Olivia Rochette and Gerard-Jan Claes’ documentary Because We Are Visual has won the Young Audience Award at the European Medium-Length Film Meetings in Brive (6 – 11 April). While both directors only recently finished their studies at the Fine Arts Academy in Ghent (KASK), they’ve already garnered selections for both IDFA and the International Film Festival in Rotterdam.
The Prize in Brive comes with a grant of € 1.500, awarded by the Corrèze Departmental region. The film was selected in the festival’s main program, the European Competition. According to the fest’s website, the documentaries of Olivia and Gerard-Jan ‘evoke a sense of choreographic, compositional experience and understanding. As dance and music, they play with structural elements such as motives, rhythm, dynamics, movement, etc.’
In Flanders Image’s ‘Shorts’ magazine the young directors recall the sequence that inspired their journey into online video. ‘It’s a clip that Olivia found,’ Claes explains, ‘and which is still in the film, of a girl in pink underwear. We found it intriguing because there is something abstract about it. You can’t see her face. it is also very intimate, because she is half-naked, yet she is making it public. And there is something poetic about it.’ From this starting point they began collecting material, editing as they went along.
In Because We Are Visual Olivia Rochette and Gerard-Jan Claes immerse themselves into the world of public video journals. The Internet and its online communities intend to bring people closer together and to connect them. Yet, surprisingly, it seems that the virtual world confronts these so-called vloggers more than ever with their own loneliness. This documentary allows the viewer to discover this contemporary phenomenon and focuses on the experience of the body within this virtual space. By means of visual material gathered from online sources, the cineastes create a unique poetic realm in which thoughts, fears, desires and worries, shared via the webcam, merge together.
The European Medium-Length Film Meetings is designed to be a meeting place for both general public and film professionals and can boast being the only European film festival exclusively devoted to medium length cinema.
Because We Are Visual is Gerard-Jan Claes and Olivia Rochette’s graduation film at the Fine Arts Academy in Ghent (KASK). The film also landed them a VAF Wildcard. The Wildcard program aims to give recently graduated filmmaking talent a chance to embark on a first professional project.
Read more in our Shorts Magazine