Belgian TV looking for Queens ‘twins’ for series

By Natalie Shields

Look out Queens, Woestijnvis is searching for “twins” to star in its latest documentary series.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Woestijnvis is no typo. It is a Flemish television production company in Belgium that is launching a new series titled the “Birthday Twin Project.”

The “twins,” not related genetically, would be identical in gender, birth date, month and year to 20 Belgian citizens selected for the experiment. For each selected Belgian, Woestijnvis hopes to find three suitable “twins,” each from a different country, to film parallel portraits of the Belgian person visiting each “twin” in their native country.

“What would my life have been like if I wasn't born in Belgium but in another part of the world?” is the question Annelore De Donder, the project's editor, said the series was built around.

Every show will document the possible outcome of growing up in the Birthday Twin's culture and specific time period.

“An episode of an inhabitant of Queens next to a Belgian person of the exact same age would be quite fascinating and confronting for us Belgians, as we know too little about the way of life there,” said De Donder in an e-mail.

By the end of this month, the first Belgian male in Woestijnvis's project would have visited all three of his Birthday Twins, one each in Estonia, Chile and Ghana.

“Lots of people have applied already,” said De Donder, who has received applications from 120 individuals in over 40 countries, some including Brazil, India, Ecuador and Turkey.

Although filming is already underway, De Donder said Woestijnvis is still looking for more international “twins” to complete the project.

Males still seeking international twin matches were born on April 29, 1933; July 18, 1948; July 19, 1948; Sept. 25, 1949; Feb. 11, 1952; Jan. 18, 1956; May 5, 1956; Dec. 30, 1960; July 24, 1962; Jan. 14, 1965; Jan. 27, 1965; Oct. 5, 1968; Feb. 5, 1969; Dec. 1, 1971; and May 3, 1981.

The women of the “Birthday Twin Project” still in search of their twin were born on April 5, 1943; May 2, 1950; July 20, 1963; March 24, 1964; March 26, 1975; Dec. 27, 1979; and July 24, 1982.

For people with matching birthdays to the Belgians above and who are interested in participating in the project, De Donder can be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

“Our company's philosophy is to make positive documentaries with a respectful approach to the people that are participating,” De Donder said.

The “Birthday Twin Project” is set to air in Belgium at the beginning of 2009.