A collection of six documentaries about ‘contemporary taboos’ will air on Belgian TV channel Canvas from 8 March. The six are the result of a collaboration between Flemish pubcaster VRT and the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF). They deal with subjects such as obesity, giving away a child for adoption, and families who have to deal with a suicide.

Still from 'Through Thick And Thin'The series is the result of a competition that was launched in 2009 when VRT and VAF announced that they were looking for creative documentaries that dealt with what the makers considered to be contemporary taboos. Each of the docs had to be able to lead to public debate about their respective subjects. In the first round of selection, a jury chose 12 projects to receive a development grant. From these 12, the jury selected the final six. Among the documentary-makers are both established and emerging directors.

  • Through Thick and Thin is the first in the series. Directed by Marc Didden (Brussels By Night), the film deals with obese people and how they struggle with the prejudices they are confronted with almost daily.
  • Off Spring, by Dorothée van den Berghe (My Queen Karo) and Arielle Sleutel, in which two women talk about the circumstances in which they decided to give their newborns up for adoption.
  • Claire, Me and My Brother by Maris De Smedt follows 18-year-old triplets over the course of one year. While the two sisters suffer from cystic fibrosis, their brother leads a healthy life.
  • Silent Stories by Hanne Phlypo and Cathérine Vuylsteke deals with people who had to flee their home countries because of their homosexuality.
  • Stil Levend by Nathalie Basteyns looks at three families that have been confronted with the suicide of a family member.
  • Finally, De Kolonie by Filip Lenaerts shows a prisoner, a former prisoner and the woman who binds them together.

Published on Friday 11 February 2011

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