Since 1975, Dérives has produced the works of committed filmmakers with a personal and original view of the world.
Dérives now holds 3 annual support commissions for original documentaries, mainly for first and second works. The association coordinates two development and completion grants, assistance for short and unfunded films, project submissions, free access to shooting and post-production equipment, as well as special supervision for writing and directing. Finally, Dérives distributes and sells films, theatrically and to television as well as via VOD and DVD.
Lorsque le bateau de Léon M. descendit ... (1979)
The filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne founded the Dérives Collective in 1975, first to produce and direct video interviews recounting working-class history in the Liège area. Then, in 1977, with the help of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Dérives became the first production workshop to develop, produce and distribute original documentaries in Wallonia. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne subsequently produced their own documentaries, notably le bateau de Léon M. descendit la Meuse pour la première fois (1979), Pour que la guerre s’achève, les murs devaient s’écrouler (1980) or R… ne répond plus (1981).
Gigi, monica et bianca (1996)
From the beginning of the 80s, they produced works by directors with the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, both beginners and confirmed filmmakers, such as Bernadette Saint-Remy, Eddy Luyckx, Marian Handwerker, Claude Bouche or André Dartevelle. The 90s were marked by the production of numerous first films and emblematic documentaries that would find international success with audiences and critics, such as La vie est un jeu de cartes (1994) by Philippe de Pierpont, Gigi, Monica et Bianca (1996) by Benoit Dervaux or Do you remember revolution (1997) by Loredana Bianconi.
Le rêve de Nikolay (2017)
From the year 2000 on, with the permanent goal of improving the quality of productions and their impact with audiences, the workshop brought to the fore a new generation of filmmakers like Jasna Krajinovic, Sandrine Dryvers, Alice et Cécile Verstaeten, Joanna Krudzinska, while continuing to support filmmakers’ careers over the long term. Since 2012, Julie Freres has been continuing this work with films like La chambre vide (2015) by Jasna Krajinovic, Before we go (2014) by Jorge Leon or Rwanda, la vie après (2014) by Benoit Dervaux and André Versaille, while focusing even more on the production of first works such as Ion (2013) by Olivier Magis, Coups de foudre (2014) by Christophe Reyners or Le rêve de Nikolay (2017) by Maria Karaguiozova.
Century of Smoke (2018)
Since 2015, the workshop has focused production exclusively on first and second feature-length or short documentary films, while continuing to co-produce and support more experienced filmmakers. New development grants and post-production support systems have been put in place, along with initiatives that allow filmmakers to experiment with film language, to shoot urgently if the subject matter requires it or to offer a subjective vision of a social problem (assistance for short documentary films, self-funding of films, project submissions).
At a time when the standardization of documentary films is increasingly common, we favour works that examine our world, both close and distant, with attention and insistence.
By maintaining an active exchange with directors throughout the process, by providing them with a full range of equipment and by finding funding for their projects, the workshop offers filmmakers a space for reflection and experimentation that allows them to acquire confidence and self-assurance in their artistic approach. This commitment to filmmakers is a way of defending a different form of cinema, as indicated in this statement by the founders of Dérives: “At a time when the standardization of documentary films is increasingly common, we favour works that examine our world, both close and distant, with attention and insistence.” Beyond the cinema per se, this is also a desire to share a social and humanist conviction that, ultimately, is present in all our productions.