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									  ARTS	FLANDERS	08




This Arts Flanders 08 - Audiovisual Arts publication offers an overview         the best of the world, and short and long cartoons and documentaries and
of recent developments in audiovisual art in Flanders.                          finally, makers who create entirely new digital environments where images
    Now the analogue image is being replaced by the digital one at a            and stories are offered interactively. Flanders offers top talent with an
rapid pace, more is being produced and distributed than ever before. The        international resonance in all these forms of expression.
‘Cinema’ is no longer a place; the ‘cinema’ is everywhere, incorporated into
other disciplines, in cinema complexes, theatres, art centres and muse-             As the Flemish Culture Minister I want to consciously anticipate the
ums, on a standard screen, on television or computer screens, in the street     positive developments in the audiovisual arts with my policy instruments.
scene, on iPods and mobile phones.                                              I fully support filmmakers via the Flanders Audiovisual Fund and ensure
                                                                                that their work is promoted internationally. Via the Arts Decree, I provide
    The Flanders Audiovisual Fund and Flanders Image play a major               financial support to audiovisual art and experimental media art organi-
stimulating and supportive role for Flemish audiovisual productions.            sations that are responsible for the presentation and reflection of these
The openness with which the government and the art world are treating           disciplines. These efforts are having great results. Just look at the steady
cross-over and interdisciplinary works of art is guaranteeing a very fruitful   stream of audiovisual creations, exhibitions, festivals, shows, publicati-
breeding ground for creators who want to interpret cinema in a very broad       ons, lectures, workshops, tours and training, specialised websites and the
sense. The Institute for Visual, Audiovisual and Media Art (BAM, Insti-         opening up of research.
tuut voor Beeldende, Audiovisuele en Mediakunst) is gathering knowledge             Via the international culture policy and specific co-operation, the
and promoting the international dimension of the audiovisual arts sector.       number of international projects and creations included in international
    Flemish products, festivals and distributors with an international pro-     festivals is growing.
file guarantee an appropriately high profile and a network for the Flemish
audiovisual arts abroad.                                                            I sincerely hope you enjoy this book. It’s an anthology of hard but
                                                                                creative work, the outcome of enthusiasm and craftsmanship, skill and art.
    The international breakthrough of Flemish audiovisual art is very
recent and its main strength lies in the diversity of audiovisual means of
expression with which all new possibilities in the audiovisual field are            Bert Anciaux
being tapped. Moreover, it usually concerns young, extremely promising              Flemish Culture Minister

    Flanders is producing powerful films that are being sold to interna-
tional television stations and distributors, auteur films that are winning
prizes at international high quality festivals, films that aim for a strong
synergy with television and are approached cross-medially. There are
theatre makers, who also make films intended for cinema, television or
installations, and visual artists who make films and videos that are among

                                        What is the meaning of ‘cinema’ today? In the aftermath of its centenary
                                        the realm of cinema is continuously expanding, scattering across various
AUDIOVISUAL	ARTS	IN	FLANDERS            media, technologies and motives. As the analogue image is increasingly
                                        replaced by its digital counterpart, people are producing and distributing
                                        more films than ever before, but at the same time, our ways of watching
                                        and listening have become fragmented and individualised. ‘Cinema’ no
                                        longer holds a specific place of its own: it is everywhere, mixed with and
                                        integrated into other cultural forms, in cinema multiplexes, theatre venues,
                                        arts centres and museums, on classic film screens, television or computer
                                        screens, in the street, on iPods and mobile phones. The digital revolution
                                        has not only provided new opportunities for production and distribution, it
                                        is also deeply affecting imagery and narrative and the environment where
                                        they are visible: from interactive to immersive, from multi-screen to pano-
                                        ramic projection. In that context, (re)new(ed) mutual conciliation between
                                        cinema and visual arts is apparent. Much like anywhere else, Flemish
                                        artists, filmmakers, festivals – major (Ghent) as well as minor ones
                                        (Artefact, Courtisane, Contour, ...) – and arts centres (Argos, Beurs-
                                        schouwburg, STUK, ...), are making attempts to reconcile the ‘black box’
                                        and the ‘white cube’, cinema and museum.
                                            Just as all this affects our perceptions and ideas about art and film,
                                        it also generates new meanings and insights that are gradually filtering
                                        through in the work of filmmakers and audiovisual artists.
                                            As a user-friendly, cheap and reproducible medium, video has had,
                                        since the 1980s, a profound influence on the exploration and transforma-
                                        tion of audiovisual practices in Flanders, with cinematographic experi-
                                        mentation, personal storytelling and integrated image in spatial instal-
                                        lations. But the electronic and digital image are no longer the exclusive
                                        playground for experiment. They have become the chosen vehicle for
                                        human imagination, a lingua franca that is constantly evolving and trans-
                                        forming both in vocabulary and grammar, and that has affected ‘classic’
                                        filmmaking in Flanders as much as anywhere else. In Flanders, it may
                                        seem, imagination and creativity flourish as never before, in an unprece-
                                        dented diversity, with ‘classic’ and ‘innovative’, ‘artistic’ and ‘commercial’
                                        not only existing side by side, but also intertwining and feeding each
                                        other; mainstream and arthouse fiction, classic creative and experimental
                                        documentary, hand-crafted and computer animation, narrative and non-

narrative creation, television formats, video and media art. The Flemish          is an intensive dialogue and reflection on cultural policy, education and the
audiovisual arts are young, dynamic, searching to cross frontiers and to          nature and evolution of the arts and industry (deBuren in Brussels and
explore new means of expression.                                                  De Brakke Grond in Amsterdam).
                                                                                      Even though few prominent filmmakers have retained the ‘Belgian’
	   BELgIAN	AND	FLEMISH                                                           label – Henri Storck, André Delvaux and Marion Hänsel – and in spite
One of the old ‘frontiers’ to be crossed is that of ‘Belgium’. In fact, there     of the fact that an important institute such as the Royal Belgian Film
is no such thing as ‘Belgian audiovisual arts’ or ‘Belgian film’. There are       Archive is still ‘Belgian’, there is no ‘Belgian audiovisual identity’. The
French-speaking and Flemish creations, which, every now and then, come            notion ‘Belgian’ is mainly an institutional or legal term, or a publicity label
together in Brussels. The frontiers between Flemish and French speaking           for international purposes. ‘Belgium’ has become the banner for formal
cinema are not merely linguistic (the official linguistic frontier was fixed in   occasions – international awards ceremonies (the Palmes d’Or for the
1963), they are also political (federal state structure since 1964, with dif-     Dardenne brothers, the Caméra d’Or for Jaco Van Dormael’s Toto the Hero
ferent legislations and policies) and, of course, cultural: Germanic in the       (Toto le héros), Academy Award nominations for Daens, Everybody Famous
North, Latin in the South.                                                        or Tanghi Argentini and the Academy Awards for Raoul Servais’ Harpya,
    Regionalising cultural (and consequently also audiovisual) policy             Nicole Van Goethem’s A Greek Tragedy and Dirk Beliën’s Gridlock (Fait
during the 1960s caused the country’s communities to drift away from each         d’hiver).
other. French Belgian cinema easily finds its way in France. Cannes is, in
many ways, a lot closer to Wallonia than to Flanders. International careers       	   ‘FLEMISH	CINEMA’
are more evident for French than for Dutch (Flemish) films. Outside the           Contrary to French-speaking Belgium, Flanders has no real ‘household
Netherlands and Flanders (and, perhaps, Suriname and South Africa),               names’ – apart from Raoul Servais (animation) or Frans Buyens (docu-
Dutch (and Flemish) cinema is ‘foreign-language’ cinema.                          mentary). A new generation of talented young filmmakers is emerging,
    Surprisingly, the Flemish audiovisual community has never really              hoping to establish themselves as accomplished filmmakers with a sub-
associated itself with its Dutch colleagues – apart from a few exceptions,        stantial body of work. But until then, there is no Flemish Pedro Almodovar,
such as Hugo Claus. Officially there is no linguistic frontier between            Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Loach, Jean Rouch, Bill Viola or Kenneth Anger.
Flanders and the Netherlands. And yet, they ‘are separated by the same            This does not mean that Flemish artists and filmmakers are absent from
language’, as a result of a historical process: at the end of the 16th century,   the international platform, on the contrary. Flemish films – short and
the Spanish expelled all Protestants to the North. ‘Catholic Flanders’            feature length – win prizes at festivals across the globe and are nominated
and ‘Protestant Holland’ became separated by religious, and in the long           for international awards (Tanghi Argentini, Girl, Someone Else’s Happiness,
run, cultural frontiers. And even though the religious division has become        BenX, The Kiss, DichtVorm). On the other hand, a number of audiovisual
obsolete, cultural relations between the two communities have never been          artists whose work moves along the cutting edge between visual and
evident. In filmmaking, co-operation predominantly consists of business           audiovisual arts have achieved great international recognition (Nicolas
agreements (co-production, financing): artistic co-operation is usually far       Provost, David Claerbout, Johan Grimonprez).
less evident, considering the cultural differences. And even if attempts              The recent evolution of the arts and industry in Flanders reveals an
have been made to promote co-operation – the most recent being the 2004           interesting paradox: on the one hand, they tend to receive more and more
agreement between the Dutch Film Fund and the Flanders Audiovisual                international acclaim, whereas on the other hand, the industry explicitly
Fund upon 6 annual Dutch-Flemish co-productions – there still are very            aims at the local market. For the ‘classic’ formats (feature film, short
few really ‘Flemish-Dutch/Dutch-Flemish’ films. On the other hand, there          fiction), international artistic co-operation (co-creation) is either difficult

