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Catching the Pirate King

A deep dive into the most incredible yet true story of modern days pirates.

In 2009, the Indian Ocean was the setting for a wave of daring hijackings. Somalian pirates sailing nothing more than skiffs were attacking dozens of ships and taking the crews hostage in exchange for large sums of money. This is the fate of the Belgian ship the Pompei. Back in Brussels, a dedicated team assemble to do everything they can to free the 10-man crew. Meanwhile, the Belgian police identify the culprits and begin to pursue them. After zooming in on the leader of the biggest pirate cartel, the police put together a risky undercover operation. In an inventive twist of metadrama, they ultimately lure him out of his hideout – and into a Belgian courtroom. In this three-part documentary series, the key players from the ship’s crew, Belgian law enforcement and the Somali pirates themselves, look back on this remarkable story.

Genre: documentaries, series

Format: 3x52

Directed by: Lennart Stuyck and Maarten Stuyck

Written by: Lennart Stuyck and Maarten Stuyck

Produced by: Diplodokus, coproduced by VRT, Belga Productions

Original Broadcasters: VRT

Language: English, Dutch, Somali

International Sales: Federation

Festivals & awards: Shortlisted at the Rose d’Or Awards 2022. Nominated in International Competition at FIPADOC 2023 and the Rockie Awards 2023. Selected at the Cinequest Film & VR Festival 2023.

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