Suriname has a rich history and has many cultures with great individuality.
The diversity of Suriname is an oft-cited quality. Much of what has taken place and is still taking place and developing is hidden from large parts of our community. This can be brought to life on the big screen or on the more intimate TV at home.
The Twinning project ‘8 FOR 40’ was a collaborative project between The Back Lot and the Netherlands Film Academy. The Twinning Facility is a fund that provides financial contributions to partnerships between Surinamese and Dutch civil society organizations for the implementation of projects in the areas of education, welfare and culture. The money was made available by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was spent from June 2015 to June 2016.
In collaboration the Dutch Film Academy, The Back Lot invited debutant Surinamese filmmakers to develop their talents during the DocuLab ‘8 for 40’.
DocuLab ‘8 for 40’ challenged and encouraged Surinamese interested people to submit a project plan that – in a visual, engaging and appealing way – turns a narrative important to them into a living image. 26 people registered and 20 actually submitted a plan.
Expert guidance was provided for the preparation and development of eight selected project plans. Tutors from the Netherlands Film Academy with a wealth of experience in teaching and filmmaking were part of the DocuLab team. The selection committee was broadly composed and consisted of representatives of the two initiators mentioned above, The Back Lot and the Dutch Film Academy, supplemented by 3 persons from the Surinamese cultural society.
During 6 months, intensive work was done to develop the project plans. These 6 months started with a working week in which the tutors of the Film Academy were personally present. After this, there was virtual contact with the directors, via Skype, on the basis of which a second working week was organized. In the intervening period there were also personal contacts with the tutors, teachers of the Film Academy, during private visits of the makers to the Netherlands. In the end, 6 film plans were delivered.
1 of the documentaries was realized with financial support from the Dutch Embassy. In cooperation with Co-Producer PVH Film from the Netherlands, an application was submitted to the Film Fund for the provision of funds to make the 5 remaining documentaries. This application was granted, by the Film Activities/Training Department of the Film Fund.
Emjay Rechsteiner was recruited as a project coach during the realization and worked intensively with the filmmakers to develop the 5 remaining film plans into scenarios. He was present during each shooting period to guide the makers where necessary.
Suriname was literally crisscrossed. Paramaribo, Nickerie, Weg naar Zee, Galibi, Saramacca, Commewijne, Sipaliwini, Coronie, Moengo, the village of Dan in the interior, Braamspunt. All of these places visited while shooting the docu’s. Our beautiful country Suriname is portrayed in a special way and the diversity in cultures is strongly shown through the totally different subjects.
‘8 for 40’ (Eight for Forty) was a documentary film project celebrating forty years of independence of the Republic of Suriname. The goal was to create a documentary climate in which potential Surinamese documentary filmmakers would be given the opportunity to tell their own stories.
The following documentaries were produced:
- You can read, can’t you? by director Ananta KhemradjAnanta (27) wonders why she knows so little about the turbulent 1980s in Suriname. Is it important to know that history? Or does it actually help Surinamese society to avoid talking about it and look ahead? https://vimeo.com/313812685
- Hidden World by director Kenrich CairoFather Amoksi has the gift of coming into contact with the spirit world in the remote Maroon village ‘Akuyutu Kondre’. The spiritual rituals must be strictly adhered to in order not to get into conflict with the ancestors. But Amoksi is old, and it is time to transfer his knowledge onto his son, but he is only interested in his iPhone …https://vimeo.com/313803057
- Frits de Gids by director Tessa LeuwshaWatsy (22) tries to woo the beautiful Amelia, entirely according to the traditions of his Maroon village. Part of that tradition is to marry at least two women. But Watsy has modern Western ideas about romantic love, and one woman seems like enough headache to him. Why ‘two package headaches’? https://vimeo.com/313801291
- I Am a Village by director Ginny RoosWill the charismatic Captain of the Indigenous village of ‘Gran Creek’ with 600 inhabitants become the next President of Suriname? Before she can unite her people, Angelique must resolve a personal issue…. https://vimeo.com/313804065
- Kownu Oloisi Lasi by director Rosita LeeflangIs the ‘Kaseko Jazz’ about to be lost or can we breathe new life into this typically Surinamese music? https://vimeo.com/313817884
- The sea washes over me by director Nancy de RandamieIf something is not done soon, Suriname will soon face some flooding disasters. But what is the best approach?https://vimeo.com/313819189