ANNABEL VERBEKE

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Annabel Verbeke (1987), born in Ypres, Belgium, 
is a documentary filmmaker.

Annabel Verbeke, born in Ypres, Belgium in 1987, is a documentary filmmaker.

As a filmmaker, Annabel is searching for beauty in the most modest and common things around us. She has always been fascinated by subjects that are seemingly common but at the same time not always visible. She likes to discover and unravel these fascinating stories, bringing both their 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 Cum Laude at RITCS Film School in Brussels. Her graduation film "Les enfants de la mer/mère" - "Children of the sea" won eight international awards and was selected by more than twenty international film festivals and was broadcasted on the national Belgian broadcasting company VRT-Canvas.. The Flanders Audiovisual Fund also honoured her with a wildcard, giving her the budget and opportunity to create a new documentary project. 

Her wildcard project, entitled "We will remember them", was released in 2018. In this film Annabel travels back to the area where she grew up: the Westhoek in Belgium, where one hundred years ago the First World War was heavily fought. Today Annabel takes a journey through this region, trying to understand the contemporary meaning of commemoration in an area where war museums, cemeteries and monuments are playing a central role in both history and daily reality. “We will Remember Them” is  the most watched documentary film on the Belgian TV channel VRT-Canvas, is nominated for an Ensor award and is the closing film of Visions Du Réel Film Festival in 2019.


Over the past few years, Annabel has been working as a freelancer for several broadcasters and production companies, directing commissioned documentary films, series and tv programs. 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, and the short film "Terminus" in the series “4x7”, for national Belgian broadcasting company VRT-Canvas and she directed several tv programs for commercial Belgian broadcasting company VTM.

Currently Annabel is co-directing ‘Troubled borders’, a creative documentary about the Northern-Irish border, with Ross McClean. The film is an episode of a creative documentary series Borderline, which is a collection of six authentic border stories across Europe. The films reveal the controversy and complexity of what symbolic dots and lines on a map could become when cutting into actual peoples life. The series is supported by numerous European partners.

At the same time, she is developing  a new documentary series in collaboration with both national Belgian broadcasters VRT-Canvas and RTBF, and with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, called "T(w)o Work". "T(w)o Work" follows newcomers to Belgium and their long-term struggle to find a proper job in the country they want to call home from now. Annabel will be the leading director, managing and tutoring a group of non-European directors, all graduated from the joint masters program in documentary filmmaking Docnomads. The project is being developed at Esodoc, the international workshop for social documentary.