ALL IMAGES PROVIDED BY THE FILMMAKERS
A hidden synagogue in the mountains of Indonesia. A Dutch-style village in the Sri Lankan rainforest. A white separatist enclave in the South African desert. These are just a few of the communities brought to light in Empire, an immersive documentary project that examines the still-unfolding legacy of Dutch colonialism. By turns epic and intimate in its approach, Empire explores the ways in which the conditions of past continue to define our lives in the present. Shot in ten countries over four years, Empire employs a broad range of storytelling techniques—including nonfiction filmmaking, multi-channel video projection, and experience design—to unearth the contemporary aftershocks of the world’s first brush with global capitalism.
Eline Jongsma & Kel O’Neill are a married Dutch-American filmmaking team focused on cross-platform storytelling. They work as a two-person crew, and film, edit, research and produce all of their work by themselves. They spent 2010-2013 travelling more than 140,000 kilometers by car, boat and airplane through Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas while filming Empire. Before creating Empire, Eline and Kel were the US Correspondents for VPRO Television’s Prix Europa-winning documentary series “Metropolis.”
Their journalism work has appeared in the Huffington Post, Vice and The Creators Project. Their videos and installations have been presented by museums, galleries and festivals throughout the world, including: the Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF); the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA); the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR); Apex Art, New York; Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town; Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta; Khoj, New Delhi; and CBK Zuidoost/Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA). Before they began working together, Eline worked as a fine art photographer, and Kel worked as an actor in independent film.
Empire’s installations and interactive videos will be on display September 28th through 30th throughout New York Film Festival at several venues on the Lincoln Center campus, including the Elinor Bunin Film Center, Walter Reade Theater, and Alice Tully Hall. Viewers are invited to chart their own course through the work, and to draw their own thematic connections as they go.