     to achieve, or simply not a primary concern. And yet, at the same time,         Daens03 (1992), a historical drama about a socially committed priest which
     the Flemish arthouse film and some of the more ‘experimental formats’           was nominated for the Best Foreign-language Academy Award. Coninx,
     are observed closely abroad and continuously win prizes and awards. The         unfortunately, would never equal again the public and critical acclaim
     causes for this development are threefold: broadcasting, the tax shelter        received for that film. Back to MMG, which went on to focus on television
     and the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds, since 2002        fiction before turning back to feature film making in 2003. MMG’s 2003 thril-
     the official public financer for Flemish film).                                 ler The Alzheimer Case04 (De zaak Alzheimer) would become the biggest box
         The arrival of commercial networks at the end of the 1980s has been         office hit since the late 1980s: 720,000 tickets, making it the most successful
     a major incentive. Until then television in Flanders had been the exclu-        film of the past decade. Director Erik Van Looy has been considered Flan-
     sive prerogative of a public broadcaster (VRT). One of the effects of this      ders’ major talent ever since, at least for quality entertainment. Alzheimer
     change in the landscape was that the new commercial broadcasters (VTM,          may have come as a surprise to cinemagoers, but for aficionados of MMG’s
     VT4) triggered off a demand for Flemish spoken TV-fiction (soap, sitcom,        television series Cops (Flikken) the film contained a series of familiar
     miniseries and television drama). An indirect effect was that the public        elements that ‘lubricated’ Alzheimer’s theatrical career. In 2006 another         04

     broadcaster re-shaped itself as a competitive and performance driven,           MMG-series, about the comradeship of a small team of sea rescuers and
     publicly funded, network. This evolution created something like a real          their helicopter, would result in Storm Force (Windkracht 10), made on a big
     ‘domestic market’ in Flanders. The success of this commercial – and             budget and with an arsenal of special effects that was unprecedented in
     sometimes unashamedly populist – logic also affected filmmaking in              Flemish cinema. Director Hans Herbots, however, did not manage to equal
     Flanders. It ‘inspired’ production and resulted in a series of unequalled       the success of Alzheimer.
     commercial successes: 2007 was a record-breaking year for locally-orien-            Other companies found their way to the cinemagoer through tele-
     ted Flemish films: about 1,135,000 tickets were sold for Flemish films. And     vision: Jan Verheyen made two theatrical features about the fortunes
     even though the broadcasters were initially reluctant to co-finance or co-      of a team of football friends based on the television series Team Spirit.05
     produce theatrical films (contrary to most countries in Europe, there is no     Dominique Deruddere teamed up with television comic Chris Van den
     obligation for broadcasters to invest in theatrical films), they have given     Durpel for his comedy A Chicken is no Dog (Firmin, 2007). In 2008 television
     various impulses and even triggered off film projects themselves. There         company Woestijnvis will enter the theatres with Loft by Erik Van Looy,
     has been a constant increase in the interaction: today, films are conceived     no longer the promising director of Alzheimer, but a very popular tele-
     as spin-offs of successful television precedents. Box office success is         vision personality now.
     predicted and calculated by television ratings. And even though television          All these are examples of fruitful interaction between cinema
     was the historical cause of huge drops in cinema attendance during the          and television. December 2005 witnessed the theatrical release of Long
     1950s and 60s, it has become a vital incentive for Flemish theatrical movies.   Weekend (Verlengd weekend), the first film in a series of Faits Divers
     Television has become an important ally – both for entertainment films and      projects launched by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund in joint venture with
     for arthouse projects.                                                          commercial broadcaster VTM. The project offered (relatively) new talent
         This evolution is noticeable in the history of the production company       a chance to make a television film on a modest budget. Though these films
     MMG. During the 1980s, Erwin Provoost’s company was responsible for a           were conceived for (commercial) television broadcast, some proved to
     modest revival of Flemish cinema with Marc Didden’s Brussels by Night01         have enough potential for a theatrical release. And some even proved
     (1983) and Dominique Deruddere’s Crazy Love02 (1987). MMG then went on          pretty successful at the box office: Long Weekend (Hans Herbots, 2005),
     to produce two record-breaking box office hits: Hector (933,000 tickets)        about a socially motivated hijacking, and Hell in Tangier (De hel van Tanger,
     and Koko Flanel (1,082,000 tickets), both featuring local comedian Urbanus.     Frank Van Mechelen, 2006) based on a true story about the misadventures
02   Both films were directed by Stijn Coninx, whose name is remembered for          of a Flemish truck driver in a Moroccan prison.

To be perfectly clear, television has proved itself vital not only for com-      Following various international developments in the audiovisual (and
mercially oriented films; it has proved to be useful for ‘films d’auteurs’       visual) arts and industry, and given the fact that the younger generation no
just as well. The Faits Divers series includes projects in both categories.      longer grew up in a world in which cinema was the only available visibility
Flemish literature remains a useful source of inspiration. Jan Verheyen will     platform for audiovisual creation and in which the classic formats were
be filming Cut Loose (Los), based on a novel by the young Flemish writer         imposed as standards and exclusive frame of reference, a new generation
Tom Naegels, and Felix van Groeningen will handle The Misfortunates (De          of Flemish audiovisual artists and filmmakers has emerged. A generation
helaasheid der dingen), a bestselling novel by Dimitri Verhulst.                 that eagerly explores new working methods and forms of presentation
    The second incentive is the tax shelter, which allows private investors      and that develops its artistic talents and ambitions using new means of
in film to earn back their money through tax deduction. Thanks to this           expression, instruments and strategies, away from old business models
system, films do not only get financed more easily, more films are being         and established formats. The young filmmaker/artist has a wider perspec-
made. Still, corporations will prefer to invest on the basis of economical,      tive than his predecessors. For him, art and economy are no longer inse-
rather than artistic, motives, and they will prefer financing commercially       parable, and he no longer considers ‘creation’, ‘production’ and ‘presenta-
oriented films rather than art-oriented creations. On the surface, the tax       tion’ as a series of consecutive steps in an industrial process from maker
shelter will therefore provide for more films on an industrial basis rather      to consumer. Instead, he is growing up in a world in which art is becoming
than enrich the artistic landscape. Still, it would be short-sighted and one-    an interactive process in which the old patterns are gradually becoming
sided to qualify the tax shelter as a merely financial or economic issue. Im-    obsolete or less clearly defined.
proving the financial climate for filmmaking and increasing the production           In that context, the disappearance of the borderlines between the
volume will in the end improve professional skills among filmmakers and          classic genres – fiction, documentary, animation – and formats – feature-
consequently have a positive effect on the overall quality of the films. The     length films, television film, short film – and the increasing cross-over
tax shelter indirectly contributes to the skills and knowledge of audiovisual    within audiovisual practices itself (television, cinema, computer screen,
artists and technicians. The standards will rise for all audiovisual practices   live audiovisual arts) are indications that the audiovisual arts are ‘breaking
and the local sector will become more confident in its own capabilities:         out of their disciplinary frame’ moving into the worlds of visual and perfor-
Flemish audiovisual arts and industry will develop a proper identity, in all     ming arts (theatre, dance and ballet, opera, performance), sound arts and
areas of filmmaking, in spite of the limited local market prospects. And in      music and even architecture and literature (visual poetry).
the end, the Flemish arts and industry will start thinking internationally.
    The third incentive has been the Flanders Audiovisual Fund. Throughout       	   EVOLUTIONS	AND	TENDENCIES
the five years of its existence, it has contributed greatly to the creation of   During the past decade, a thorough and accelerating evolution has taken
a framework for the various audiovisual disciplines: fiction (including tele-    place in all areas of filmmaking and audiovisual arts in Flanders. This
vision), documentary, animation, experimental formats and media arts –           evolution, however, is not the result of a process of action and reaction,
and practices in Flanders. At the same time, the fund has made conside-          and even much less of any disregard for the history of film in Flanders. It is
rable and successful efforts for the international marketing and promotion       a process of gradual evolution, shifts, tendencies, with a young generation
of Flemish audiovisual creations and productions. Furthermore, the Fund          exploring frontiers, seeking to connect with artistic tendencies in and
launched various initiatives to promote new and young talent, including          outside Europe, and leaving the limitations of the past for what they were.
‘wildcards’, a so-called ‘film lab’ for media artists, training and coaching,    In that evolution, they can work in better conditions and are more efficien-
thus giving precious and fruitful impulses to filmmakers and artists in all      tly supported by production conditions, government support, streams of
areas of the audiovisual arts and industry.                                      information and exchange of expertise.

