EN - Directed by Olivia Rochette and Gerard-Jan Claes, a documentary exploring the contemporary phenomenon of online communities, By means of visual material gathered from online sources, the cineastes create a poetic realm in which thoughts, fears, desires and worries, shared via the webcam, merge together.

FR - Olivia Rochette et Gerard-Jan Claes plongent dans le monde des journaux vidéo publics.  L’internet et ses communautés virtuelles tentent de rapprocher les gens et de les connecter. Pourtant, il semblerait que ce monde virtuel confronte d’autant plus les internautes à leur solitude. Ce documentaire permet au spectateur de découvrir ce phénomène contemporain et se concentre sur l’expérience corporelle au sein de cet espace visuel. Au moyen de matériaux visuels rassemblés sur diverses sources en ligne, les cinéastes créent un univers poétique unique dans lequel les pensées, les désirs et les inquiétudes, partagés par webcam, se rejoignent.


Title Because We Are Visual
Original title Because We Are Visual
Original language English, French
Status Completed
Production Majority Flemish
Category Docs
Year 2010


Editing Olivia Rochette & Gerard-Jan Claes
Sound Michel Schöpping
Music Ethan Rose, Mount Kimbie

Technical specs

Running time film 47'12''
Release format Beta Digit
Aspect ratio 1:1.33
Sound format Dolby Digital
Colour Colour


Supported by Scam, bvba Crinto, Marx Van Ranst Vermeersch & Partners


2014: Festival de Cine Lima Independiente (PE) / Elles Tournent, Brussels (BE)

2012: Dokfilmfestival Hamburg (DE) / DokuFest, Kosovo

2011: Hors Pistes, Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR) / International Film Festival Rotterdam - IFFR (NL) / Courtisane Festival For Short, Video And New Media, Ghent (BE) / Festival du Cinema de Brive (FR) / Berlinaire Festival, Ghent (BE) / Docville International Documentary Festival Leuven (BE) / Documenta Madrid - International Madrid Documentary Festival (ES) / VideoEx Zurich (CH) / Hors Pistes Tokyo (JP) / Open City London Documentary Festival (UK) / Pärnu International Documentary Film Festival (EE) / Festival Silhouette – Courts Métrages, Paris (FR) / 25 FPS Festival, Zagreb (HR) / Hors Pistes Reprise, Pera Museum, Istanbul (TR) / Kik In Der Kok Festival, Tallinn (EE) / Filmer A Tout Prix, Brussels (BE) / Bandit-Image, Bourges Expérimentaux (FR) / Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux, Paris (FR)

2010: Bâtard Festival, Beursschouwburg, Brussels (BE) / International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam - IDFA (NL) / International Short Film Festival Leuven (BE)



2011: Prix du Jury Jeunes de la Corrèze - Festival du Cinema de Brive (FR) / Special Mention of the Jury - VideoEx Festival (CH) / Special Mention of the Jury - Filmer à Tout Prix (FR) / First Prize Student Competition – Bandits-Mages (FR) / Grand Prix du Cinéma Différent (Grand Jury) & Mention du Jury Presse - Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux Paris (FR)

2010: VAF Wildcard Documentary / Mathilde Horlait Dapsense Award / Legaat Franciscus Pycke Award

Local fest recognises docs from Flanders

Flemish documentaries wowed the juries and grabbed three awards at this year's Filmer à tout prix (11-16 November) doc fest in Brussels. The winning documentaries were Lotte Knaepen’s Na vespera, Sven Augustijnen’s Spectres and Olivia Rochette & Gerard-Jan Claes’ Because We Are Visual.

Still from Sven Augustijnen's SpectresWinner of the debut section was Lotte Knaepen, a St-Lucas Film Academy graduate, who grabbed the Henri Storck Award, which is worth €3,500, with her film In the Eve(Na vespera). The jury responded warmly to the documentary, praising it for ‘the delicate and strong look of a young filmmaker’ and calling it a ‘visual jewel with rare talent that predicts future excellence’.

Published on Monday 21 November 2011

Flemish Artists take over VIDEOEX

Disorient by Florence Aigner and Laurent Van Lancker received the Main Prize at VIDEOEX, the International Experimental Film & Video Festival in Zürich (21 – 29 May). Because We Are Visual by another helmers' duo, Olivia Rochette and Gerard-Jan Claes, was given an Honourable Mention by the Jury.

Still from festival winner DisorientThe International Jury, consisting of Maria Palacios Cruz (BE), Seppo Renvall (FIN) en Georges Salameh (GR) decided to share the Main Prize between two ‘brave’ films which ‘experiment with storytelling and with the absence of images. Both films share a sense of internal rhythm and pacing, as well as a strong correspondence between the chosen formal strategies and the subject matter that is being dealt with.’ Because We Are Visual also received praise from the jury for its ‘fragile beauty, ‘highly complex editing’ and ‘the two young filmmakers’ ambition.’

Published on Wednesday 8 June 2011

Local fests add Flemish flavour to line-ups

May promises to be a busy month for Flemish docs and shorts. Both the Docville International Documentary Festival in Leuven (29 April-7 May) and the Brussels Short Film Festival (28 April-8 May) are scheduling a strong selection of Flemish titles. With attention for Flemish productions on the rise internationally, indigenous fests are following course.

Antwerp Central selected for DocvilleThe seventh edition of documentary fest Docville is showcasing an ambitious programme, with yet to be released films, previews and one-off screenings. Among the 70 selected docs are a number of Flemish highlights such as Grande Hotel by Lotte Stoops and Waidmannsheil by Klaas Boelen, which were both selected for Hot Docs this year, as well as Peter Krüger’s creative documentary, Antwerp Central, which recently won the Grand Prix at the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA).

Published on Friday 29 April 2011

Brive awards Because We Are Visual

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.

Still from Because We Are VisualThe 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.’

Published on Friday 15 April 2011

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Last edited on 19 January 2015

Short info

Director Olivia Rochette, Gerard-Jan Claes
Producers Olivia Rochette, Gerard-Jan Claes
Writers Olivia Rochette, Gerard-Jan Claes

Gerard-Jan Claes
Washuisstraat 10
1000 Brussels
T +32 (0)496 97 72 36

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