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a BLOOMING BUSINESS

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a BLOOMING BUSINESS 2017-01-24T01:50:42+00:00

Project Description

  • a BLOOMING BUSINESS
  • a-blooming-business-glue-sniff
  • a-blooming-business-fisher
  • a-blooming-business-child

 

Ruik de geur van geïmporteerde rozen!

Op indringende wijze toont a BLOOMING BUSINESS (een BLOEIENDE HANDEL) de wereld van Jane, Kennedy en Oscar, die allen op een bepaalde manier afhankelijk zijn van de grote bloemkwekerijen in Naivasha-Kenia. Het is een poëtische, filmische en schrijnende documentaire waarbij de maker diep in het leven van onze hoofdpersonen is doorgedrongen. a BLOOMING BUSINESS is wereldwijd vertoond en bekroond op grote internationale film-en documentaire festivals.

Voor meer informatie bezoek onze Engelse website of de website van a BLOOMING BUSINESS.

 

a BLOOMING BUSINESS – documentaire trailer


Collega & vriend Stijn in Naivasha


Sloppenwijk Karagita


Gezelschap in de nacht


Collega’s op locatie


nacht opnames


Wederzien van vader en dochter

a BLOOMING BUSINESS (achtergrond in het Engels)

From the director

Extensive preparations went by before we went to Kenya to shoot “a BLOOMING BUSINESS.” Together with Eunice Muthoni (Kenyan Human Rights Watch) we travelled to Naivasha, one of the many areas that has grown significantly because of flower growing this past decade.

It was obvious that for many Kenyan people the rose meant something completely different than for most Dutch people. As Jane would say later on: “The rose means for me hard work, having thorns in my hands, with a lot of chemicals.” Jane, as many other workers, also had no clue what western people use these flowers for. She thought the roses are used for toilet refreshers. When I explained that, in western countries, many lovers buy each other flowers on, for example, Valentine’s day, she reacted surprised. “In Kenya the women prefer money on Valentine’s day”.

Getting accepted into the workers’ class and earning trust of many workers was a thing on its own. People do not dare to speak up, as the white Mzungu’s stand on the other side (the employers side). We met the head of the workers union. For a long time he was a flower farm employee as well and is now a well respected person among the workers. He knows many of them and their stories personally. We planned meetings at secret places where workers could tell their stories and experiences in confidence. We had interviews in groups and one on one, during which we heard stories of more than 30 female employees from different farms. Some farms were better than others, but the stories were even worse than I could have imagined. I was shocked and got emotional: I felt more urged to make this film and promised myself I had to continue this project, no matter what. Later on in the process, whenever I felt down or was wondering why the hell on earth I was doing this (as nobody asked me to) I remembered that moment, these people and my obligation to them to finish this film.

Most issues that the people had to deal with, were not visible to the camera: corruption, sexual abuse, oppression and very bad working conditions. This was not easy, if not impossible, to film. It sure was a big challenge. Several employees told us that the companies are using many ways to avoid international rules. Women had to work while the men were spraying dangerous chemicals in the same area. Women were not allowed to wear protective gloves as they would damage the roses. As if that was not harmful enough, people had to work overtime without getting paid for it. I ran into all kinds of cunning diversions like these, fabricated by the employers. Eunice said: “Even our minister of Labour owns a flower farm, so if he improves the labour laws, he will also be affected.”

There are good aspects to the farms as well: they provide many jobs, have their own hospitals and even provide houses for the employees. But here lies a cunning diversion yet again. Eunice said (and many (former) employees confirmed) that farm hospitals are the perfect way to cover up the chemically affected people. When results from testing for chemicals turns out positive, these people get fired immediately. So in all Naivasha there are very little reported cases of sick people due to spraying chemicals or any of that kind. The contradicting fact is that we met quite a lot of these (unknown) cases.

