HALAL is an award-winning production company and photography agency that redefines moments of popular culture through radical approaches to storytelling with the aim to connect craft with the zeitgeist of tomorrow. With an artist-centric and creativity driven business, the outfit is made up of an international roster of multi-disciplinary talent integrated seamlessly with its holistic approach to content creation. Consisting of a fiction, documentary, photography and commercial department, the company’s DNA lies in thinking outside conventional narratives.
Founded in 2005, HALAL is owned and run by four partners. The fiction department is headed up by Gijs Kerbosch, the original founder of HALAL. The Scripted department has received appraisals globally from the likes of Sundance Film Festival, Berlinale, Tribeca Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival and BFI (to mention some). The Amsterdam-based production company entered the scene with the cult-hit series New Kids and co-produced New Kids Turbo and New Kids Nitro, which had over 2,000,000 admissions. Other national and international successful HALAL scripted productions are series Joardy Season (2019, Special Mention Nipkov award) and feature film. Prince (Special Mention, Berlinale 2015). The HALAL shorts The Walking Fish (2019), Emily (2018) and Un creux dans mon Coeur (2015) have been selected as Dutch Oscar entrees.
Boasting with artistic value, HALAL’s documentary work aims to deliver documentaries that surprise, inspire and inform. The work is generally recognised by challenging the norm, either in its approach or form.
This quality has not gone unnoticed; the work has premiered and toured globally at A-list festivals and has been part of prestigious international competitions. Hallmark productions include Genderblend (2017), Independent Boy (2017), KEEPER (2019), King of the Cruise (2019) and Drama Girl (2020), many of which have caught the attention of globally recognized outfits such as UK’s leading documentary distribution and sales company Dogwoof. HALAL non-scripted is spearheaded by Olivia Sophie van Leeuwen, an EAVE and Eurodoc graduate and with a media studies master’s degree at the University of Amsterdam and the New York University Tisch School of the Arts on her back. Her main focus is to expand the departments international portfolio and effectively attract and cultivate top talent to help create the greatest quality documentary films with high artistic value.
Searching for Madness
Director: Fiona Tan. Country: NL & TBD. Co-producer: TBD. Status: in development. Sort: feature length documentary. Duration: 75 min.
Searching for Madness is a personal quest to find out not only what madness looks like, but also to understand better what insanity is. Artist Fiona Tan has for years been obsessed with the representations of mentally ill patients in five small oil paintings – 'Portraits of the Insane'. Associatively linking these historical portraits with topical, contemporary mental health disorders, the film moves freely and unexpectedly between various themes and locations. If we can find, in our search for madness, some key insight into what exactly insanity looks like, are we closer to understanding what defines normality? Located between experimental cinema, art and documentary, this essay film endeavours to form a moving and intimate, if at times fragmentary portrait of madness. Through dialogue between past and present, and through the juxtaposition of exterior representations of insanity with an internalised world of whimsical madness, this film searches for the elusive but true faces and voices of insanity.
Director & Screenwriter: Vincent Boy Kars. Cast: TBD. Country: NL & TBD. Co-producer: TBD. Status: in script development. Release: 2022. Sort: feature length hybrid film (documentary/fiction) – part 3 in a triology. Duration: 90 minutes. Genre: hybrid drama. Distribution/Sales: TBD.
Future Me is the last film in Vincent’s trilogy on millennials and their life issues. Vincent will combine specific cinematographic elements of both of his previous films Independent Boy and Drama Girl, to make a next step in the exploration of his own genre, in which the boundaries between fiction and documentary become blurred and sharpened. While the first two films focused on a young man in the phase of start being responsible over his own life, and a young woman mirroring her own traumatized life story, the last part will focus on himself and his future self. By making use of a created fictionalized world, Vincent mirrors himself by making his older self reflect on the identity issues he himself now copes with. In this way, Vincent touches on the cinematographic challenges of storytelling and invites both his character and himself to step into this life changing experiment.
Director: Emma Westenberg. Screenwriter: Jaap-Peter Enderlé. Country: NL. Co-producer: tbd. Status: In script development. Release: 2023. Sort: Feature-length film. Duration: 90 min. Genre: Forbidden love. Distribution/Sales: tbd.
Angels is a forbidden boy meets boy love story, telling the tale of the ambitious and short-tempered police officer Danny and the talented criminal club kid Noah who, against all odds, fall madly in love with each other. Together, they secretly experience the love of their lives until their contrasting worlds inevitably begin to demand their loyalty. The two young men are being driven apart as their love appears to be nothing but a lie. Once Danny decides to prove that their love was, in fact, real, he not only manages to liberate Noah from the criminal circuit, but also sets himself free from his oppressive existence. Angels tells the story of two boys who free each other in order to be who they long to be. Jaap-Peter Enderlé is an Amsterdam based award-winning writer. Director Emma Westenberg is LA and Amsterdam based and known from productions with stars like Janelle Monáe, Troye Sivan and Kendall Jenner.
Director & Screenwriter: Thessa Meijer. Cast: tbd. Country: NL/tbd. Co-producer: tbd. Status: in script development. Release: 2023. Sort: feature-length film. Duration: 80 min. Genre: coming of age, drama. Distribution/Sales: tbd.
When 11-year old Viccy has her first orgasm while masturbating, the previously inactive, nearby volcano erupts and covers the small town with black ash. Viccy gradually discovers her behaviour is connected to the volcano’s activity. Feeling terribly guilty and ashamed of what she has done, she blocks her desires. While tensed locals search for someone to blame, the volcano keeps rumbling dangerously. Will Viccy be able to save the town and herself?