Elisabeth Overloop - Facade europa

30:00, 2006, Documentary
A hot summer at a courtyard in Lviv, West - Ukraine between the spring of the European enlargement and the winter of the orange revolution. A never-ending story unfolds itself. Do we stay or do we leave. Is it possible to change something in this country?

The European enlargement brought this conflict of mind stronger to them. And the upcoming elections make the discussion even more vivid, while the tension rises.
DirectorElisabeth Van Overloop | Rens Van MeegenProducerElisabeth Van Overloop | Rens Van Meegen


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Who are Elisabeth van Overloop and Rens van Meegen?
Elisabeth van Overloop was born in Belgium in 1982. She studied audiovisual arts at the film academy St Lukas in Brussels (2000-2004). Rens van Meegen was born in The Netherlands in 1977. He studied cultural anthropology at the university of Utrecht (1996-2000). Later he studied audiovisual arts at the film academy St Lukas in Brussels (2000-2004).

Why filmmaking?
The interest came out of life itself. Visual story telling combined two great passions, seeing (watching) and story’s. To choose for documentary was quite obvious. Travelling and bringing the story’s back was the goal, documentary film the art to do it in.

Facade Europe is about...
After the spring of the European enlargement before the winter of the orange revolution a hot summer at a courtyard in Lviv, Ukraine.

At the other side of the new European border, a never ending story unfolds itself. "Will we be under the influence of Russia in the future? Will something ever change in our country? Do we stay or do we leave..." The expansion of the European Union brought this conflict of mind back to the Ukrainian people. And the upcoming elections make the discussion more vivid, the tension rises. Facade Europe shows us the life behind the border of the European Union.

Financing your movie?
This is a graduating movie, so a small part of the material costs were financed by the school. We got financial support from the ECF after applying for their step beyond fund. They paid the travel costs for our research travel and part of the accommodation (7 days). We tried to work with a minimum of costs. We rented an apartment on the courtyard where we were shooting and life is not expensive in Ukraine. We worked with more then 20 volunteers. Mostly university students that were studding English (translators) or cultural anthropology. People that were interested in sending a different image of their country across the borders of the European Union.

All the participants in the film are habitants of the courtyard. Before we ever spread the word that we were filmmakers, we had lived with them for a month. We decided not to pay anyone because we wanted to work with interested people. They were glad that someone was really listening. We
Stayed all summer, especially for the children it was a great experience.

Do your films have style, just as some painters have?
We work with the concept of interpreting understanding. The spectator can make his own conclusions while watching the film. There is no voice over, there is very little interference. We show dialogues between people so that we don’t have to interfere with questions. This dimension creates an intimate sphere of people sharing thoughts, people that have known each other for years, for us this was an honest picture of daily life, daily conversations. Visually we like to work with metaphors. We have a poetic way of filming and certain elements (f.e. The circular movements) come back. This circular element is a metaphor for the life in Ukraine, the political and economical situation in this country knows no progress.

Abbas Kiarostami - Le vent nous emportera, for his poetic way of filming, the metaphors and the freedom given for interpretation.

Individual film making or co-operation?
We work with small teams, Rens van Meegen and Elisabeth van Overloop do the co directing and we have one extra camera man and if necessary a sound man. This means that writing the script, directing and editing all comes for our part. We always work with local guides, translators and assistant directors.

Digital or classic?
Depending on the project, we work with different techniques. We have made many super 8 films when it was a visual poetic work, an experimental film or a video installation. For Facade Europa we filmed on HD. My experience is that the concentration of the crew is better when filming on film. On the other hand when filming on HD, I have been surprised by some extra scenes that were filmed and also ended up in the final cut!

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