The farms provide many jobs, which causes an oligopoly more or less. Eunice said: “There is a high rate of unemployment in this country. The growers take advantage of this. One sacked leads to more at the gate looking for a job. Even the houses, which are provided by the employers, are part of silencing employees. Female workers who are sexually harassed, will not easily, often not at all, report their cases, because they will not only lose their jobs, but also their houses, medical care and even schooling as well.” Too much is at stake if one would want to speak up about their problems at work. Many workers felt oppressed by their managers or supervisors. My naïve belief that the fair-trade flower would clear this all, appeared not to be completely true. From all the companies in Naivasha, only few have a fair trademark. Where do all the flowers that do not have trademarks go? Several employees confessed that there is a lot of outsourcing of very badly grown flowers to the few companies that have a trademark. That is how the farms without a trademark are still able to sell their flowers all over the globe. It was clear we were in the middle of a dark, mysterious and hazardous situation. I felt the anxiety every day I was there (and even after I returned home I have sleepless nights). Standing face-to-face with corruption is almost inevitable; it reaches into the highest position of society all the way down to the lower class. Therefore, there were only few people that we could trust. We tried to attract as little attention as possible, but Naivasha is not a real big place nor is it visited by a lot of tourists. Two white Mzungu’s with a camera and a boom microphone in a slum area like Karagita (where many workers try to obtain a house) attract quite some attention. To avoid getting noticed as much as possible, we often had to meet our characters outside of the farming and living areas. The actual filming was prepared well, which we tried to do as unobtrusively as possible.

Three months after we left, I received news from Eunice. Apparently, we were not careful enough after all; one of Jane’s (farm worker) friends had sold her out. This was a female farm worker as well, who was even suggested as guide by the workers union. She wanted to have money from Jane, which Jane did not receive from us. As a result, Jane got fired by the company. Eunice said that according to her resign letter, she “had shared confidential company information with strangers.” With help of my brother we send money for Jane to get independent. Now, almost one and a half year later, I still did not see that resign letter and do not know for sure she even got fired, let alone for what reason she would be fired.

Not everybody was afraid to speak up though. Many people were already fired by the blooming companies and really felt relieved that there was someone they could share their story with. We met Oscar, Kennedy and many other people who used to work at these farms. Even though these people were fired some time ago, they were still experiencing negative consequences from the farms. The water level of lake Naivasha has dropped enormously -as they say- to the mass water obstruction by the farms. A rose gets one and a half liter a day, according to the irrigating manager of the company that we filmed. (After the film was finished I was told by the farm owner he should have said per m2.) > Millions of roses grow in Naivasha. Fishermen also say that the breeding zones of the fish, is completely damaged because of this obstruction and also many fish die, because the chemicals that are used during spraying, in a lot of cases directly floods into the lake after it rains. Fisherman Kennedy catches less and less fish every year. When we were there he would only catch three fish a day, which he needed to share with his other two colleagues. He has a family of 5 to take care of.

Oscar the water supplier also told us he experiences the damaging consequences daily. He makes a living of selling the chemically affected water to the society (mostly farm employees.) Furthermore, there are very few places where people can get access to the lake. The whole lake side is now surrounded by farms (and some hotels). For common people it is almost impossible to get access to the lake. Getting to know Oscar made also clear how complex the situation is in Naivasha (and probably a big part of Africa): he is a sincere, polite businessman, who did good on school, but unfortunately his father did not have the right connections for him to get the right job. He doesn’t have a choice than sell the polluted water to the community. Also people like our sincere taxi driver Peter, explained how frustrated he got by this and how impossible it is to achieve something in the world where corruption is dominating.

Stijn and I spent many hours discussing and writing at our hotel to figure out how to tell this so enormous complex story. In the beginning, we would talk about it in the hotel’s restaurant, but that appeared to be the main gathering place for flower farm managers and supervisors. Eventually, we spent nights writing and discussing on our balcony.