     	   Fiction                                                                      Van Groeningen creates a personal imagery. The action – or rather,
     A striking tendency among the present generation of Flemish filmmakers           the lack of action – takes place in the outskirts of the city. Van Groeningen
     is their cautiousness when it comes to the classic Flemish literary heritage     shows us a naked city, as empty as the protagonists that hang about in
     that was so often the source of inspiration during the 1960s and -70s, the       the streets. His third film will be an adaptation of a popular novel (cf.
     heydays of producer Jan Van Raemdonck and director Roland Verhavert’s            supra) that explores the limits of life on the brink: Reetveerdegem, the
     films based on famous Flemish novels. In contrast, the politically and           village where a young man grows up to become a writer in spite of an
     socially committed cinema of the later 1970s found it more difficult to find     appalling youth.
     audiences. Significantly, politically committed director Robbe De Hert’s             Youngsters wandering and searching aimlessly in a vacuum in the
     only box office success actually was an adaptation of a classic rural novel      midst of a society of abundance are a favourite theme among the youngest
     Whitey from Sichem (De Witte van Sichem by Ernest Claes). Today’s film-          generation of filmmakers. The Last Summer (De laatste zomer, 2008) by
     makers’ and audiences’ curiosity seems sooner aroused by recognizable            Joost Wynant fits perfectly in this category. His first film depicts a striking
     contemporary issues. It is, of course, impossible to give an exhaustive          flair for witty and accurate dialogue. His young protagonists do all they can
     survey of every film made during the past decade, or to discuss every            to survive an unbearably light summer. Any kind of dope will do, fluid or in
     Flemish filmmaker individually. The following survey only intends to             powder. For a brief moment, these offer relief, but shortly after the abyss
     indicate some tendencies and typicalities.                                       will be all the deeper. The message is anything but heartening, but Wynant
         Following the international arthouse filmmaking trends, the complex          is talented enough as to convey it accurately and with a proper sense of
     narration has been introduced in Flemish cinema. Fien Troch’s debut              atmosphere.
     Someone Else’s Happiness (Een ander zijn geluk, 2005) interweaves several            Koen Mortier is a different kind of stylist. Financing his low-budget
     plot lines around the story of a car overriding a child into a depiction of an   feature debut all by himself, Ex Drummer (2007) is, to put in one word,
     existential void and profound loneliness. The inability to communicate is        ‘punk’: visually virtuoso, with regards to content an interesting visual
     a recurrent theme among the younger Flemish filmmakers. Their cinema             equivalent of ‘Flemish Bukowski’ Herman Brusselmans’s universe. In this
     is existentially motivated rather than socially. Formally, they prefer visual    film, the writer’s alter ego joins a bizarre fringe band as their drummer. In
     composition to documentary-like registration, with a strong tendency             Flanders, the film met with mixed reactions, but at foreign festivals (Rot-
     towards aestheticism.                                                            terdam, Edinburgh, Toronto, Karlovy Vary) it was a hit.
         The story of Dorothée Van Den Berghe’s debut feature, Girl (Meisje,
                                                                         06               Much like Mortier, Dimitri Karakatsanis started his career on the inter-
     2002), takes place in a similarly stylised environment, be it in another         national platform: Small Gods (2007) premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
     manner, with three ‘girls’ from different generations struggling with exis-      Small Gods is a road trip through a no man’s land. The characters are all
     tence. And Patrice Toye’s second feature, Nowhere Man ((N)iemand), to be         lonely and desolate souls, turned inwards to the extreme, damaged by life,
     released in 2008, ten years after her successful debut Rosie (1998), tells the   in search of a catharsis.
06   story of a man in search of identity and true love.                                  Television maker and former film reviewer Nic Balthazar reconciles
         Rock musician Tom Barman‘s Any Way the Wind Blows (2003), on the
                                                                   07                 both worlds: his BenX (2007) did well both domestically and abroad. He
     other hand, is not an impressionist portrait, but a panoramic evocation of a     pinched the audience award and the ‘Prix des Amériques’ in Montréal.
     generation and an era. All characters make an uprooted impression, blown         Contrary to most Flemish first films, his tells a rather uplifting story: Ben
     back and forth by existence.                                                     is an autistic teenager who is bullied by his fellow pupils at school. The
07       The talented Felix van Groeningen made his first film, Steve+Sky, in         drama leads towards a nearly desperate climax, but then Ben will have his
     2004 and came up to the expectations with With Friends Like These (Dagen         sweet revenge. The visual style of the film has been intriguingly interwoven
     zonder lief, 2007), a film set in the provincial town of Sint-Niklaas.           with the computer games in which Ben feels at home. Balthazar, a genera-
                                                                                      tion older than most first time filmmakers, addresses a large audience.

         The same applies to Geoffrey Enthoven, whose attention is focused           theatrical feature and TV-miniseries) and – the somewhat younger –
     on social issues: in Children of Love (Les enfants de l’amour, 2001), his       Dominique Deruddere, maker of Everybody Famous10 (Iedereen beroemd)
     outstanding documentary-like debut feature about the often complex and          (nominated for the 2000 foreign language Oscar), who recently delivered
     precarious situation in which children of divorced parents find themselves,     a comedy (A Chicken is No Dog) and the German produced Blood Wedding
     and in The Only One (Vidange perdue, 2005), a film about the fate of a lonely   (De bloedbruiloft, 2005) both intended for a large audience. Marc Didden,
     ageing man. Enthoven recently finished Happy Together (2008), about a fa-       who directed three films during the 1980s and 1990s has devoted himself
     mily in financial trouble, and is currently preparing The Over the Hill Band,   to scriptwriting (King of the World). Frank Van Passel, maker of refreshing     10

     in which three elderly women try to revive the former band of their youth.      and charming Manneken Pis11 (1995) and stylish Villa des roses (2001) is now
         Miel Van Hoogenbemt’s A Perfect Match (Man zkt vrouw, 2007) deals           mainly active as a producer. One of his recent and deserving productions
     with similar themes. The main character is performed by Flanders’ best          was actress-filmmaker Hilde van Mieghem’s second film Love Belongs to
     known actor, Jan Decleir, who shows up in almost any prominent Flemish          Everyone (Dennis van Rita, 2006).
     film of the past four decades and who has acquired some international               Moving back into a more distant past, we arrive at a generation that
     renown. His palette ranges from rural dramas such as Mira (1971) and            has left its mark on the history and character of Flemish filmmaking, but
     The Conscript (De loteling, 1974), children’s films – Winky’s Horse (Het        that has not made any film since 2002: writer-director-dramatist Hugo
     paard van Sinterklaas, 2005) – to the dark thriller The Alzheimer Case. In      Claus (The Other Life; De Verlossing), nostalgic aestheticist Roland
     A Perfect Match he is a retired headmaster who becomes infatuated with          Verhavert, baroque Harry Kümel and rebel Robbe De Hert.
     his young Rumanian house-keeper.                                                    Diametrically opposed to the classics from the past, new and still
         Filmmaker Lieven Debrauwer also envisages a larger audience. With           somewhat indistinct tendencies become apparent. That tomorrow’s                 11
     Pauline & Paulette08 (awarded at the 2001 Cannes ‘Quinzaine des Réalisa-        landscape will look far less homogeneous than yesterday’s is evident. We
     teurs’) and Sweet Jam (Confituur, 2004 Venice Days) he seeks to address         will, undoubtedly, witness the rise of less formal production methods and
     an audience that is not satisfied with mere entertainment, but wants films      strategies. Theatre makers and companies, for instance, have recently
     to be accessible. His biotope (starting with his short film Leonie, which       experimented with fiction film, setting up film projects themselves. Given
     pinched the jury prize in Cannes 1996) is a world of nostalgia and melan-       the fact that some natural ingredients for fiction are available on the
08   cholia, of people and things that pass. Debrauwer directs this world with       stage – actors are often linked to companies by contract – it is only a small
     the sensitivity of operetta that appeals to viewers home and abroad.            step from the stage to the screen.
         Films for youngsters and children are rare in Flanders. A Private               An interesting example, for instance, was Needcompany’s experiment
     View produced two films for teenagers: The Ball (De bal, 1999) and Science      with classic feature-length film format Goldfish Game (2002). Other com-
     Fiction (2002), both by Dany Deprez. Cine 3 made four films based on books      panies, notably Victoria (Peter Monsaert, Voorlopig niks) and Nieuwpoort-
     about young hero Blinker by Marc de Bel, all of which were as popular as        theater (Jan Geers, Flatscreen, 2006 ) have made efforts towards audio-
     Dirk Beliën’s The Kriegel Sisters (De zusjes Kriegel, 2004). A deserving        visual media. One of these efforts, Übung (2001) by actor Josse De Pauw,
     effort was director Vincent Bal’s debut film Man of Steel (Man van staal,       created an intriguing symbiosis of film and stage performance. Wayne
     1999). His second, Minoes, based on a popular story by famous Dutch             Traub consistently tries to put together a body of work on the cutting edge
     children’s writer Annie M.G. Schmidt, was a hit. Well made, stylishly           between both media, leaning towards the stage in one, and towards the
     shot and directed, this entirely Dutch production is a major credit to the      screen in the other. For philosopher-theatre maker Pieter De Buysser
     Flemish filmmaker.                                                              both media clearly have a brother-sister relationship. And from the
         Apart from the numerous talented and promising young directors,             world of contemporary dance – Wim Vandekeybus and Anne Teresa De
     the ‘older’ generation continues to produce films: stylists such as Guido       Keersmaeker – film has become a creative component of their work.
09   Hendrickx (recently King of the World 09; Koning van de wereld, 2006 –

