- EMPTY QUARTER
79', English-Amharic - written & directed by Dirk van den Berg (2013)
After the era of 'Swinging Addis' was killed by the grim Marxist regime of the 'Derg', it took until the 21st century that a new generation of young Ethiopian musicians began to fill the void. This is their story, their music, and a declaration of love to Addis Ababa.
45', German-French - written & directed by Dirk van den Berg (2012)
A rare glance into Kashmir, one of the world's most remote and inaccessible regions in the North of India. Much of the people's life happens on water. This film is offers a glimpse into the unknown floating world of the "hangi", the water-people of Kashmir.
RIGHT AFTER GOD
Dirk is a director, writer and producer with wide international experience in the Middle East, the Maghreb and Africa. Dirk's last film is the feature documentary about the dramatic year that gave birth to the 21st century and our modern era.
In 2018 he directed , the first comprehensive investigation of the hijacking of Islam's holiest shrine in Saudi Arabia. With five years of extensive work, the film reveals previously unknown facts and shows never-before-seen footage of a crucial event of world history. Produced jointly between Dirk’s OUTREMER and Pascal Verroust’s K2 PRODUCTION, was supported by ARTE France, NDR, WDR, HR, RBB, ORF, FFHSH Hamburg, INA France; world sales by PBS International.
DIRK VAN DEN BERG
CEO / director & producer
OF THE PRESENT
A journey into a dramatic year with never- before- seen footage and protagonists from the time, in a rollercoaster documentary that reveals how 1979 gave birth to our present.
6 x 15m, English - written & directed by Dirk van den Berg (2013)
A series of artistic short films commissioned by a major surveying company about the shift from oil to alternative energy in Saudi Arabia, filmed in some of the remotest areas of Saudi Arabia and the entire planet.
Written, produced & directed by Dirk van den Berg (52m / 90m)
In August 1914, the German Kaiser’s secret service sends a covert expedition force to Kabul to destabilize Afghanistan, unleashing a Muslim revolution into India and weaken the British Empire. But the head of the expedition, Wilhelm Wassmuss, breaks off and sets up his own operation in Southern Persia. A fugitive for the Germans, the Brits will soon call Wassmuss "His majesty's most excellent enemy".
This is the adventurous story of how one man almost united Persia. Forging alliances, riding side by side with Persian warriors, mobilising the tribes in a highly efficient guerrilla war against the British Empire, Wilhelm Wassmuss became the "German Lawrence". A hero for Iranians who revere him to this day calling him "the man whose name comes right after God's". Only in his native Germany he is still a parvenu for the establishment who never pardoned his insubordination.
35m, English-Amharic - written & directed by Dirk van den Berg (2016)
The new instalment of our journey into the Origins of Music ("guzo" in Amharic means "the journey") with Ethiopian pianist Samuel Yirga. This time we travel to Gondar and the unexplored Azmari villages 850 kilometers north of the capital Addis Ababa.
Written, produced and directed by Dirk van den Berg (52m / 90m)
Before the war in Syria began, the most raunchy lingerie imaginable used to be produced not in Amsterdam or Paris - but in the old souks of Damascus. Women flocked here from all over the Middle East to buy sexy underwear, while other Arab countries copied the "Damascene Sexy Style" to profit from its enormous popularity. How could such a wild subculture coexist with the traditions and rules of supposedly hermetic Arab societies?
We began filming optimistically in Damascus - when the war broke out we were forced to stop. But a first rough-cut revealed how much the lingerie can be a mirror for Syrian society, where traditional rules are respected as much as they are overthrown.
The question now is if all is irremediably torn by the war - or if the seams of desire can once again inspire women's (and men's) desire when the conflict will finally end…
The first investigative documentary into the battle for Islam's holiest shrine that cost thousands of lives, shook Saudi Arabia to its foundations, pushed the global balance of power to the brink of collapse and marked the beginning of religiously motivated terrorism.