Female Flemish Documentary Makers To Discover

Photo of Sophia Francis
29 December 2016

Clever documentaries and cinematography have the potential to captivate viewers, highlighting sensitive themes and pressing issues. The work of these unique Flemish documentary makers sheds light on intriguing subject matter, and their works are executed with remarkable style.

Griet Teck

Living and working in Ghent, Griet Teck is a Belgian director who has produced various documentaries and shorts including a film that focuses on dementia titled Feel My Love. She gained her Masters of Audiovisual Arts from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium and has since received various accolades, including Best Picture in Foreign Narrative from the Lone Pine Short Film Festival for her short film Still/Here. Telling the story of an architect who survives a car crash and experiences turbulent moments in his relationship with his partner Hannah, Still/Here is poignant – and, it exhibits remarkable cinematography. Feel My Love, produced by Wild Heart Productions, is equally touching and showcases the best of Teck’s work.

Recommended watch: Still/Here

Sien Versteyhe

A producer of film who has created fine work and received critical acclaim for her productions, Sien Versteyhe is an upcoming director specializing in documentaries. She studied at the RITS Film Academy in Brussels and achieved her Masters of Arts there. Her first documentary titled Can a Man Change the City was created with Manu Riche and succinctly depicts Antwerp. It features artist Benjamin Verdonck’s relationship with the city and was shot in Antwerp and Flanders. Having received an Honorable Mention of the Jury for her documentary Junior, a film which portrays the complex life of the eponymous Jean-Pierre Bauwens, Versteyhe’s style has been likened to British director Ken Loach for her use of realism.

Recommended watch: Junior

Sofie Benoot

Born in Bruges and based in Brussels, director Sofie Benoot studied film at Sint-Lukas Brussels University and found the desire to pursue film while studying. She has achieved a VAF Wild Card Award from the Leuven International Film Festival and has shown her work in various film festivals internationally, including Paris, Juarez, Torino, and Leeds. She has directed such documentaries as Fronterismo, Blue Meridian and, her most recent film, Desert Haze. A work that highlights her interest in the American Western genre, Desert Haze moves away from the Hollywood glamor of the Western and instead portrays the lonely, isolative nature of the vast desert. The film has received a special mention for its cinematic vision.

Recommended watch: Desert Haze

Liesbeth De Ceulaer

A writer and director most known for such documentaries as Behind the Redwood Curtain, The Best Act on the Isle and Desert Haze, Liesbeth De Ceulaer tells remarkable stories with her cinematography. Her film Behind the Redwood Curtain portrays the stories of seven forest dwellers whose lives are connected with the Redwood Forest. Juxtaposing her own views on the forest with the those of fascinating scientists and forest activists, Liesbeth De Ceular’s film is insightful and thought provoking, as is her entire range of works.

Recommended watch: Behind the Redwood Curtain

Ellen Vermeulen

Creator of various documentaries such as Oh My God, Tanja 1/10 and Here With Me, Ellen Vermeulen is a Belgian film director who reaches audiences with a unique approach and style. She worked with Jonothan Wannyn and Dieter Diependaele to create 9999, a documentary that focuses on five storylines of mentally ill criminals. The director’s work is truly captivating in content and execution. The film is unparalleled in its poignancy and unsurpassed in its portrayal of criminals as the stories are largely told by those who are featured.

Recommended watch: 9999

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