It is justified to conclude this brief survey of Flemish fiction with the most   	   Documentary
remarkable recent film debut: Khadak (2006) by Peter Brosens and Jessica         Documentaries are mainly shown in the context of specialised initiatives,
Woodworth. Both filmmakers have crossed the territory of ethnographi-            including the ambient project Zone, the Docville festival in Leuven and the
cally inspired documentary to arrive at classic fiction filmmaking. Khadak       Panorama of Belgian Documentary in Brussels. In order to give documen-
is set in Mongolia, where Brosens previously made the poetic                     tary filmmaking a new boost, the Flanders Audiovisual Fund launched a
documentary trilogy City of the Steppes (1993), State of Dogs (1998) and         similar Faits Divers campaign for documentaries in partnership with com-
Poets of Mongolia (1999). With Khadak, soon to be followed by the new            mercial broadcaster VTM. Documentaries are, indeed, mostly made for or
feature Fragments of Grace, the anthropologist’s view has introduced a new       visible on television, even if broadcasters reserve modest screening time
genre in Flemish filmmaking. The exotic culture with its particular codes        and schedules for interesting documentaries. The available budgets have
and meanings demands particular imagery and a new form of aesthetics.            shrunk and become scarce. The format requirements and the screening
At the same time, the background of the story – the traditional Mongolian        schedules practiced by television makers obstruct creativity rather than
culture that is threatened by large-scale mining projects – provides a new       stimulate it.
kind of socially and politically committed cinema. From an international             But as far as the documentary complies with the imposed formats,
perspective, Khadak is, beyond doubt, the most impressive Flemish film           broadcasters do make room for them. An example is Manu Riche’s contri-
of the decade. The film received the Luigi De Laurentiis Award in Venice         bution to the VRT-series High Trees (Hoge bomen), in which he makes
(2006) and was shown at almost all important film festivals: Rotterdam,          highly personal portraits of a number of well-known personalities. For each
Toronto, Sundance, Mar del Plata, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Hong Kong, ....           portrait, Riche follows his ‘subject’ during an entire year. He painstakingly
    Today, Brosens has been active as a documentary filmmaker for over           avoids doing interviews: what you see and hear should speak for itself. He
15 years. Yet, his previous films never received the same amount of expo-        developed this realistic, observing style of documentary filmmaking pre-
sure as this fiction debut. This only goes to show that fiction is still the     viously for the reputed French-Belgian documentary series Strip-Tease.
major eye-catcher in the audiovisual arts and media. Compared to other               Several filmmakers sought to develop their own particular place in the
genres and formats, fiction fairly easily finds its way to the customer. In      documentary landscape: Frank Theys, for instance, gives his documentary
that respect, the position of feature-length fiction is comparable to that       a grandiose, cinematographic flair in Technocalyps (2006): he gives his
of the novel in literature: even though there are hundreds of other literary     visual imagination free rein in his evocation of a number of technological
practices, the novel is, for some reason, considered the most prestigious        developments – biogenetics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, … –
and most practised format.                                                       that may soon challenge man’s supremacy.
    In Flanders, the Flanders Audiovisual Fund finances both feature-                From Theys’s ‘transhumanism’ to Didier Volckaert and An Van.
length fiction and creative documentary. Support is also given to anima-         Dienderen’s visual antropology is a light year long journey. In Dog of
tion, short film and experimental media. The main part of the budget,            Flanders (2007) they set off in search of the roots of a lachrymose tale of a
however, still goes to theatrical fiction. This hierarchy, that is currently     Flemish dog that is adored by all Japanese. In Tu ne verras pas Verapaz12
losing importance, is also reflected in the exhibition and presentation          (2002) they examine the equally bizarre story of Belgian immigrants and
landscape. The major (Ghent and Brussels), and the specialised festivals         how they arrived in Guatemala in the 19th century. The filmmakers appear
(world cinema in Bruges, Turnhout and Leuven) focus is still on theatrical       on the screen themselves along with their subjects: their documentary is
fiction. There are, indeed, events focusing on documentary, short film and       the result of an interaction between the maker and his subject.
experimental media in Flanders, but these initiatives are more modest in             Jan Vromman finds his inspiration closer to home, e.g. in a docu-           12
size and prestige.                                                               mentary about the then 82 year-old singer La Esterella, a Flemish diva of
                                                                                 international stature who made her comeback in 1982 (La Esterella, a Diva,

     2000), and in a monumental three-part documentary about the end of the          Much like anywhere else, it is the exceptions that confirm the rule: Alex
     Boel shipyards in Temse. In As Long as Ship Builders Are Singing13 (1999)       Stockman began his filmmaking career with a short film, then went on to
     Vromman reconstructs the history of the wharf, ending in a personal             make a feature – the existentialist drama I Know I’ll See Your Face Again
     note of revolt.                                                                 (Verboden te zuchten, 2001), and went to back to short film making with Eva
         In 2004 the much younger Fabio Wuytack attracted attention with his         Stays in the Cupboard of the Full Moon (Eva reste au placard les nuits de
     poetic and inventive student film Made in Italy, about an old Lumière film      pleine lune, 2006). The same happened to Dorothée Van Den Berghe: after
     that leads the filmmaker to the marble quarries of Carrara in Italy and         Girl (awarded at Locarno) she made two short films: Kroeskop (2006) and
     confronts him, in a playful manner, with his Italian roots.                     Zoë (2007).
         Even though documentary is a relatively ‘invisible’ genre in most               Short film is the focus of attention in a modest network of festivals
     countries’ traditional visibility platforms (cinema, television, festivals) –   and events: the International Short Film Festival Leuven, Het grote Ongeduld
     and very much so in Flanders – it is undeniably gaining ground on new           in Brussels (for students’ films) and Courtisane (also for video and new
     platforms, such as the Internet and in informal circuits that are not under     media) in Ghent. The major festivals, however, make room for short films
     economic pressure.                                                              too, but still, filmmakers who would like to make a career with short films
                                                                                     have little prospects in Flanders. It is arguable, then, that even the most
     	   Short	Film                                                                  talented short filmmakers, such as Bavo Defurne, Pieter Van Hees and Erik
     Much the same can be said about the short film. The short film genre is a       Lamens are making the transition towards feature-length film.
     fully fledged artistic medium in which Flemish filmmakers have a strong
     international track record. One of the most spectacular recent examples         	   animation
     is Tanghi Argentini14 (2006) by Guido Thys. His story of the philanthropic      Flemish animation is historically a short film practice. Flanders’ most
     office clerk who wants to do good for his colleagues, pinched no less than      famous animation filmmaker, Raoul Servais’ body of work consists entirely
     29 prizes and a nomination for the Academy Awards. In daily audiovisual         of short films – all but Taxandria15 (1994) – with which he compiled an
     practice, however, short film is usually the trailblazer towards the ‘real      impressive record of international prizes and awards. A similar level of
     thing’: feature film making. That explains why Flemish cinema has hardly        international acclaim was conferred upon film school student Jonas Geir-
     any reputed short film maker – except in animation, where filmmakers            naert for his laconic/taciturn and inventive graduation film Flatlife (2004), a
     hardly get any chances to step over to feature-length animation. Most           minimalist work with maximal effect about the inhabitants of a flat, which            15
     younger Flemish filmmakers took their first steps in the trade with short       won him a jury prize in Cannes in 2004.
     films; Dominique Deruddere’s very first effort was a short film that he             Feature-length animation films are exceptional in Flanders. Projects
     would later elaborate into Crazy Love (1987). The same applies to recent        such as Ben Stassen’s 3D animation Fly Me to the Moon, about three
     Joos Wynants’ Last Summer.                                                      flies that make a ride to the moon aboard Apollo 11, are rare. Still, various
         The range of genres in short film is enormous, from the endless supply      Flemish animation companies are involved in interesting international
     of short films on YouTube to the reflective and contemplative work by film-     projects, such as The Triplets of Belleville16 (Les triplettes de Belleville, 2003)
     maker-visual artist Nicolas Provost. Plot Point (2007) is a 15-minute long      by Sylvain Chomet and Brendan and the Secret of Kells by Tom Moore (Vivi
     hidden-camera registration of passers-by near Times Square New York.            film, 2008), Jester Till (Tijl Uilenspiegel, 2003) by Eberhard Junkersdorff and
     With his films, among which Papillon d’amour (2003) and Exoticore (2004),       Snow White: the Sequel (Sneeuwitje, de sequel, 2006) by Picha (De familie
     and recently Gravity (2007) and Suspension (2007), Provost is a frequent        Jansen), The Little Ice Bear (De kleine ijsbeer, 2001) by Thilo Rothkirch and         16
     guest at festivals like Rotterdam and Sundance. And yet, even Provost has       Flemish Piet de Rycker.
     started working on a feature-length film.

