Olivia Rochette (Belgium, 1987) and Gerard-Jan Claes (Belgium, 1987) live and work in Brussels. They studied film together at the Hogeschool Gent – KASK, where they made several short films, such as Metro (2008), George & Henriette (2008) and Zwanenzang (2008). In 2009 they made a short making-of documentary A Portrait of My Queen Karo for the feature film My Queen Karo by Dorothee Van Den Berghe. During their studies they also started working for the choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and her dance company Rosas.
Their graduation work Because We Are Visual (2010), a mid-length documentary, allows the viewer to discover the world of public video journals. In a poetic realm thoughts, fears and worries, shared via the webcam, merge together. The documentary focuses on the loneliness and the experience of the body within this virtual space. It was shown at national and international film festivals such as International Film Festival Rotterdam, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Hors Pistes at Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), VideoEX (Zürich, Switzerland), 25 FPS Festival (Zagreb, Croatia) and Documenta Madrid, and was exhibited in museums such as S.M.A.K. (Ghent, Belgium) and MAC’s (Grand-Hornu, Belgium). The film received a Wildcard from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, won the Prize Mathilde Horlait-Dapsens and got a Special Mention from the Jury at VideoEX and at Filmer À Tout Prix (Brussels, Belgium). The film also won the First Prize in the Student Competition of Bandit-Mages (Bourges, France). At the 13th Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux of Paris the film won the Grand Prix du Cinéma Différent, awarded by the Grand Jury, and got a Special Mention from the Jury de Presse.
In 2012 they finished Rain, a documentary about the transmission of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s contemporary choreography Rain to the Ballet de l’Opéra national de Paris. The documentary focuses on how De Keersmaeker and the Rosas dancers convey the dance idiom of the choreographer to the classically trained ballet dancers. A poetic documentary about searching, looking and hesitating within the walls of the opera. The film premiered nationally at the International Film Festival Ghent and was released in Belgian cinemas onwards. At the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam the documentary had it’s international premiere. The film was shown at other international festivals such as Cinéma du Réel at Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Internationalen Dokumentarfilmfestivals München and Los Angeles Film Festival.
In 2013, together with documentary filmmaker Elias Grootaers, they founded a production and distribution platform called Zéro de conduite. The name is a reference to the eponymous film by Jean Vigo in 1933, a lyrical paean to youthful rebellion. Since 2014, Zéro de conduite presents twice a year a film programme at Beursschouwburg. This year they also co-founded Sabzian. The website is a collection of online reflections on cinema and an agenda listing cinephile events in Belgium and surroundings.
Their newest film, Grands travaux is situated at the Institute Anneessens-Funck, a vocational school in the centre of Brussels, where young students – sometimes with haste – have come to learn an occupation. The film premiered in 2016 at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in the Beursschouwburg.
From 2013 until 2016 they are artists in residence at the Beursschouwburg in Brussels.