Tsar B x Jessica Woodworth
Tsar B is the alter ego of Ghent-based singer, songwriter, violinist and composer Justine Bourgeus, born in 1994. She started her career at 18, touring with bands internationally, whilst producing tunes in the tour bus seats. When she dropped her first single “Escalate” in 2015, it was met with raving reviews by international media such as BBC Radio 1 and The Fader.
Since that 2015 debut, things have never been quiet around Tsar B. Constantly reinventing herself, she made the leap from promising to the absolute Belgian top. In her progressive music, she effortlessly bridges different disciplines such as film, dance and fashion. And although she does not write dance music, her music is very danceable. Many choreographers have been inspired by her. In recent years, the performer in Tsar B has evolved into a composer who wants to create her own worlds. Audiovisual projects appeal to her and she provided the music for such series as FC United, Season of Sex, Assisen, LEEF and The 42 Children of the Guru, among others. In her 20-minute concert film Les diners de Gala, she not only recreates Salvador Dalí's work of the same name but gives it a Fellinian touch. Peter Greenaway, Wong Kar-wai and even Mozart also linger nearby. Her albums, the fierce The Games I Played and the dreamy to the stars have dark and mysterious edges but fascinate endlessly. No wonder Tsar B is stringing together national and international tour dates.
Before landing in Ghent at the turn of the century, Jessica Woodworth, born in Washington in 1971, was a voracious world traveller who wanted to pour all her experiences into documentaries in order to combat global injustice. However, she hit the limits of the genre and switched to fiction, assisted by Peter Brosens, whom she had met in Mongolia. They married and their first collaboration Khadak was awarded best debut in Venice. After Khadak, Mongolian culture and nature was exchanged for that of the Andes in Altiplano. In La cinquième saison, nature itself rebelled against man-made degradation.
After so much seriousness, everyone was surprised that Brosens and Woodworth took a more light-hearted and even satirical turn with King of the Belgians and The Barefoot Emperor. Although these films revolve around some typically Belgian catch-22’s, they were nevertheless enjoyed worldwide and won awards at dozens of festivals. When producing a film, Woodworth is usually responsible for actor direction and shares film direction. Her latest film, Luka, is entirely her own work from screenplay to direction. It is a film adaptation of the well-known novel The Desert of the Tartars by Dino Buzzati. "A film about hope as a curse and as salvation," says Jessica Woodworth.