Annabel Verbeke (1987), born in Ypres, Belgium,
is a documentary filmmaker.
As a filmmaker, Annabel is looking for beauty in the most modest and common things surrounding us.
She always has been fascinated by subjects that are seemingly common but at the same time not always very visible. She likes to unhide and unravel these fascinating stories, bringing both its poetry and absurdity to the surface. This often neglected but obvious beauty is the core of Annabel essayistic and serene filmic approach. Banality is changed into poetry, darkness of life countered with refined humor.
In 2010, Annabel graduated Magna Cum Laude at RITCS Film School in Brussels. Her graduation film "Les enfants de la mer/mère" - "Children of the sea" won 8 international awards and was selected by more than 20 international film festivals. The Flanders Audiovisual Fund honored her with a wildcard, giving her the budget and opportunity to create a new documentary project. "Children of the sea" was broadcasted on the national Belgian broadcasting organisation VRT-Canvas.
At this moment Annabel is finishing her wildcard project entitled "We will remember them", for which she travels back to the area where she grew up as a little kid: the Westhoek in Belgium, where 100 years ago the First World War was so heavily fought. The film grew out of her fascination with commemorating the First World War, in all possible and contradictory ways. In this film, Annabel makes a journey through this region, where war museums, cemeteries and monuments are playing a central role in both history and daily reality, trying to understand the contemporary meaning of commemoration.
In the past years, Annabel has been working as a freelancer for several broadcasters and production companies, directing documentary films, series and tv programmes.
She wrote and directed an episode of the series “1/10”, about poverty, which was broadcasted on Eén, the general channel of the national Belgian broadcasting organisation VRT , "Top doctors" for private broadcasting company Vier (SBS), and the short film "Terminus" in the series “4x7”, for national Belgian broadcasting company VRT-Canvas.
Currently she is developing a new documentary series in collaboration with both national Belgian broadcasters VRT-Canvas and RTBF, and with the support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, called "T(w)o work". In this 6-part documentary series, young people with a migration background are supported in their search for suitable and intended work by native and somewhat older Belgian people, who are looking for a new challenge in their life. Annabel will be the leading director, managing and tutoring a group of young talented directors, freshly graduated from Docnomads.eu.
Docnomads is a joint masters programme in documentary filmmaking delivered by a consortium of three prominent European universities across three countries: Portugal, Hungary and Belgium. All young directors will have a migration background themselves, which takes the project to a next level. She is looking forward to this unique exchange of cultures and stories between filmmakers and characters.