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Exprmntl DVD Release

The movie about the legendary Belgian experimental film festival

About the project

The Movie

Knokke, Belgium. The casino of this mundane coastal town became the epicentre of one of the most important events in the history of experimental and avant-garde cinema. The legendary festival ‘EXPRMNTL’ was the meeting place for now equally legendary filmmakers and the battlefield of a clashing bourgeoisie and counterculture in the 60s. 

‘EXPRMNTL’ tells us how this posh seaside resort became the mythical gathering place for experimental filmmakers. This legendary festival earned Belgium its place in the pantheon of cinema history and contributed to the development of our contemporary image culture. 

EXPRMNTL knew only five editions, in 1949, 1958, 1963, 1967 and 1974 but those five editions became known as the most legendary of all experimental film festivals.

Amongst the visitors settling down in Knokke in wintertime between Christmas and New Years: Yoko Ono, Jean- Luc Godard, Agnes Varda, Jonas Mekas, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Roman Polanski, Stan Brakhage, Nam June Paik, Jeffrey Shaw... Most of them as students or early-career filmmakers.

Why did Yoko Ono receive a jail sentence? What did Polanski, Godard, Mekas, Varda and a number of other guests do, crammed in a hotel room? How did Holger Meins, future Rote Armee Fraktion member, end up in Knokke? 

 

Festivals and Prizes

Exprmntl premièred at the L'age D'or festival in Brussels and went on to be shown around the world. A selection of the festivals it played: 

  • London Film Festival, GB
  • Brussels Art Film Festival, BE 
  • Internationaal Film Festial Rotterdam, NL
  • Les Rencontres du Film sur L'art, FR
  • Alchemy Film Festival, GB
  • Docville, BE
  • Belfast Film Festival, GB
  • Festival International du Film sur L'art, CAN
  • IndieLisboa, PT
  • Full Frame, US
  • JeonJu Intl. Film Festival, KOR
  • Moscow Intl Experimental film festival, RU
  • Message To Man, RU
  • Sydney Underground Film Festival, AU

At the Brussels Art Film Festival the movie won the "Prix du film sur l'art" and at Filaf in Perpignan, France, it was awarded the "Prix spécial du jury". 

Press on Exprmntl

"Fantastic archive footage (Orson Welles at Expo58, beach tourists in Knokke in the sixties, vigorous elderly preaching experiment), fenomenal and sometimes hilarious film experiments,...: what's not to like!? Just like that other cheerful documentary 'The Sound of Belgium', 'Exprmntl' regales us with the Belgian avant-garde attitude of late. This results in a grandiose feelgood meta-film."

http://www.kutfilm.be/recensie/exprmntl

 

"If you are in desperate need of a quick and dazzling (but unavoidably incomplete) introduction to this phenomenon – and believe me, you are! -, this documentary is worth watching, and moreover highly enjoyable."

http://thewordmagazine.com/

 

"The documentary EXPRMNTL paints a chronological picture of the festival. It does this by subtly refering to the stillistic elements of experimental film and by using clarifying interviews with icons such as Jonas Mekas, Agnes Varda, Peter Kubelka, Werner Nekes and Roland Lethem. Well-chosen film excerpts and unique archivematerial add the finishing touches to creating a striking account of the festival."

De Morgen

 

"Brecht Debackere's documentary is equally adventurous as the subject it treats. Those who want a quick summary of the facts are best of checking out the website of Cinematek. But those who really want to feel how it was to be present at one of the turbulent festivals, there is the documentary Exprmntl."

Vertigo

 

"International interest, and rightly so, for the subject of this film, but it's mostly aficionados and professionals who know of this historical fact and it was about time that changed. This fascinating documentary is a wonderful memento mori: beautiful songs don't last long."

Rekto:Verso

What are the funds for?

It took more than five years, from idea to avant-première in the casino of Knokke, to make Exprmntl. Thanks to our partners Cinematek, the Flemish audiovisual fund, RTBF, CANVAS and Flanders Film Funding we manage to make a film that has traveled around the world.

Because not everyone could be there at one of the screenings, or because those who were there want to rewatch the film or gift it to someone,...: there are plenty of reasons to release a DVD of Exprmntl. 

Unfortunately we can't advance the funds to make the DVD. So in order to afford the design of the cover and the booklet, the making of the menus, the preparing of the audio and video and have the whole thing printed, we are offering you a chance to pre-order the DVD! 

With the revenue we can get the most important costs covered and all you have to do is sit back, relax and watch the DVD slip into your mailbox in October! 

More info on upcoming screenings on www.exprmntl.be and www.facebook.com/exprmntl

About the project owner

VISUALANTICS, founded in 2003 and based in Brussels, specializes in independent projects for an
international market and is involved in the field of new media, fiction and creative documentary. The company enjoys a growing reputation with contemporary documentaries; Reach for the SKY (on the education system in South-Korea), The Sound of Belgium (on the history of Belgian dance music), State of Play (on professional gaming in South-Korea), the Brussels Business (on lobbying in Brussels) and with award winning shorts such as ‘The Extraordinary Life Of Rocky.

Today the company has had collaborations with national and international broadcasting companies such as ARTE, ZDF, NRK, SVT, YLE, VRT, RTBF, LICHTPUNT etc.

VISUALANTICS is a founding member of FlandersDoc, the Belgian-Flemish association of documentary producers.

Filmografie

  • 2017 WE ARE GOING THE SAME WAY / documentary / 74' / in HD
  • 2016 EXPRMNTL / documentary / 67' / in HD
  • 2015 REACH FOR THE SKY / documentary / 90’ & 52’ / in HD
  • 2014 BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP / documentary / 100’ & 52’ / in HD
  • 2014 SHIP OF FOOLS / documentary / 85’ & 52’ / in HD
  • 2014 THE HORSEMAN / short fiction / HD
  • 2013 STATE OF PLAY / documentary / 85’ & 52’ / in HD
  • 2013 THE SOUND OF BELGIUM /documentary / 85’ / in HD
  • 2012 THE BRUSSELS BUSINESS / documentary / 90’ & 52’ / in HD
  • 2010 INSIDE THE METAVERSE / documentary / 52’ / in HD
  • 2010 THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF ROCKY / short fiction /15’/ S16mm
  • 2009 NIGHTHAWKS / short fiction /13’50”/ 35mm
  • 2008 VERBRANDMAN / short fiction /14’ 

FAQ

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