In The Making, Longlist - Short Film - Non Fiction


Lieke Bezemer

University of the Arts Utrecht

ECHO is not about me processing my trauma. ECHO is how I process my trauma. After years of denying my traumatic past, I take a deep dive into it whilst making ECHO. I started ECHO without knowing where it would end. It was never my plan to make such a personal and confrontational film. In fact, I absolutely didn't want this. But the fact that this film was made has nothing to do with "wanting". This movie just had to be made. Because I missed a confrontational film like this whilst working through my trauma, when I was still in denial myself. Because I could only admit that I was raped when this film gave me enough "proof" for it. To investigate how this event affects me to this day. To get the overwhelmingly complex reality of trauma clear enough to be able to process it. To finally be able to communicate trauma in words through images. To make this possible for others from now on. Reactions to the film show that the feeling of loneliness is nowhere near as lonely as we thought. Sexual abuse is suddenly open to discussion - and the conversation is now ongoing. The film gave me the strength to break free from the past and start living in the now. No healing without confrontation. The only way out is through.

At HKU (Utrecht) better known as ‘the pigeon lady’, and at UNSW (Sydney) as ‘the bin chicken chick’; it is obvious that pretty much my entire life revolves around nature - especially my work as a photographer and filmmaker. Specializing in the roles of cinematographer and director, I developed a strong focus on storytelling, research and concept development - all of these predominantly focused on non-fictional narratives. My obsession for nature documentaries combined with an artistic background results in the urge to portrait hidden stories, whether or not nature-related, from unexpected angles. This includes experimenting with adding layering in the narrative. My artistic visions are based on both intuition and thorough research. This translates into a critical attitude while still staying flexible and open-minded. An enormous amount of ambition to obtain the best possible results can sometimes lead to extreme decisions; like traveling to Japan for my graduation film ECHO. It is my desire to tell meaningful stories and I believe these deserve, besides lots of love and attention, such a radical approach. As a filmmaker with a photography background, my images are characterized by photographic style: every shot, still or moving, should be aesthetically strong enough to be displayed on the wall as fine art. Although photography and film are my main tools, I do not hesitate to use other disciplines. The more suitable the communication method, the stronger the message. To nail this, I’m always looking for the optimum combination of disciplines, or ways to implement new media developments in my work.