Rogier Van Beeck Calkoen

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Rogier Van Beeck Calkoen

/ Director

Born December 11, 1989

My Story

Aspiring writer and director. Rogier van Beeck Calkoen has trained in Prague, Italy, New York, and the prestigious Global Cinematography Institute (GCI) in Los Angeles. He directed the award winning short “24/7 Fitness Club: set in nighttime Prague, the incredible World War II story “The Storykeeper”, shortlisted for the Hot Springs Documentary Award, and the documentary of the Czech Puppet master, Pavel Trülar.

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In 2015, I moved to the city of Malaga in Southern Spain. On my early morning walks through the city I wondered about all those different times that were reflected in the city. The harbour of Phoenician origin, the Roman amphitheatre, the Catholic cloisters, the lusty parks created in the 18th century, the still lively indoor market from the end of the 19th century, and the castle from ancient Moorish times. All these centuries, these different Moorish, Jewish and Christian cultures had breathed and fought each other in this city. It was in a hot bath in the local bathhouse that I started to see a fairytale coming to life. Perhaps it was the dizziness when I immersed myself in an icy bath. Masseuses slowly moved in from behind the curtains as shadows of sparse candles. They were flashes of beauty coming from the past into the present. For inspiration I started researching the original Arabian stories of 1001 Nights. These stories told me that they differ from Disney´s sugar coated movies. With a lot of blood and betray, it gives a good view of fearful ancient times. Everywhere in the world stories have succeeded to give faith and healing whether it was part of religion or not. What would contemporary Africa look like without stories of hope and forgiveness? What would have happened if the Sultan would not have listened to the story of the thousand and first night and killed princess Sherezade? We wanted to make a film that would emphasise the power of stories. Even now in our modern times when religion and stories are not anymore so omnipresent they are still relevant. No matter religion, place or culture. With these thoughts in mind, Salva Rubio and I developed the idea of ANDERSEN AND THE JINN, a short film addressing the power of storytelling in society and exploring the need to reassess our current social values. We found out that legendary writer Hans Christian Andersen visited Malaga and felt in awe for this city, writing numerous stories about it. What had this industrial dust covered city to offer him more than Paris, Rome and Florence? The other thing we found out was that Andersen was inspired by the stories of 1001 Nights. It all started when he was a child and his his father read the book to him. Now we had a strong foundation for our project. The legendary writer, his beloved city and the stories of 1001 nights. We felt we needed to make this film. We wanted to make an atmospheric fairytale where stories would be the bonding between a man and a woman from different centuries that both have an universal need to survive. We have tried to keep the original characters of Sherezade, the Vizier, the Sultan and the Eunuch. But we also have found a way to give it our twist, to give voice to an outer world where the story is set. A dance between two centuries and Andersen´s inner world. Perhaps the place where he gathered his stories. Rogier van Beeck Calkoen

My Filmography

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My Award

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