23 March 2021 –
Belgian production company De Mensen starts the filming of LOST LUGGAGE, a six-part fiction series inspired by the aftermath of the attacks of 22 March 2016 at Brussels Airport. Belgium’s Dutch public-service broadcaster VRT partnered up with French/German broadcaster ARTE, to commission the psychological drama created by actress Tiny Bertels (Highway of Love, Hotel Beau Séjour) in close collaboration with director Nathalie Basteyns (Hotel Beau Séjour, The Out-Laws).
Co-directed by Kaat Beels (Hotel Beau Séjour, Tabula Rasa), Nathalie Basteyns and Ibbe Daniëls, Lost Luggage is a bittersweet story about finding solidarity, love and hope, even in the most difficult moments.
Ten days after the devastating attacks, Samira Laroussa, a strong-hearted, half-Moroccan police woman, is missioned to handle and return all baggage and personal belongings that were left behind in the departure hall that day. Every new encounter with a victim or relative will unbalance the seemingly strong Samira who is far from ready to deal with her own PTSD and the pains of her troubled past. Even so, she perseveres in helping everyone. In her blind determination, however, Samira forgets one thing: taking care of herself.
Lara Chedraoui, singer and lyricist of the Belgian indie rock band Intergalactic Lovers, takes the lead role in the series written by Tiny Bertels, Charles De Weerdt (In Flanders Field) and Mathias Claeys (Homegrown). The rest of the cast includes names as Jeroen Van der Ven, Oscar Van Rompay, Mattias Van de Vijver, Isabelle Van Hecke, Yassine Ouaich, Elias Vandenbroucke and many others. Screenwriters Michel Sabbe, Paul Piedfort and Edith Huybreghts also contributed to the development. Lost Luggage is produced by De Mensen’s Head of Scripted Pieter Van Huyck and Executive Producer Ivy Vanhaecke.
Tiny Bertels, creator: “Six months after the attacks of 22 March 2016, I read an article in the newspaper about a policewoman who works at the airport and keeps track of everything that was left behind in the departure hall on the day of the attacks, even a pair of damaged trainers or a ripped sweater. These are not just things, she says, but have great significance for those who were in the departure hall that day. It is a tangible reminder of what happened to them. Finding something of what was lost that day can be the beginning of a healing process. The article moved me, especially the self-evidence with which this woman describes the value of something seemingly worthless. After a first conversation with her, I was instantly gripped. Her stories deal with comfort, powerlessness, solidarity. And with commitment. Lost Luggage was created thanks to the continuous support of these and many other unsung heroes. In the hope that their stories will never be forgotten.”
Pieter Van Huyck, Head of Scripted De Mensen: “It is not often that we are moved to tears when someone comes to us with an idea. But when Tiny Bertels first told us about the lost luggage, the aid workers and the emotional journey of the victims, our whole team was immediately deeply moved. We did not hesitate to help develop this story. A few years later, we are proud to announce that filming will start. This story does not focus, as it often does, on the perpetrators, the violence and the motives, but on how the victims deal with the heavy task of processing such incidents.”
Lost Luggage is a series by De Mensen in co-production with VRT and ARTE France, in collaboration with Telenet, and with the support of the VAF/Media Fund, the Brussels Capital Region, the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the Tax Shelter measure of the Federal Government. International sales agent Newen Connect is responsible for the distribution.