meet our new generation of talents

We’ve decided to add a little twist to our series “What’s up Next?”.

We are meeting the 2023-2024 generation of talents in two key moments: at the start of their trajectory – focussing on finding out more about the artists and what they expect from the program, and at the end of their course, discussing the things they picked up on the way.

Without further ado, dive into the first talk we had with Dutch filmmaker Tim Ewalts!

Tim studied film at KASK school in Belgium. His graduation film, Undergrowth, discussing male communication, had its world premiere at the prestigious Palm Springs International Film Festival. When talking about what distinguishes him as a creator, Tim mentions his approach to the unconventional, basing his films on a lot of improvisation and trying to find something specific in the moment. For this reason, his projects are often somewhere in between fiction and documentary , approaching a hybrid format. “I really like working loose”, Tim says, “all the while trying to showcase my sensibility. I also enjoy using a comical dimension to evoke stories and events that are at core rather sad.”

Music and sound-design play an important role in his projects, in part also due to Tim’s background as a musician. “I like to use music for enhancing the mood of certain images. Often after filming I can’t wait to get to the sound-design stage of the post-production process, just so that I can work with music and sounds.” Tim’s approach to filmmaking often implies his wandering into spaces looking for images to fit an idea or atmosphere, not knowing exactly what he might find, not looking for constructing things in a specific way in order to tell a story. “Films can be made in a multitude of ways and there different paths to getting to specific stories. I see each movie as an adventure and I enjoy simply picking up my camera and seeing where it leads me to”.

Little wonder Tim mentions Jim Jarmusch as one of his sources of inspiration, another director-musician with films with a strong emphasis on mood and character development.

Listening to podcasts is another thing that springs ideas in Tim’s mind. He enjoys listening to the words and adding mental images to them, imagining how it could all be visualized.

When talking about his plans for the Next Talent trajectory Tim mentions that he would like the program to help him achieve a balance between commercial and personal projects. “I would like to establish myself more as a director but also a cameraman.” He really enjoys doing both roles. “Moreover”, he says, “when I pick up a camera I feel more free and less in my head. The camera helps me get out of the house and leads me to new places. I used to travel a lot and I think working with the camera can help me in this sense. Not to mention, it can also help me get work internationally.

I really enjoy that the Next Talent trajectory gives me quite a lot of freedom in coming up with a plan and choosing a path. I really hope it will also provide the support in moving forward my career! It’s already quite awesome to have people to talk with about my journey, because as you know, working as a director is quite a solo journey. Everybody involved in the program, team and other Nexters, are a great asset from this point of view.”

At the moment Tim is still working with the program’s coordinators on selecting the right mentors for him. If he could choose a dream mentor, Tim would love to have guidance from and pick the brains of Werner Herzog. Then again, who wouldn’t?


More about this artist