     In spite of its small scale, Flemish animation offers a broad variety of        Other filmmakers use their work to analyse contemporary mass media
     styles and genres. There is the TV mini-series Kika & Bob by Vincent Bal        and the way media determine how we view ourselves and the world. Johan
     and Colette Bothof on the one hand, and a series of 15 short animation          Grimonprez’ highly acclaimed video Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y18 (1997) investi-
     films inspired by poems by Flemish poets under the name of DichtVorm,           gates how the spectacle replaces the critical distance, how images replace
     produced by Geert Van Goethem’s S(ight).O(f an).I(gnored).L(andscape).          reality and rewrite history. This decay of the distinction between reality
     And last but not least, there is Administrators (2006), a Kafkaesque            and fiction, between ‘fake’ and ‘real’ is also the main theme of Looking
     indictment against the absurd bureaucracy with which the maker himself,         for Alfred (2005-2006), part of a work-in-progress that is conceived as a
     animator Roman Klochkov, was confronted as a sans papier in Flanders.           tribute to Hitchcock on the one hand, and as an exploration of a culture of
         Animation film is the focus of the Brussels festival of animation film      imitation on the other. No wonder then, that more and more film and video
     Anima. Like most thematic festivals, Anima is more than just a showcase         makers who grew up with the continuous presence of images, no longer
     of animation films. Anima also releases DVDs, distributes, organises            refer to reality in their work, but to representations of reality on television
     film education, and acts as a meeting place for professionals. Anima has        and in cinema. In his videos Papillon d’amour or Plot Point, Nicolas Provost
     become a real centre of expertise when it comes to animation.                   juggles with cinematographic codes and narrative clichés.
                                                                                         Some artists smuggle cinema into the world of the visual arts. Manon
     	   auDioviSual	experiment	anD	meDia	artS                                       de Boer uses film, video and audio for intimate portraits of people, as in
     What is categorised in Flanders as ‘experimental media’ is, in fact, a mo-      Robert, June 199619 ; Laurien, March 1996; Laurien, September 2001 and the
     saic of styles, languages and emotions, all of which are characterised by       recent Presto, Perfect Sound (2006). She explores the filmed face in search
     a common desire to move away from Hollywood cinema and the dominant             of tensions beneath the surface and thus tries to reveal the relations
     television formats. These makers try to develop their own formats and           between real life time and recorded time, between time and duration. The
     idiom, rather than browsing through traditions and conventions.                 experience of time is also a central theme in the installations by David
         Some makers explicitly counter the mechanisms of mainstream media.          Claerbout, who scans the borders between static and moving image. In
     In his visual essays, such as a.m./p.m. (2004) and Futur Antérieur (2007),      Ruurlo, Borculoscheweg, 1910 (1997) or Shadow Piece (2005) photographs
     Herman Asselberghs propagates a cinema that is associative and sugges-          are brought to life by subtly introducing movement. The other way round,
     tive. The relations between image and sound, light and dark, presence and       Long Goodbye (2007) records a gesture in one single slow motion shot,
     absence are deliberately distorted to generate new insight in the meaning       making the passing of time and the changing light visible and palpable.
     of images. A similar philosophical reflection also characterises the work       Hans Op de Beeck creates both tragicomic portraits (The Building, 2007)
     of Stefaan Decostere, who made various documentaries during his time            and ‘unheimliche’ landscapes (All Together Now ... , 2005), each of which
     at the Flemish public broadcaster (VRT). His imagery does not merely            imagine a (spiritual/mental) being under way, an in-between, the chaos of
     illustrate the subject, but comments on it. In his Travelogue series (1990-     the undefined.
     1994) he investigates how the world is (re)presented as fiction, while at the       The visual arts increasingly offer refuge to audiovisual artists who
     same time detecting the parallels between tourism and television. In other      explore these interspaces in documentary, cinema, television, media art
     works, Decostere looked for ways to increase the spectator’s involvement        and visual art. Especially documentary filmmakers who look at the world
     via installations and online platforms. He recently realised WARUM 2.0, an      from a self-reflexive perspective, find a place in museums and at biennials.
     ambitious and multi-layered installation that is actually an ‘update’ of his    One of the possible forms to explore the relation and transitions between
     documentary Warum wir Männer die Technik so Lieben17 (1985), reflecting on      an objective report and a subjective story is the video letter. Eric Pauwels
17   how technological media (re)organise and filter reality.                        applies this strategy in Lettre à Jean Rouch (1992) and Lettre d’un cinéaste à
                                                                                     sa fille (1998), much like Els Opsomer in her iMovie series (2003-2006).

     In her videos and installations, such as Les mouchoirs de Kabila (2005) and     of film to video and then to data, the aesthetic exchanges between cinema
     Power Cut (2007) Sarah Vanagt shows how children in the tumultuous              and television, the visual and aural polyphony of the MTV-culture. This
     border zone between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo                 becomes apparent in the programme of festivals of audiovisual perfor-
     create their own universe, in which the borders between reality and imagi-      mance, such as Cimatics, and in the work of various Flemish artists such
     nation, life and death, order and chaos, seem to fade. In The Intruder (2005)   as Kurt d’Haeseleer. He makes installations and videos like S*CKMYP21
     and Screen (De vennoten, 2006) Vincent Meessen investigates how reality         (2004) or Fossilization (2005): autonomous audiovisual universes of tactile
     is constructed artificially.                                                    sounds and pointillist images. Anouk De Clercq’s compositions are more
         The first wave of video artists in Flanders in the 1980s had connections    like sensory, inner landscapes that belong to the realm of fantasy. Videos
     with a young generation of choreographers, theatre makers and musicians         like Portal (2002), Building (2003) and Kernwasser Wunderland 22 (2004) are
     who were changing the Flemish artistic landscape. The roles are now re-         images of mental spaces, put up with bleak colour tones, geographic
     versed: moving image has not only become indispensable in museums and           shapes, unfathomable horizons and whispering sounds. The mainly
     galleries, but on theatre stages as well. That is why and how audiovisual       minimalist, electronic soundtracks are no mere illustrations: it feels as
     artists such as David Claerbout, Kurt d’Haeseleer and Peter Missotten           if image and sound both originate from the same desolate void.
     made video backgrounds for opera productions of the Royal Opera House               Other artists explore new media to expand the possibilities of cine-
     La Monnaie, and why D’Haeseleer and Missotten, both members of ‘De              matography. Computer games are often mentioned as models, because
     Filmfabriek’, worked together with Toneelhuis, or why choreographers            they have quickly become one of the dominant audiovisual forms in our cul-
     Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (Rosas) and Wim Vandekeybus (Ultima Vez)             tural experience. Just as cinema was mainly seen as a direct descendent of
     do not consider video merely as a recording device, but as an essential part    photography and theatre – films were originally called ‘photoplays’ –
     of their creative process. One of the key figures in the transit zone between   games can be considered as one of the possible transitions of cinema.
     dance, music and moving image is Walter Verdin. In the 1980s and 1990s, he      You might say that when film organises time, games organise space. In
     received international acclaim for a series of videographic ‘translations’      that respect games are capable of breaking through some of the limitati-
     of choreographies of Vandekeybus (Roseland, 1991), De Keersmaeker               ons of cinema: the linear spatial perspective, the 180° line of traditional
     (Ottone, Ottone20, 1991) and Steve Paxton (Goldberg Variations, 1992). By       editing and the spatial context of the ‘screen’, to name but a few. That
     means of the analogue editing techniques of the time, he constructed            potential is explored by the Workspace Unlimited collective, who create
     complex and visual compositions full of emotion. The narrative lines were       virtual environments on the basis of advanced 3D game technology, and
     not only prompted by the dance movement, but also by the visual logic of        connect them in a network where visitors can meet each other, crossing
     electronic imagery. The power of his work, which he prefers to characterise     the borders between reality and virtuality or simulation and representa-
     as ‘visual music’, derives from the fact that he treats visual structures       tion. Tale of Tales explores the possibilities of game culture as a medium
     much the same way as musical structures: as a mathematical division of          for personal expression. The Endless Forest (2005) and the recent 144 (2007)
     time. That concern is also at the core of his most recent project, Title Safe   are poetic fairytale-like worlds where elegance and wonder operate as an
     (2002-2006), for which he asked a number of filmmakers to make a video on       antidote to the all-consuming desire/urge for simulation and cynicism of
     the basis of one single soundtrack, with a constant rhythm of 125 BPM. The      the traditional game models.
     result is something like a taxonomy of rhythmic images.
         In the wake of Verdin young video artists explore the relationship              Editors Walter Provo and Dirk De Wit
     between image and sound, as they constantly move closer to each other in            Translation Walter Provo

     the digital age. It is a generation that grew up with rapidly changing audio-
     visual forms and technology: changing rhythms in editing, the transition

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	   AUDIOVISUAL	FESTIVALS	AND	                                            	   USEFUL	LINKS
	   EVENTS	IN	FLANDERS                                                    BAM – Flemish Institute for visual,
Flanders International Film Festival – Ghent www.filmfestival.be          audiovisual and media art www.bamart.be
Brussels European Film Festival www.fffb.be                               Flanders Audiovisual Fund www.vaf.be
Ostend Film Festival www.filmfestivaloostende.be                          Flanders Image www.flanders-image.com
Brussels International Fantasy Film Festival www.bifff.org                Royal Belgian Film Archive www.filmarchief.be
International Short Film Festival – Leuven www.kortfilmfestival.be        Media Desk Belgium – Flemish
European Festival of Youth and Children’s Film www.jeugdfilmfestival.be   Community www.mediadesk-vlaanderen.be
Anima – Brussels Animation Film Festival www.folioscope.be                Flemish Community www.vlaanderen.be/cultuur
Cinema Novo – Bruges www.cinemanovo.be
Open Doek – Turnhout www.opendoek.be                                      	   FILM	SCHOOLS
Afrika Film Festival – Leuven www.afrikafilmfestival.be                   KASK Royal Academy of Fine Arts Ghent www.kask.be
Documentair Platform ZONE www.desireproductions.be                        Sint-Lukas Brussels University College of
Docville – Leuven www.docville.be                                         Art and Design www.sintlukas.be
Courtisane – Ghent www.courtisane.be                                      NARAFI Brussels www.narafi.wenk.be
Het Grote Ongeduld – Brussels www.hetgroteongeduld.be                     KHLim – Media And Design Academy www.khlim.be
Offscreen – Brussels www.offscreen.be                                     Erasmushogeschool Brussels – Department RITS www.rits.be
Artefact – Leuven www.artefact-festival.be                                	
Jekino – Brussels www.jekino.be                                           	   MAgAzINES
Argos festival – Brussels www.argosarts.org                               Cinemagie www.filmmagie.be
Cimatics festival – Brussels www.cimatics.com


