Our programmes

  • Back to Rwanda

    spring 2019 on VRT/canvas, currently nominated for an International Emmy

    “Back to Rwanda” is a documentary series about the Rwandan genocide told through 5 personal stories. On April 6th 2019 it had been exactly 25 years after the plane of Rwandan president Habyarimana was attacked and the genocide started. In this seemingly tropical paradise, stretched over a thousand hills, in 100 days roughly 800.000 Tutsi en moderate Hutu were brutally killed.

    Each of our episodes tells the story of people sharing the same past, but having experienced it from different point of views. In every story we work towards a meeting or confrontation between those key witnesses. They have influenced each other’s lives – and possibly made a difference between life and death – which meant we couldn’t predict how these meetings would evolve.

    Despite the horror of this massacre, none of our key witnesses want to distance themselves completely of their shared past, however painful, because it has defined their lives. We ask ourselves if meeting those who have changed their lives face to face will make a difference in their personal suffering? Will this confrontation provide the answers to questions they’ve had for so long? Is it possible to bring them closer together? Will they heal after living through hell?

  • Mental Cases

    spring 2020 on VRT/canvas - longlisted for Prix Europe

    In this four-part series, ten internees take up the challenge of creating a work of art together with a renowned artist. Each of them has committed different crimes, none of them have the same mental problems. Some have ended up in a psychiatric center, others have ended up behind bars. They have no release date in the offing: no release is possible without going through a therapy process. Without insight, no second chance.

    Throughout the series, ten artists carefully try to fathom their conversation partner. Gradually, the internees give them a glimpse into their lives, their heads, and their souls. And little by little you as a viewer start to understand better what that actually means, “insane”.

  • Emergency Call

    Multiple series for VRT/één and RTL-TVI - format sold worldwide

    'Emergency Call' brings the viewer into the emergency response call center. For the first time the action will all be based in the center and focused on the call takers. As if wearing the headset we will be immersed in their world, one which is more complex than we might expect. The call takers are the real first responders with the responsibility of making sure the right people get to the right place whilst reassuring the caller and making sure they stay focused on the task in hand. It's a hard job and one that takes its toll.

  • Radio Gaga

    two series for VRT/canvas - format sold worldwide

    In Radio Gaga two hosts travel through the country in their mobile radio studio. They will stop and set up camp in small communities. Once set up they will spend the next 48 hours running a hyper local radio station for the locals. In each episode they drive in their converted caravan studio to a new location. Our hosts will make an at times wacky and at times touching hyper local radio show. Central to everything are the residents and passers by. They will request songs and be interviewed it is they who are the narrative and sound track to this show. The audience is the community, perhaps acquaintances, discovering each other's stories.

  • Straight trough Belgium

    autumn 2020 on VRT/één

    After the lockdown, Arnout Hauben is back on track. Together with his crew he travels with backpack and tent through his own country. Arnout follows the GR129, the longest GR route in the country, from Bruges to Arlon. Coincidental encounters along the way lead to stories about the history of Belgium.

    In June it was possible to follow the trio and their adventures in real time on the Een website. There was an interactive map with photos, videos and stories of the trip. A travel report was published daily, and Arnout's route can also be found there.

  • Her/history

    spring 2020 on VRT/canvas

    In 'Her/history', Sofie Lemaire introduces us to special women from our recent and less recent history. Women whose life stories have for some reason been lost between the folds of time. 'Her/history' wants to give forgotten women a face, and hopefully also their own street or place in "their" city or town.

    Each episode is a report of the #herhistory campaign, which Sofie launched at the beginning of 2019 in collaboration with seven major cities. The series therefore takes place in a different city every episode: Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Leuven, Ostend, Mechelen and Bruges. The last episode provides a state of affairs and also highlights women from smaller towns and cities.