There are many more stories to tell, which I can not all tell. I started a BLOOMING BUSINESS as an artist and with a human interest point of view. Now a BLOOMING BUSINESS is finished I don’t know what will happen next. It is the first time I got into a situation like this, and to be honest I don’t think I want to get in something similar again. I am a film maker, not a journalist. I made a personal portrait about Naivasha and the people that I have met: their lives, their believes, their struggles, and their hopes and dreams. a BLOOMING BUSINESS shows the complexity of existence of human kind in our new globalizing world. Let this film be the voice for those that do not have a voice. Let this film be a reason for institutions to investigate the fair trademarks. Because if I buy fair trade flowers, I expect them to be fairly grown.

a BLOOMING BUSINESS

52 minuten, Maart 2009 een NEWTON film in coproductie met VPRO

productie en regie
TON VAN ZANTVOORT

scenario, camere, geluid en montage
TON VAN ZANTVOORT

assistent en geluid
STIJN VAN EEKELEN

muziek
ROY BEMELMANS

poster-, dvd- & website
TON VAN ZANTVOORT

eindredactie VPRO
BARBARA TRUYEN

met

JANE en kinderen
REAGAN, DAVIS, BRIAN & SHARON

OSCAR
water drager

KENNEDY
visser

PETER
werknemer – filmmaker

AGNES
voormalig werknemer

GEOFREY
voormalig werknemer

EUNICE
Mensen rechten organisatie

ondersteuning en advies
WOUTER VERHOEVEN
ANNEROSE LANGEVELD
STIJN VAN EEKELEN
GIEL VAN SCHAIJK
MARCEL MELCHERS
JEROEN KOOPMANS
JEROEN BERKVENS
STEFAN KAMP
MENNO BOEREMA
TOINE DE JONG
KURT COOYMANS

met dank aan
PETER OTIENO OMBUDE
EDWARD INDIMULI
MOHAMED MUKONGO
JUDITH, MOUNIE, WANGERA
THE FLOWERFARM & AUCTION
RIPERIAN ASSOCIATION
PHANUEL DIANGA- SHER LAB
PETER EDWIN OCHARI
KIMANI KIGURU
NATHALIE VAN HAREN
VINCENT OUDENDIJK
FRANK VAN MOURIK
MAUREEN FREICHMANN
BIANCA LOOMAN
FAM VAN ZANTVOORT
FAM LANGEVELD
en iedereen die de film heeft mogelijk gemaakt

a BLOOMING BUSINESS is geen aanklacht tegen de industrie of mensen in de film.
Copyrights 2009 NEWTON film/ Ton van Zantvoort

ISAN 0000-0003-DFF2-0000-8-0000-0000-D

a BLOOMING BUSINESS festival vertoningen

Voor meer vertoningen bezoek de website

Mujeres del Mundo, Madrid, Spain, March 2012,
Clovek v tísni, People in Need, Praha, Czech Republic, 2012
Cégep André-Laurendeau LaSalle Montréal, Canada, 2012
International Film Festival for Human Rights, different towns in Basque country, France, February 2012
Kinookus FFF, Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 2011
NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE), Preston, Australia, September 2011
Slow Food International, Bra, Italy, 2011
Tutti nello stesso piatto, trento, Italy 2011
Sunchild Film Festival, Armenia, October 2011,
This Human World, Austria, December 2010
Art of the Document, Multumedia Festival, Poland, November 2010
XV International TV Festival Bar Montenegro, 2010
Jihlava IDFF, Czech Republic, October 2010
Duke City DocFest, Albuquerque New Mexico, October 2010
International TV Festival Bar, 15th festival, Montenegro, October 2010
Etnia FIlm Festival, Finland, October 2010
Ad Hoc Inconvenient Films, LHCR, Lihuania, October 2010
Criterio Ambiental, Costa Rica, September 2010
Split New film festival Poland, September 2010
Centraal Museum – Recht voor zijn Raap / In your face, June – September 2010
Bolivia el septimojo es tuyo, Bolivia, June 2010
Documentarist Film Festival, Istanbul, Turkey, June 2010
Millenium Film Festival – Belgium June 2010
FICA – Festival International de cinema e video ambiental – Brasil, June 2010
Planete Doc Review – Against Gravity, Poland, May 2010
Cinema Politica, Toronto, May 2010
KPFK Los Angelos Film Festival, Santa Barbara, April 2010
Montreal Human Rights Film Festival, Canada, March 2010
Cinema Planeta Mexico, Mexico, March 2010
Human Rights Human Wrongs, Norway, february 2010
DOCPoint Helsinki Documentary Festival, Finland, January 2010
International Documentary Festival Agadir, Morocco, December 2009
Med Film Festival, Italy, November 2009
ânûû-rû âboro, Peoples’ film festival, New Caledonia, November 2009
AFF, Astra Film Festival, Romania, November 2009
DOK Leipzig, Germany, October 2009
MEDI MED Docs come true, Spain, October 2009 /
Planet in Focus, Environmental Film Festival, Canada, September 2009
NFF, Dutch Film Festival, The Netherlands, September 2009
VIFF, Vancouver International Film Festival / October 2009
NIFF, Newport International Film Festival/ USA/ June 2009
EIFF, Edinburgh International Film Festival/ UK/ June 2009
Cinema City 09/ Serbia/ June 2009
Filmfoyer, TAC, Groene Engel, Verkade fabriek / The Netherlands/ June 2009
Rodos International Films+ Visual Arts Festival/ Greece/ June 2009
New Zealand International Film Festival/ New Zealand/ July 2009
GFFIS, Green Film Festival in Seoul Korea May 2009/
BKKC, Film in Brabant /Eindhoven, Grave, Denbosch, Breda, Tilburg, Oss/ The Netherlands/ 2009/
IFFB, International Film Festival Breda/ The Netherlands/ 2009/
TDF, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival/ Greece/ 2009/

