2007 The Gift (11’), digital video
2003 Jac & Jeri, 2003 (12’) (*), digital video
2002 Pupís (17’) (*), digital video
2002 The Bishop & The Doctor (32’), splitscreen, (*), digital video
2001 us/them (105’), (*), digital video
1998 Bombay Rushes [trilogy] (90’), with Tiong Ang, digital video
1997 School Pictures I (38’) / II (40’) / III (39’), with Tiong Ang, digital video
(*) = in collaboration with Jan Dietvorst
▶ = watch video online
Evidence is a double projection that is composed of scenes from existing films and new fragments. The ranking is without causal and narrative connection. The method is that of the collage: an assembly of similar elements that evokes the sensation of immediacy and simultaneity. With, among other things, recordings from the province of Papua Indonesia, Bombay, India and Romagne-sous-Montfaucon in Northern France.
As a young boy Adam Ndo became blind in the rainforest of Papua. In 2010 he gets a long wished eye surgery in Germany.
The New Dress
A portrait of Sister Majella Hoppenbrouwers who worked from 1956 to 1961 with the Asmat Papuans in the former Dutch New Guinea.
A painstakingly realistic sculpture of a middle-aged man is made in a workshop. While his exterior is fabricated, a voice-over spoken by people who knew him breathes life into him.
2017 Team Work Award, 30th Stuttgarter Filmwinter -Festival for Expanded Media- Wand 5, (*) Stuttgart, DE
2016 Nomination Tiger Shorts Award, 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam, NL
“Geef me zeep. Geef me een handdoek.”
("Give me soap. Give me a towel." Dutch spoken, no English subtitles)
For thirty years Piet van Mensvoort was active as a missionary with Papuans in former Dutch New Guinea. He tells how his belief has changed under the influence of local conditions, and how the Christian charity based activity was seen by the population. This portrait is largely beyond the stereotypical judgments that are usually applied to these anonymous benefactors.
In the tropical rainforest Papuans make a large traditional wooden state to commemorate their recently deceased relative Omomá.
The filmmaker, who has known this man as a very good friend, follows this ritual up close. Simultaneoulsy, elsewhere he faces a harsh business reality in which he has to stand his own just by himself.
2016 European Competition, Go Short – 8th International Short Film Festival Nijmegen, NL
2015 Nomination Tiger Shorts Award, 44th International Film Festival Rotterdam, NL
After the Battle
Three films about the culture of remembrance of World War 1 (Winter Prayers 2006, The Scrap-Iron Age, 2008, War is Over 2011) have been re-edited in After the Battle. The search for remnants on the former battlefields of France and Belgium has its origin in a combination of materialist, ideological and supernatural motives. Historiography appears inseparable from the personal life of those involved. Given the large amount of ordnance in the soil such an occupation is not without danger. Also still on the battlefield are thousands of missing soldiers. What place do they get in the story the diggers make up for themselves and for us?
War is Over
Together with Winter Prayers (2006) and The Scrap-Iron Age, War is Over (2011) forms a trilogy on the memory of the First World War.
In making contact with this major historical event, the sight of someone who has experienced battle has to be the ultimate outcome. Likewise a film about a cemetery can't therefore do without the sight of someone dead. The search for unknown soldiers in the battlefield often is undertaken with opposing motivations. The culture of remembrance seems a combination of mythomania, entrepreneurship, psychopathology, and poetic inclinations.
A portrait of Mumbai as a pressure cooker. The city could boil over at any moment. The attacks in November 2008 only serve to up the ante. Pressure feels as if the makers, and the viewers too, have suddenly landed in a pandemonium: Mumbai (Bombay). Life in this human ants’ nest occasionally turns out to be still rural and small-town. In ’Pressure’ the metropolis - a disorderly collection of enlargement of scale, differentiation and an increasing complexity - is made small and thus comprehensible. In contrast to the other films of Dietvorst and Villevoye, this work does not concentrate on people in the bushes but families that live by the edge of the sea. Much conflicts today seem reducible to the antagonism between the city and the countryside. As an allegory of mobility, success and progress, Mumbai was on 26 November 2008 taken hostage and threatened by nine terrorists originating from the Pakistani countryside. The ’rural’ seems in that sense both a threatening force as a modus to survive in the big city.
