of well-known hits with Gravity Noir and performed regularly. Until disaster struck.
Because since his childhood, something turned out to be wrong with Patrick. During sports he often became unwell. Doctors looked towards epilepsy, but Patrick repeatedly tested negative for it. At a later age, Patrick himself noticed that it might be his heart and after a simple cardio test in the hospital, all alarm bells suddenly went off. According to the Middelheim Hospital, Patrick's heart defect was too complex to treat. At the UZA, they tried in vain to burn away abnormal nerves towards his heart. He eventually ended up with a cardiologist who had him tested for Brugada Syndrome. Two times positive. Brugada is a genetic disease that increases the risk of sudden heart failure. It occurs in about one in two thousand people.
"I was working as a tram driver in Antwerp at the time, but I was immediately taken off the labour market," Patrick recalls. "I was implanted with an ICD, a device that intervenes in the event of dangerous cardiac arrhythmias. It has saved me several times. I must avoid all stress, heavy emotions and exertion. I spent the Christmas period with my family in England. The ICD then had to save me three times in a few days. I wouldn't be able to tell this story without it."
The life expectancy of people with Brugada is much lower than the average. "But I'm not afraid to die," emphasizes Patrick. "I do want to leave something behind after I'm gone. My career has never been about money or fame, but I do want to leave a footprint."
Patrick now leaves that footprint with his film 'Ankh', with images of Patrick's honeymoon in Egypt in 2007 with his husband Luc. "I have been restoring, cutting and assembling those old cassette rolls for fifteen years," says Patrick. "It's kind of the icing on the cake of my career. I also wrote the soundtrack myself. It is not so much that the music reinforces the images, but the other way around, the images in Ankh reinforce the music."
Very symbolically, Patrick dies after just one second in the storyline of his film. A desperate Luc goes to search for his husband in Egypt and accidentally brings him back to life. The viewer is then taken on a journey in ancient Egypt through the eyes of a resurrected Patrick, who undergoes a complete transformation.
Ankh has already won nineteen (!) international film awards and another eight nominations from Brussels to the United States, India and Singapore. "Like the ancient pharaohs, I hope that my name can live on in this way in the afterlife," concludes Patrick.
'Ankh' - not coincidentally the ancient Egyptian symbol for life - will premiere in Antwerp on March 18 in the Klappei film house and on June 25 in the Fakkeltheater. Ticket sales go to the volunteers of both culture houses.
© Cannes Film Awards 2020 - 2023