  • At war: the liberation

    spring 2020 on VRT/één

    75 years after the end of the Second World War, Arnout Hauben goes 'at war' again in his own country. In this historical series, he follows the trail of the troops that liberated Flanders. On the way Arnout talks in his typical way with the very last witnesses from that eventful period. In 3 episodes of 45 minutes Arnout tells the story of the liberation of Flanders, which at first seems to go very smoothly, but then gets stuck on the Scheldt. After much blood, sweat and tears, the Allies gain access to the port of Antwerp. After Flanders is liberated, months of uncertainty will follow when flying bombs sow terror in our cities. The testimonials, memories and experiences that Arnout records are as poignant as they are surprising. Both well-known and less well-known stories from that period are discussed.

  • Gentbrugge

    spring 2020 on VRT/canvas

    At the beginning of July 2019, Joris Hessels moved with his (newly composed) family to Gentbrugge. This was the basis for and the core of a five-part poetic human interest series. Joris has spent the past six months on a voyage of discovery through his new town. It is the place where he took the children to school, went shopping, played petanque, walked in the park or in the cemetery, or rested on a bench near the Scheldt.

    In the meantime, he meets and gets to know fellow villagers, listens to them and accompanies them during a part of their lives. Gentbrugge is the personal expedition to your own, nearby "new world". It is escapism on a microscale, in which Joris Hessels embraces his village in a connecting way.

  • Lonely

    autumn 2019 on VRT/canvas

    Loneliness is one of the great but often hidden problems of our time. About half of the Belgians indicate that they regularly feel lonely. Journalist Xavier Taveirne discusses the taboo in a series of portraits of people from all generations, from young people to seniors. They talk to him about what loneliness means in their lives.

    Four generations, four episodes in which loneliness is given a voice and a face.

     

  • Forever Young

    autumn 2019 on VIER

    Six young adventurers. Six destinations. Six dream trips that unfortunately also became their last.

    In Forever Young, Frances Lefebure travels after those young people. Together with brothers, sisters, parents or best friends, they make their last journey again, keeping warm memories of them alive along the way. Captivating portraits of young heroes who were so much more than "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

  • Around the North Sea

    spring 2019 on VRT/één and VPRO/NPO2

    The limits of the North Sea stretch much further than commonly thought. Beyond our own shores, there is a vast water world we barely know, a sea that created our history and connects the Belgians, the French, the English, the Scots, the Norwegians, the Danes, the Germans and the Dutch.

     In this 10-episode documentary we explore the rich history of our North Sea and collect amazing stories that unfolded on and around the water. From the arrival of the Vikings to the disastrous storms that left large parts of coastal land uninhabitable for years. About new ideas and the knowledge that spread along and via the North Sea. From the World Wars that were fought there, the evolution of the fishing industry, the offshore wind farms, to the effects of global warming on life in our sea.

     Through the stories of the people we meet along our route, we will document the inextricable link between present and past.

     Director Arnout Hauben and his camera crew travel along the coast and across the sea, on foot, by public transport, by ferry, fishing boat, sailboat... as it suits and as the opportunities present themselves. On and on they travel along the whimsical borders of the turbulent North Sea. Arnout, Philippe (camera) and Ruben (sound & drone) are a close-knit team who, at times deliberately, at times accidentally, collect stories connected with the North Sea’s illustrious history.

  • A Zoo History

    spring 2018 on VRT/één

    In 2018, the famous Antwerp Zoo celebrated its 175th anniversary. On that occasion Arnout Hauben took us on a remarkable trip through time from the first animals that arrived at the Zoo in 1843 to the opening of the new gorilla compound in 2018.

    Each of the 6 episodes introduces us to a key figure in history that played a major role in the zoo’s development. Ranging from the first director, who doubled as renowned taxidermist, Jacques Kets, over the famous animal sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti (of the luxury car brand-dynasty!) to the first female Zoologist in the Low Countries, Agatha Gijzen.

  • Strokes of Madness

    documentary (61 minutes)

    “Strokes Of Madness” outlines an image of four people who try to survive with a psychosis sensitivity every day. A life without seems almost impossible to imagine. Now, with sincere openness, they allow us insight into their everyday life and personal suffering.   
    It's a film about the boundary between creativity and psychological vulnerability. Each person creates their own piece of art with the help of a renowned Belgian artist. The pace, imagery and narrative technique moves to the rhythm of a psychosis. With great visual attention to beauty and art as a guideline, the documentary outlines a fair picture of life with a psychotic sensitivity disorder.  The unconventional theme and the engagement of the artists makes this film extraordinary. Sometimes it’s pure madness, but sometimes it comes with a stroke of genius.

