Sarah Grégoire is a young and enthusiastic art restorer doing an internship in Paris.
Things seem to go well for her, but the tone quickly changes when Sarah discovers that famous paintings are being replaced by replicas. The switch between forgery and original is happening during the restoration process.
Sarah returns to Belgium and tries to unravel the truth behind a secret group named 'The Friends of the Masters', referring to the old masters like Rembrandt and Rubens. Helped by her best friend Valerie, she digs deeper into the ambiguous world of art, a world that she used to idealize. What does her father, a master restorer himself, or his former colleague and Sarah's current employer Victor van der Veken, know about the forgeries? And what will be the consequences when Sarah reveals one of the best protected secrets in the history of Western art: 'The Vanitas Project'...
Directors: Oscar Spierenburg
Producers: Picoux Productions
Key cast: Manon Verbeeck, Laura Verlinden, Dirk Roofthooft, Benjamin Ramon, Erico Salamone
Director: Oscar Spierenburg
Oscar Spierenburg (1981) grew up in Spaarndam (The Netherlands) and moved to Belgium when he was 26. He is a painter as well as an autodidactic director. He strongly believes in the principle of ‘learning while working’ and has always found this to be true for his career particularly. He has taught himself how to paint and direct and has proved his skills with the short film “César’s Spring”, which led to quite a few prestigious nominations. This success was of course a motivation to continue on to something bigger. “Vanitas” is Oscar’s first feature film. Alongside working as a director, he owns a small art gallery in the center of Antwerp.
2015: Feature length film: “Vanitas”
2014: Short film: “Rêverie” (in post production) music – camera – production – VFX - camera
2013: Feature length documentary “Roger Raveel – de schilder de dood & de muze” co-production
(music – post prodution and DVD release)
2010 – 2011: Director and filmmaker of ' The Spring of César ' : Debute film
PRICES AND RECOGNITIONS
2012: AWARD winning price: APERTUS Open Source Cinema Project: Award of
Distinction, The Libre Digital Arts Festival, Lintz (Austria)
2010-2011: ‘The Sping of César’AWARD: Honorable Mention of the Jury 2011 –
International Shortfilmfestival Leuven Belgium
2014: Offcial Selection Berlin Short Film Festival Reverie (DE)
2014: Rwanda Filmfestival van Kigali ‘De Veer van César’ (BE)
2014: De Hoge Rielen ‘De Veer van César’ (BE)
2013: Filmfestival Oostende “Roger Raveel – de schilder de dood & de muze” (BE)
2013: Napa Valley Film Festival (‘De Veer van César’ (USA)
2013: Nederlands Film Festival “Roger Raveel – de schilder de dood & de muze” (NL)
2012: Official Selection Newport Beach Filmfestival (USA)
2011: Internationaal Kortfilmfestival Leuven (BE)
Filmfestival Gent - Kinepolis Gent ism Internationaal & Zebrastraat Gent (BE)
Cinema Zuid Antwerpen (Zuiderzinnen) (BE)
Filmfestival Oostende (‘De Veer van César’ (BE)
Kunstenfestival Watou (BE)
Zomer van Antwerpen (BE)
Felix Potry Fesival Antwerpen (BE)
De Roma Antwerpen (BE)
Cinema Cartoon’s Antwerpen (BE)
Nacht van de Poëzie Gent (BE)
2006-2010: leader and founder of the APERTUS Open Source Cinema Project.
International Cinema 4K camera project with collaboration Elphel Inc., creators of Google “Street View” camera.
2006: ‘ Bij een Gekreukte Das ‘ (‘ A Badgered Tie ‘) – a short animation film -oil paint on glass – dir. Minske van Wijk & Katelijn Smissaert : chroma keying
AWARD: Ex-Aequo Price Best Non-narrative film (I Castelli Animati - International Animated Film Festival) (IT)
About Vanitas he says:
“For whatever medium I’m working with, I always use the same starting point:
I conjure a world that is adjacent to reality, and thus feels at least as authentic.
With Vanitas I wanted to tell a very personal story, about a young woman in the art- and restoration world. The mystery that often surrounds the art-world is the canvas on which the story is painted. The ethics of restoration and the dubious concept ‘replica’ is unknown territory when it comes to feature films.
Sarah, a girl who is driven by a great passion for art, is looking for the right direction to take in life and is torn between a couple of strong personalities. I find it interesting to envision the main character as the central figure, who starts acting
for herself only later on in the story, when it is already too late. She only knows part of the truth, which is why she makes all the wrong moves. Vanitas – the symbol for decay, vanity and emptiness – embodies the vulnerability of art whilst also
paralleling with the characters’ vulnerability.
AWARD - Best Narrative Feature Film
Fine Arts Film Festival
September 12, 2015
AWARD - Best Actress
Indie Film Festival 2015
AWARD - Best Feature Film (3rd place)
12 Months Film Festival 2015
Paris Independent Film Festival
I Filmmaker International Film Festival 2015
News & Reviews
"A film about the importance and truth about art."