Herman Asselberghs (°1962) is an artist and critic. He regularly
publishes on audiovisual culture and teaches at the film depart-
ment of Sint-Lukas Brussels University College of Art and
Design. He is a founding member of Auguste Orts and Square.
His installations and videos have been shown at Centre Pompidou,
Paris; Documenta X, Kassel; Deitch Projects, New York; CGAC,
Santiago de Compostella; h-artware, Dortmund; Witte de With,
Rotterdam; Netwerk, Aalst; MuHKA, Antwerp; Van Abbemuseum,
Eindhoven; International Film Festival Rotterdam; Internationale
Filmfestspiele Berlin; FID Marseille; EMAF Osnabrüeck; Medien
und Architectur Biennale, Graz; Rencontres Internationales,
Paris/Berlin and Transmediale Berlin. He lives and works in


                                                                   HERMAN	ASSELBERgHS
                                                                   CAPSULAR	— 2006
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Nic Balthazar (°1964) made his first steps on international podia
at a very young age, when the children musicals in which he played
even hit Broadway. Even before graduating from university he
became a theatre critic and later a well-known film critic. First for
newspapers, then for radio. Then came a successful television
career as a cultural journalist, director, presenter, talkshow host
for a variety of programmes at the most important Belgian national
television broadcaster VRT.
    The impact of his literary debut Nothing Was All He Said (Niets
was alles wat hij zei, 2002) brought about an adaptation of the same
story to the stage. The multimedia play NOTHING (NIETS), writ-
ten, produced and directed by Nic Balthazar was an even bigger
success with more then 210 sold-out shows. When the production
company MMG bought the film rights of the book and play they
not only asked him to write the screenplay, but also to direct the
film himself. Ben X (2007) is Nic Balthazars first feature film
as a director.
    The film received the award for Best Foreign Language film at
the International Film Festival in Sedona 2008, the Heineken
Red Star Award at Palm Springs International Film Festival, the
Grand Prix at the Montreal World Film Festival and the Black Pearl
at the Abu Dhabi Middle East International Film Festival.


                                                                        NIC	BALTHAzAR
                                                                        BEN	X	— 2007
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Since 1993, Peter Brosens (°1962) has built an impressive track
record as an independent director and producer of high-profile
creative documentaries. Upon graduating in both Urban Geo-
graphy and Cultural Anthropology, Peter worked as an expert in
migration and urban development in Ecuador. During his M.A.
in Visual Anthropology at Manchester University he returned to
Ecuador where he made the award-winning film The Path of Time
(1992) as part of an in-depth study of epidemic forms of suicide in
the Andes. Between 1993 and 1999 he produced and codirected his
internationally acclaimed Mongolia Trilogy (City of the Steppes,
State of Dogs & Poets of Mongolia). Together, these films received
25 awards, were selected for over 100 festivals and were distribu-
ted around the globe.
    In 2005 Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth established
Bo Films, their independent production company for feature films.
Their first feature film, Khadak (2006), which they wrote and direc-
ted together, is shot entirely in Mongolia. Khadak won numerous
awards around the world, including the Lion of the Future for Best
Debut Feature at the 2006 Venice Film Festival. It has screened at
over 50 festivals worldwide, including at the prestigious Toronto
and Sundance Film Festivals. Fragments of Grace is their second
feature film and will be shot in Belgium and the high Andes.
Brosens and Woodworth intend to continue with fiction in the
spirit of a cinema that is visionary, uncompromising and visually


                                                                       PETER	BROSENS	&	JESSICA	WOODWORTH
                                                                       KHADAK	— 2006
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DichtVorm (Animated Poetry – The Flanders Edition, 2006) is
a collection of 15 animated short films based on contemporary
Flemish poetry and directed by young Flemish animators. This
eclectic bunch of two-minute-length short films offers a wide view
on the actual landscape of poetry in Flanders, while strongly ap-
pealing to the world’s contemporary culture of images and
enthusiastically taking advantage of the full range of available
animation techniques.
    Inspired by the quality and success of Dicht/Vorm (Animated
Poetry – The Netherlands Edition), conceived and produced in 2002
by Dutch collegues and friends il Luster Productions, S.O.I.L. took
up the challenge to apply the same concept to Flemish poetry and
animation. Along with the project’s original goals – to give new
inspiration to filmmakers, to show new ways of looking at poetry,
and to link visual with literary arts – an additional important aim
was to give a chance to recently graduated animators from several
schools to make their first professional film, while being coached
by a group of established professionals.

    With My Quantum Stroke (Met mijn kwantorslag), Pieter Vanluffelen
    Marked (Getekend), Pieter Coudyzer
    Bruised (Blauwblauw), Sandy Claes & Daan Wampers
    A Hand (Een hand), Kris Genijn
    Breathtaking (Adembeneming), Kristof Luyckx
    Squirt on the Centrepiece (Spuiten op het middenstuk), Joris Cool
    On Untimely Wisdom (Over de ontijdige wijsheid), Pieter André Samyn
    A Barely Audible Message (Een moeilijk verstaanbaar bericht), Bram Van Rompaey
    By a Badgered Tie (Bij een gekreukte das), Katelijn Smissaert & Minske Van Wijk
    Urban 2002 (Urbaan 2002), Lars Lambrecht
    Underwater (Onderwater), Reinout Swinnen
    Ash Is Stone (As is steen), Walter Van Cleynenbreugel
    What Is Started With the Heart Is Easily Released (Wat met het hart wordt aangegaan),
    Bert Blondeel
    Candy Colours (Zuurstokkleuren), Wouter Sel
    As Haughty As a Swan (Hooghartig als een zwaan), Niek Castricum & Maarten De With

                                                                                            KRISTOF	LUyCKX                                                        PIETER	VANLUFFELEN
                                                                                            BREATHTAKINg	(ADEMBENEMINg)	— 2006                                    WITH	My	QUANTUM	STROKE	(MET	MIJN	KWANTORSLAg)	— 2006
    www.soilart.komkomdoorn.net                                                             film still                                                            film still

                                                                                            BRAM	VAN	ROMPAEy                                                      LARS	LAMBRECHT
                                                                                            A	BARELy	AUDIBLE	MESSAgE	(EEN	MOEILIJK	VERSTAANBAAR	BERICHT)	— 2006   URBAN	2002	(URBAAN	2002)— 2006
                                                                                            film still                                                            film still


Geoffrey Enthoven (°1974) obtained a degree at the college of
Art and Design, option Film & TV (Bournemouth & Poole, UK).
After his studies in the UK, he became a Master in Audiovisual
Arts at the KASK Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent.
    Enthoven directed several TV series for D&D & Fremantle,
TV documentaries for The Television Factory, music videos for
Poodles on Speed, commercials for T42, SAKE and DM&S. He
also wrote several feature film screenplays for Fobic Films, MMG
and K2. He already made three feature films, Children of Love (Les
enfants de l’amour, 2001), The Only One (Vidange perdue, 2006) and
Happy Together (2008), which were internationally acclaimed.

                                                                     gEOFFREy	ENTHOVEN
                                                                     HAPPy	TOgETHER	— 2007
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Praised by the London and the New York Times as ‘an eccentric
rollercoaster ride through history’, Johan Grimonprez’ film Dial
H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (1997), an exploration into the annals of airplane
hijacking, garnered ‘best director’ awards at the San Francisco
Film Festival and Toronto. Since its acclaimed premiere at Centre
Georges Pompidou (Paris) and Documenta X (Kassel), the film has
toured worldwide.
    Double Take, a new film-in-progress by Grimonprez (°1963)
examines the rivalry between cinema and its double, television,
by way of remote control, the commercial break, and the
Khrushchev-Nixon ‘Kitchen Debate’ – a televised event during the
Cold War, that underlined the so-called ‘missile gap’ which in turn
spurred the development of the modern military-industrial com-
plex. The film also explores how suburbia emerged via the control
that consumer culture exerted through television. These thematic
elements are unified by a re-examination of Alfred Hitchcock’s
The Birds as a metaphor for the socio-political Zeitgeist of the
early 1960s and the present world.
    A first chapter, called Looking for Alfred, premiered at the
Photographer’s Gallery (London) and the Centre for Fine Arts
(Brussels), and went on to win a Spirit Award (New York), as well
as the 1st prize at the ZKM International Media Award 2005.


                                                                      JOHAN	gRIMONPREz
                                                                      DOUBLE	TAKE	— 2004 - work-in-progress
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                                                                      Courtesy of Zapomatik / Film & Video Umbrella


A graduate of the KASK Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent,
Felix van Groeningen (°1977) started his professional career as a
director of shorts (Truth or Dare, 1999 and 50cc, 2000), music videos
and stage plays. In 2004, he made his feature film debut with Steve
+ Sky, which won him the Joseph Plateau Award for Best Belgian
Film. With Friends Like These (Dagen zonder lief, 2007) is his second
feature. His next project will be The Misfortunates (De helaasheid
der dingen), a film based on the novel by Dimitri Verhulst.


