Avila, a New Belgian Video Platform

Le chantier des gosses (Jean Harlez, 1970)

Avila, a new Belgian video platform, is from now on available via www.avilafilm.be. Avila offers both contemporary and classic documentary and fiction films. By presenting a selection based on editorial choices, the platform explicitly wants to avoid an overly wide offer in which separate films threatens to drown and disappear.

Avila was founded by the filmmakers Olivia Rochette, Ruben Desiere, Gerard-Jan Claes, and by producer Rasmus Van Heddeghem and stems from an ambition to make valuable audiovisual works available online. Avila strives to offer these films in the best possible quality and resolution and therefore directly collaborates with the filmmakers themselves, and with institutes dedicated to film preservation and restoration such as the Brussels’ CINEMATEK and the ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts.

The selection is personal but always aims to be diverse: a variety of directors, without a preference for any film genre (fiction, documentary or experimental film) or style. Both recent and less recent films will be presented, without a thematic preference. Every one of the films offered by Avila transcends the ephemeral and has aesthetical, technical, political or historical qualities that continue to resonate through time.

The platform starts off with a catalogue composed of 25 Belgian films: among others, the recently restored version of Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman (1975) and a cluster of films centered on work by choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and her company Rosas: the dance films Hoppla! (1989), Achterland (1994), the documentary Rain (2012), and (soon) Mitten (2019).

Furthermore, the current selection includes, among others: Le chantier des gosses (1970) by Jean Harlez – as recent as 2014, moviegoers flocked to Brussels’ Cinema Nova to see this restored version –, As Long As Shipbuilders Keep Singing (1999) by Jan Vromman, an impressive socio-historic documentary on the end of the shipbuilding industry at the Boel shipyard in Temse, Eric Pauwels’ beautiful Letter from a Filmmaker to His Daughter (2000), two films by Claudio Pazienza, along with more recent work such as Inclusief (2018) by Ellen Vermeulen.

This selection will be systematically expanded in the future, with, among others, Le jeune Ahmed (2019) by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Le grand paysage d’Alexis Droeven (1981) by Jean-Jacques Andrien and a wider selection from the archives of CINEMATEK, including several films by Chantal Akerman.

Take a look at the current catalogue at www.avilafilm.be/rentals.

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