  • Unsung Heroes

    autumn 2017 on VRT/één

    “Unsung Heroes” is an adventurous and historical travel-documentary of television maker Arnout Hauben. In each episode Arnout follows the footsteps of an unremarked compatriot that went through an unpredictable, wondrous and often-dangerous journey in the past. Each of them carried a diary along their journey that has been overlooked by many but picked up by Arnout to serve as his very own rough guide through 800 years of history and across the globe. Eight ‘common heroes’ and compatriots left their trusted surroundings and didn’t know if they’d ever come back home. Now, fifty to eight hundred years later their diaries get the spotlight they so rightly deserve.

  • Under Flemish Fields

    fall 2016 on VRT/één

    Exactly one century ago a small village in between Flanders Fields called ‘Langemark’ was the setting for one of the most horrifying battles of the First World War. Now, one hundred years later, in that exact location the most important archaeological digs in our country up to now have been carried out. A unique opportunity not only for the archaeologists in charge of the site but also for us television makers. In this new three part series ‘Under Flanders Fields’ Arnout Hauben this time literally digs in to the past of World War I. Together with a team of archaeologists he goes on a 40 day quest for traces of the War in the soil of Langemark en finds exceptional treasures and stories.

  • Paths of Liberation

    fall 2015 on VRT/één

    “At War II” is a documentary in which television maker Arnout Hauben, actor Jonas Van Thielen and director Mikhael Cops follow the route of the liberation of Europe during the Second World War. Departing from London, England, they travel through France, Belgium and Germany. After that, they take on the road from Volgograd, Russia, through Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland to Germany. On the road they talk to people who now live in former war zones. By depicting the past through a modern lens, they build a touching image of a world at war and a portrait of contemporary Europe.

  • People of Tomorrow

    fall 2014 on VRT/één

    'People of Tomorrow' portays ten fans from all over the world during their trip to Tomorrowland 2014. We offer a view behind the scenes of the phenomenon and festival, following the Belgian brothers Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, the world-famous dj- duo, during the festival. 'People of Tomorrow', an exclusive insight into the wonderful world of Tomorrowland, and his visitors.

  • Be My Guest

    spring 2014 on VRT/één

    Our host parks his mobile studio, an Airstream convertible, by his nation's most famous tourist hot spot. He invites a constant stream of tourists to his studio and asks them all the same three questions. Who are you? Where do you come from? And, why should I visit your hometown? Hundreds of tourists tell their stories and invite our host to visit them. But only those with the most intriguing and unique stories will be featured. The visits are a road trip that can take us anywhere. To see where ordinary people come from and uncover their far-from-ordinary stories. The drummer from Ohio who played at Woodstock, The Buddhist monk from Bangkok, or the eccentric Russian who tells us he's a rock star back home.

  • At War

    spring 2013 on VRT/één

    In nine episodes of Ten Oorlog (At War), the passionate television makers Arnout Hauben, Jonas Van Thielen and Mikhael Cops travel along the European front line of the First World War. They depart on foot from the beach at Nieuwpoort and follow the front line through France, Italy, Slovenia, Albania, Macedonia and Greece, eventually arriving at the legendary battlefields of Gallipoli. Along the way, Arnout talks with the local people and records their most surprising, moving and haunting stories of past and present. But also the stories of the soldiers who fought on the Western Front of the First World War are told to viewers, as well as those of nurses, ambulance crews and reporters, etc. Arnout and Jonas drive commemorative posts in the ground for these people, and in doing so bring the original – and for the most part invisible – front line back to life.

About the chinese people

“The chinese make Belgian television”.

Even only for this headline Harald Hauben, Elke Neuville, Mikhael Cops and Arnout Hauben founded production company The chinese in 2011. They collected a group of enthousiastic televisionmakers and the rest is history – more specifically television history in the form of moving human interest programmes and other original television shows. With about 40 driven employees The chinese go forward, and have telling beautiful stories as their purpose.

Partners of The chinese