                                                                        FELIX	VAN	gROENINgEN
                                                                        WITH	FRIENDS	LIKE	THESE	(DAgEN	zONDER	LIEF)	— 2007
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Hans Herbots (°1970) studied both film and theatre. He worked
as a cameraman, directing assistant and production assistant for
several commercials, documentaries, shorts and features. He took
part in numerous projects, shorts and TV series. In 2001 he made
a debut with Falling (Vallen, 2001) and his second feature The Long
Weekend (Verlengd weekend, 2005) was very much appreciated by
the Flemish audience. At this moment his latest project Storm
Force (Windkracht 10, 2007) is shown in the Flemish theatres.
As a renowned voice director he handled Flemish versions of well-
known Disney and Pixar animation films.

                                                                      HANS	HERBOTS
                                                                      THE	LONg	WEEKEND	(VERLENgD	WEEKEND)	— 2005
                                                                      film still


Dimitri Karakatsanis (°1975) graduated with his short The Guide
(Le Guide, 2001) at Sint-Lukas Brussels University College of Art
and Design. This surrealistic short was awarded the Prize for Best
Student Short in 2001 and was screened at a number of internatio-
nal film festivals. Small Gods is his first feature film in which he
explores the boundaries between reality and the imaginary.
    Small Gods premiered at the 2007 Venice International Film


                                                                       DIMITRI	KARAKATSANIS
                                                                       SMALL	gODS	— 2007
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Roman Klochkov (°1982) obtained a master’s degree in audiovi-
sual arts at the KASK Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. His
2D-animation graduation project Administrators (2006), on the
absurdness of bureaucrazy, was selected at several international
animation film festivals such as Annecy, Espinho, Utrecht, London
and Aubagne.

                                                                    ROMAN	KLOCHKOV
                                                                    ADMINISTRATORS	— 2006
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Vincent Meessen (°1971) studied journalism and cultural policy.
Most of his work is collaborative. Meessen usually establishes
delegation protocols so that the work is always and already
the result of an encounter. He mainly produces ‘documents of
experience’ in which he uses and corrupts documentary style.
His work develops around the idea of ‘disputed spaces’ – territory
as a political issue in the post-colonial context. Besides his
personal work, he has initiated various collaborative projects such
as Potential Estate (2006-2009), UTIL (2002- ...), Qui-vive (2003-2004)
and was an active member of Universal Embassy (2001-2005).
He has also curated programmes for e-flux (New York), BAK
(Utrecht), Argos center for art & media, Cinema Museum,
Recyclart (Brussels) and Extra City (Antwerp). His video works
are distributed by Argos. In 2006, he received three awards; best
Belgian short in the Courtisane Film Festival (Ghent), First Prize
International Competition at the 52nd International Short Film
Festival of Oberhausen and Best International Documentary,
Entrevues Festival (Belfort). He is currently a guest lecturer at
ENSAV, LaCambre (Brussels) and lives in Brussels.


                                                                          VINCENT	MEESSEN
                                                                          N12°13.062’/W001°32.619’	EXTENDED	— 2005	
                                                                          film still


Koen Mortier (°1965) directed his first short Ana Temnei in 1996.
It won among others a gold Award at the Worldfest in Houston in
1997. His second short, A Hard Day’s Work (1997), won the SABAM
Prize during the Brussels European Film festival 1997, the
Audience Award Sarajevo 1997, the Prize Centaur at St. Peters-
burg 1997 and has been selected for more than 30 festivals world-
wide. In 1998, Koen Mortier started his own production company
CZAR.BE, focusing on commercials. In September 2002,
CZAR.BE founded CCCP, a production company for feature films
and documentaries. CCCP financed and produced Mortiers first
feature film Ex Drummer (2007). Ex Drummer was selected for
many film festivals and was sold to different countries. In 2007,
it won the award for Best Feature Debute at the Raindance Film-
festival 2007, the Public Prize at the Fantasy Filmfest in Germany
and the Special Prize of the Jury at the Warsaw Filmfestival.
    Koen Mortier is currently working on two new features,
22nd of MAY and Killroy.


                                                                     KOEN	MORTIER
                                                                     EX	DRUMMER	— 2007
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Nicolas Provost (°1969) is a filmmaker and visual artist who gra-
duated from the KASK Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent in
1994. After graduating, Provost spent eight years in Oslo working
as an illustrator, graphic designer and art director. In 1999 he
started making films again that quickly found their way to inter-
national film and visual art platforms. His work is a reflection on
the grammar of cinema and the relation between visual art and the
cinematic experience. His films are screened worldwide on both
exhibition platforms and film festivals and have earned a long list
of awards and screenings at prestigious festivals as among others
Sundance Film Festival, San Francisco International Filmfestival,
Cinevegas, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Viennale,
Locarno Film Festival, …


                                                                      NICOLAS	PROVOST
                                                                      PLOT	POINT	— 2007
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Tale of Tales was founded by Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn
in Belgium in 2002 as a development studio for artistic compu-
ter games. Harvey and Samyn remove the conventions of rules,
competition and action and introduce new forms of interaction
and storytelling to the medium of computer games. The purpose of
Tale of Tales is to create elegant and emotionally rich interactive
entertainment. Their work is high-tech but deeply rooted in cultu-
ral traditions. They also refer back to religious and mythological
texts and folk tales. Their aesthetic inspiration comes mainly from
pre-modern pictorial art. They want to return to art where artisan
crafts are important and where cynicism and irony are excluded.
Art that is unashamedly beautiful is possible and can transport
through the senses. Their art form is more closely linked therefore
to popular art forms such as film, music and literature than art that
can be seen in museums. As a result, Tale of Tales’ work features
innovative forms of interaction, engaging poetic narratives and
simple controls.
    Tale of Tales started life with the design of 8, an epic single
player PC exploration game inspired by the various versions of
the folk tale, Sleeping Beauty. The Endless Forest is the second big
project: an online multiplayer game. It was launched in September
2005 and continues to evolve. The Path will be the first commercial-
ly available single player game. A spiritual sequel to 8, The Path is
a short horror game inspired by the tale of Little Red Ridinghood.
They are also involved with research projects, like Drama Princess,
and theoretical discussions, as expressed in their Realtime Art
Manifesto. Recently, they released a very short game entitled
The Graveyard.


                                                                        TALE	OF	TALES
                                                                        THE	ENDLESS	FOREST	— 2006


Nathalie Teirlinck (°1985) obtained her degree in audiovisual arts
at the KASK Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. Her graduation
short film, Juliette (2007), and one of her earlier shorts, Anémone
(2006), which she made during her third year in college, won the
ACE award at the Flanders International Film festival. Anémone
was also selected at the Locarno Film Festival (Switzerland), the
Film festival in Cuenca (Spain) and the London Film Festival.

                                                                      NATHALIE	TEIRLINCK
                                                                      JULIETTE	— 2007
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Frank Theys (°1963) is a visual artist and filmmaker who studied
philosophy and fine arts. Theys became known in the international
video scene for his experimental adaptation of Wagner’s Ring
opera cycle (1986-89). In 1992 he was invited to work as director-
in-residence of the arts centre Victoria in Ghent where he wrote
and directed several theatre plays amongst which the acclaimed
Liesbeth, Monologue for a Young Lady (Liesbeth, monoloog voor
een jonge vrouw, 1992) and From all those who have nothing to say,
those who keep quiet are the most pleasant (Van al die die niks te
zeggen hebben, zijn die die zwijgen ‘t aangenaamst, 1993).
For his theatre work he received the title of Cultural Ambassador
of Flanders. Since 1996 he has been concentrating on making
video installations and films, a.o. the documentary Technocalyps
    His work has been shown at the Centre for Fine Arts
(Brussels),The Museum for Modern Art (San Francisco), Musée
d’Art Moderne (Paris), Museum for the Moving Image (New York),
Taganka Theater (Moscow), Kunsthalle (Luzern), Reina Sofia
(Madrid), Haus der Kunst (Munich), and is included in the col-
lection of MOMA (New York), Le Centre National de la Cinemato-
graphie (Paris) and The Museum for Contemporary Art in Ghent
(S.M.A.K.) and in Antwerp (MuHKA).


                                                                     FRANK	THEyS
                                                                     TECHNOCALyPS	— 2006
                                                                     film still

Patrice Toye (°1967) studied scriptwriting & directing at Sint-Lukas
Brussels University College of Art and Design. Her feature film
debut was the internationally acclaimed Rosie (1998) which was
selected by the international film festivals in Toronto, Valladolid,
Berlin, Helsinki, Edingbourg, Montreal a.o. The film debut won
several prizes. The script of her second feature feature film, Now-
here Man ((N)iemand, 2008), won the prestigious NHK Award at
the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Patrice Toye was a member of the
international jury for the TIGER Awards during the Rotterdam Film
Festival in 2006. She gives workshops in directing at the Brussels
Film Institute and she directs commercials and video clips.


