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Dirk van den Berg

RUB AL KHALI - EMPTY QUARTER




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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 1979 BIG BANG OF THE PRESENT about the dramatic year that gave birth to the 21st century and our modern era.

In 2018 he directed THE SIEGE OF MECCA, 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,  THE SIEGE OF MECCA was supported by ARTE France, NDR, WDR, HR, RBB, ORF, FFHSH Hamburg, INA France; world sales by PBS International.

Ethiopia - Jamming Addis
Floating World of Kashmir
Ethiopia - Guzo North
Iran - Wilhelm Wassmuss
Syria - Seams of Desire
Saudi Arabia - Rub Al Khali
Aerial View of Mecca Mosque 1979

FILMS

PROJECTS

TEAM

CONTACTS

DIRK VAN DEN BERG

CEO / director & producer

IN 2019

1979 BIG BANG 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.


written, directed and produced by

Dirk van den Berg and Pascal Verroust

LOGO OUTREMER

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 & directed by Dirk van den Berg (52m / 90m)

Before the civil war began, the most raunchy lingerie imaginable used to be  produced not in Amsterdam or Paris - but in the old souks of Damascus, Syria. 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? What did it do to the women (and the men) in those societies? Has the war killed this kinky Middle Eastern phenomenon or will it survive?

We began our filming in Damascus before the war and then were forced to stop.A first roughcut revealed how the lingerie's raunchy side relates to women's intimate desires, hopes and aspirations: a mirror for a complex society where traditional rules were respected as much as they are overthrown. Is it all torn or will the seams of Syrian lingerie inspire women's (and men's) desire once again?

THE SIEGE OF MECCA

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.


written & directed by Dirk van den Berg

produced by Pascal Verroust & Dirk van den Berg

1979 BIG BANG

IN 2018