The Scrap-Iron Age
In the collaborative work of Roy Villevoye and Jan Dietvorst the notion that visual art is a manner of garnering knowledge and a means to discover the truth has resulted in films that are created using documentary footage. The panorama of the former battlefields of the First World War in Northern France as well as the culture of the Asmat tribe in the tropical rainforest of West Papua, formerly part of Dutch New Guinea, emerge through the portrayal of the people in these regions. In their work they take a stance against traditional journalistic methods, which fix historical events in an overly unambiguous manner.
For the Questioning History exhibition in Rotterdam, Roy Villevoye and Jan Dietvorst produced a new film that, in a certain sense, is a sequel to Winter Prayers, a film from 2006 about memories of the First World War. The Scrap-Iron Age is a film about fortune and misfortune in an environment (Northern France, near Verdun) where remnants of the First World War still abound and to some extent dominate the lives of the people who reside there.
When viewing films by Villevoye and Dietvorst the question of the existential desire that this meddling with the past might be serving intrudes unremittingly. They afford the viewer access to historical enormities in the guise of seemingly inconsequential events, happenstance and surprise revelations.
A Papuan man fells a tree in the tropical rainforest in order to make a simple stucture. After finishing it his cousin carries the object around and thus transforms the building element for a short moment into a universal symbol.
And the Trumpet Shall Sound
People shape their lives in a hybrid setting; a large settlement surrounded by a merciless tropical landscape. The arrival of outsiders gives a new impulse to their expectatins of a better world. However the newcomers also have their own, sometimes conflicting ambitions and ideas. The longing for material wealth takes on a magical and mythical dimension in these circumstances.
Owner of the Voyage
This split screen video paints a picture of a trip to the Netherlands by two brothers from Asmat / Papua, the former Dutch New Guinea. The right image shows their first trip to and stay in a Western country without comment. On the left side a family member who remained in their village reconstructs in his own way their experiences, and adds unsolicited but fairly urgent his longing for the world to it.
The First World War is a gigantic subject that is almost un-approachable and hard to deal with in its vastness and complexity. Winter Prayers is a portrait of a person who daily deals with this subject and by way of this limitation supplies a kind of natural border without shrinking the enormity of it. The protagonist Jean Paul de Vries interest is sincere and authentic and because the subject is connected to his personal biography it rather gains actual dramatic content. What you see is a human being who tries to get along in life.
The theme got in fact more universal. His appearance namely answers the questions that the filmmakers, as being interested in this war, have asked themselves so many times. Jean Paul de Vries supplied them with legitimate access to a subject that in another case would strand in a series of atmospheric images shot in Northern France. He is in fact is a stand-in for the makers of the film and hopefully for its audience as well.
2007 Golden Impakt Award 2007, Impakt Festival, Utrecht, NL
Visions of Paradise, performed by a naked back couple in the rainforest and a naked white couple somewhere in the West, respectively.
Afterwards, these visions are derailed and reconfigured through a series of incidents and testimonies made to the camera. Finally, the actors clothe themselves.
2006 Tiger Award for Short Films, 35th International Film Festival Rotterdam, NL
2006 Juicy Meadows Beamsystems Award 2006, Impakt Festival 2006, Utrecht, NL
Video available on request
Somewhere in the jungle op Papua lies an old propeller. It is an important object for the small Papuan tribe that lives with it.
How did it get there? Through the stories of the sister of a deceased American missionary, a Papuan cultural chief and an aged American former pilot the enigma of the propeller is slowly being unraveled in this film. The interpretation and sorting of factual events appears to be told from very different perspectives by each of the leading characters. But eventually the stories complete one larger puzzle in a specific way.
The New Forest
In their work Roy Villevoye and Jan Dietvorst deal with the problems of antropological representation, the conventions of documentary filmmaking and the legacy of colonialism. As they point out themselves:” The nature of our material means that we are almost automatically classified as part of the documentary genre. However, by no means do we wish to identify ourselves with it. The point is precisely to free ourselves from a number of conventions that characterise the documentary. (...) We don’t want to answer questions, we want to raise them.”
The New Forest is the result of their experiences amongst the Asmat in Papua, the former Dutch province New Guinea. Distinct accounts and narrative styles are juxtaposed, stories recounted, but without any clear progression or goal, except to destroy the illusion of New Guinea as an untainted Eden.