                                                                       PATRICE	TOyE	
                                                                       NOWHERE	MAN	((N)IEMAND)	— 2008
                                                                       film still

Fien Troch (°1978) graduated in 2000 from Sint-Lukas Brussels
University College of Art and Design. At that time she was already
more than just a name. With Burnt Soil (Verbrande aarde, 1998)
she had a great debut with a Prize of the Jury at the Brussels
European Film Festival. Wooww (1999) won the International Short
Film Festival in Leuven and was screened in places as far as
Seattle. Graduation project Maria (2000) underscored this suc-
cess: prizes at the short film festival Het Grote Ongeduld and
at the International Film Festival, both in Brussels, as well as
interest across the world. It was only a matter of time for Troch’s
feature film debut. After a short film for children, several promo-
tional films, and a little noticed acting performance, five years of
painstaking work was rewarded with the release of Someone Else’s
Happiness (Een ander zijn geluk, 2005).


                                                                       FIEN	TROCH
                                                                       SOMEONE	ELSE’S	HAPPINESS	(EEN	ANDER	zIJN	gELUK)	— 2005
                                                                       film still

Frank Van Mechelen (°1957) studied at the NARAFI Film school in
Brussels and graduated as a Professional Bachelor Audiovisual
Techniques Film (TV/Video). He followed lectures at the Lee
Strasberg Theatre Institute Los Angeles (Actor/Director).
Together with Eric Wirix and Ward Hulselmans he created the
Belgian drama TV series Silent Waters (Stille waters, 2001) which
was their first step towards cinema. After Silent Waters, Frank Van
Mechelen directed two feature films: The Intruder (De indringer,
2004) and Hell in Tangier (De hel van Tanger, 2006). He also directed
episodes of a crime series called Aspe.


                                                                        FRANK	VAN	MECHELEN
                                                                        HELL	IN	TANgIER	(DE	HEL	VAN	TANgER)	— 2006
                                                                        film still


After playing leading roles in more that twenty films and as many
TV series in Flanders, Holland and Germany, Hilde van Mieghem
(°1958) is starting a successful career as a director. She won 17
awards in 76 festival categories with her debut The Sugarbowl
(De suikerpot, 1997). Her first feature film The Kiss (De kus, 2004)
was nominated for the Joseph Plateau Prize for Best Music.
The leading role, played by Marie Vinck, received the same prize in
the category Best Actress and won the Platinum Award for Best
Actress at the Festival of Viareggio (festival Europa Cinema).
Love Belongs to Everyone (Dennis van Rita, 2006), her second fea-
ture film, was selected by the Shanghai International Film Festival
and again received a prize for acting (Best Actress for
Els Dottermans).

                                                                       HILDE	VAN	MIEgHEM
                                                                       LOVE	BELONgS	TO	EVERyONE	(DENNIS	VAN	RITA)	— 2006
                                                                       film still

Sarah Vanagt (°1976) studied history at the universities of
Antwerp, Sussex (UK) and Groningen (NL), and film at the
National Film and Television School (UK). Her recent work reflects
her interest in the way in which children deal with history. Her
graduation film After Years of Walking (2003) looks at the rewriting
of Rwandan history after the genocide of 1994. In Little Figures
(2003), a short experimental documentary film, three immigrant
children in Brussels play the role of three historical statues.
Her documentary film, Begin Began Begun (2005), focuses on the
play-world of children growing up in the war-torn border zone
between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Les
mouchoirs de Kabila (2005) is presented in the form of a video
installation, and deals with images of death in the games of child-
ren in Eastern Congo. The video installation Power Cut (2007) is
based on video and sound recordings made by street children and
soldiers in Eastern Congo during the first democratic elections in
Congo since its independence in 1960. Vanagt’s recent works are
the video installations Head (2007) and Ash Tree (2007).


                                                                       SARAH	VANAgT
                                                                       FIRST	ELECTIONS	— 2006
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Director, choreographer, actor and photographer Wim
Vandekeybus (°1963) began his studies in psychology in Leuven,
but quickly came into contact with theatre. He followed some
dance courses (classic, modern, tango) and took up film and
photography. In 1986 he founded his company Ultima Vez.
    Wim Vandekeybus has created nearly twenty performances
with changing international casts and has made nearly as many
film and video productions. A few examples of his film work are
Roseland (1990), La Mentira (1992), Elba and Federico (1993),
Mountains Made of Barking (1994), Dust (1996), Body, Body on the
Wall … (1997), Inasmuch (2000), Blush (2005) and Hereafter (2007).
The dance performance Blush (2002), a collaboration between
Ultima Vez and the Royal Flemish Theatre (KVS, Brussels), was
adapted into a dance film in 2005, shot at different locations in
Brussels and Corsica.


                                                                     WIM	VANDEKEyBUS
                                                                     BLUSH	— 2005
                                                                     film still

Walter Verdin (°1953) studied art history and fine arts (painting,
graphics). A couple of Flemish hits (Er is iets, Storingen) and
a sensational Belgian representation at the Eurovision Song
Contest (Pas de Deux with Rendez-Vous) made him popular
with the Flemish public in the early 1980s. Afterwards he concen-
trated on video art with particular attention to the coincidence of
images and sound (‘visual music’). Besides the co-operation with
choreographers (among others Wim Vandekeybus, Anne Teresa
De Keersmaeker) and theatre directors (Guy Cassiers, Theu
Boermans) he concentrated during the last years on his own video
installations, concerts and dancing performances. His last impor-
tant project is Title Safe, to which 27 colleague video artists and a
large number of musicians contributed. In November 2007, the Title
Safe DVD box was published. The video concert X<Africa (which
he started in 1993 with Frank Michiels) brought him in 2005 to
Maputo (Mozambique), to where he is now regularly attracted
to lead workshops with local visual artists, video makers and


                                                                        WALTER	VERDIN
                                                                        TITLE	SAFE	— 2007

Workspace Unlimited is an internationally renowned collective
that is at the forefront of media art, creating some of today’s
most compelling virtual worlds and interactive installations.
The collective’s projects engage with the territories that emerge
when physical spaces intersect with the enlarged public sphere
of electronic networks and immersive technologies. Workspace
Unlimited questions the impact of technology and the information
society on the human imaginary. The collective has been commis-
sioned by leading media art festivals and institutions to create
both original large-scale works and site-specific installations.
Common Grounds, Workspace Unlimited’s most important project,
is a permanent network of virtual worlds (EXTENSION, DEVMAP,
IMPLANT, SPACESCAPES) linked to physical public spaces in
Europe, North America and Asia. Thomas Soetens (°1972) and
Kora Van den Bulcke (°1972) are founders and leading artists of
Workspace Unlimited.


                                                                    WORKSPACE	UNLIMITED
                                                                    COMMON	gROUNDS/DEVMAP	— 2004


Fabio Wuytack (°1981) graduated as a Master in Audiovisual Arts
at the Sint-Lukas Brussels University College of Art and Design,
specialised in documentary. His graduation project, Made in Italy
(2004), was selected for international film festivals world wide
such as the San Francisco Short Film Festival and the Barcelona
Short Film Festival a.o. The portrait Two Hands (2004), which he
made during his years at Sint-Lukas Brussels, travelled to
several international festivals as well.
    Recently he realised his first feature documentary Persona
Non Grata, retracing the history of his father as a guerilla-priest-
artist in Venezuela.


                                                                       FABIO	WUyTACK
                                                                       PERSONA	NON	gRATA	— 2008
                                                                       film still

As a teenager, Joost Wynant (°1980) starred in several TV series
and features such as Rosie (Patrice Toye, 1997) and The Cutting
(Peter Misotten, 1998). In 2005, he obtained a Master in Audio-
visual Arts degree at the RITS film academy in Brussels. His
graduation short, The Last Summer (De laatste zomer, 2005), won
him a 1 60,000 VAF Wildcard to be used on his first professional
film project. It allowed Wynant to adapt his graduation short
into a feature, released in 2007.


                                                                   JOOST	WyNANT
                                                                   THE	LAST	SUMMER	(DE	LAATSTE	zOMER)	— 2005
                                                                   film still
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flemisH institUte for     tHis BoX is An initiAtiVe of the Flemish Minister for Culture, Youth,
VisUAl, AUDioVisUAl AnD   Sport and Brussels Affairs
meDiA Art                 witH tHe sUpport of the Flemish Ministry of Culture, Youth,
Bijlokekaai 7d            Sport and Media (www.cjsm.vlaanderen.be)

9000 Ghent - Belgium      in CooperAtion witH BAM, Flemish Institute for Visual, Audiovisual and
                          Media Art (www.bamart.be)
T +32 (0)9 267 90 40
                          CoorDinAtion Adinda Van Geystelen, Advisor on the Arts,
                          Flemish Minister of Culture

                          CompilAtion Booklet BAM, Flemish Institute for Visual, Audiovisual and Media
                          Art, Bijlokekaai 7d, B-9000 Ghent, www.bamart.be
                          eDitors Dirk De Wit, Anne Judong, Walter Provo
                          CoorDinAtion Anne Judong, Eva Peeters
                          With special thanks to Christian De Schutter and Simon Wullens
                          finAl eDiting Anne Judong, Eva Peeters
                          AUtHors Stoffel Debuysere, Erik Martens
                          grApHiC Design Geoffrey Brusatto
                          trAnslAtor Walter Provo
                          printer Drukkerij Leën, Hasselt
                          responsiBle eDitor Christine Claus, Arenbergstraat 9, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
                          iDentifiCAtion nUmBer D/2008/3241/181

                          In collaboration with Flanders Image

                          Grateful acknowledgement is made to the artists, filmmakers and producers for permission to
                          reproduce the photo and film material.

                          All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or
                          by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any other informa-
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