a BLOOMING BUSINESS pers map (in het Engels)

Film information 3

Film screenings 4

Synopsis 5

Credits 6

About the director & directors statement 7

Resume director Ton van Zantvoort 8

Publications 9

Film stills 10

Directors stills 12

Film details
Original title: a BLOOMING BUSINESS
Original language: English/ Swahili
Subtitled language: 22 European Union languages
Homepage: www.newtonfilm.nl/blooming_business/
Running time: 52 minutes
Date of completion: March 2009
Date/ place of first screening: March 13, 2009/ Thessaloniki, Greece
Country of Filming: Kenya, The Netherlands
Country of Origin: The NetherlandsPeople
Production company: NEWTON film
Producer/ director: Ton van Zantvoort
Country: The Netherlands
E-mail: info [at] newtonfilm.nl
Filmography: GRITO de PIEDRA/ 59 min/ 2006
First/ second film: yes
Co-production: VPRO/ Barbara Truyen
World distribution: NEWTON film
Sales contact: US/ Canada: 7th Art Releasing
Sales contact: World: Journeyman PicturesTechnical information
Preview copy: 52 minutes, DVD PAL/ NTSC, online screening possible
Exhibition format:
1. Digibeta PAL, 16:9 (anamorphic), 1.66, English sub, color, 52 min, Dolby Digital stereo
2. HD cam NTSC, English subtitles, English Subtitles
3. DV cam French subtitles
4. DVD with 22 European Union Languages
Categories: Human interest /-rights, social/ environment issues, globalizationAwards– Jury Award, FIFDH, Festival International du film des droits de l’homme de Paris, 2011
– Audience award, The Art of the Document, 2010 – Special jury mention 2010
– Golden olive award for best documentary, International Festival, Montenegro 2010
– Audience Award, Millenium International Documentary Festival, Belgium 2010
– Award for best film chosen by media professionals, Festival Internacional de Cinema Ambiental FICA, Brasil 2010
– Best photography Award, XV International TV Festival Bar, Montenegro,2010
– Jury Award best treatment, Cinema Planeta, Mexico 2010
– Audience favourites Mixed Greens, Planet in Focus, Canada 2009
– Open Eyes Award special mention, Medfilm Festival, Italy 2009,
– Dok Leipzig Healthy Workplaces Film Award, International Leipzig Festival, Germany 2009
Selection of International Film Festivals
TDF competition, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival,Greece, 13 March 2009
IFFB competition, International Film Festival Breda, The Netherlands, 27 March 2009
Plaza Futura, The Netherlands, May 2009
Film Café Grave, The Netherlands, May 2009
Verkade Fabriek, The Netherlands, May 2009
Green Film Festival in Seoul, Korea, May 2009
Electron, The Netherlands, May 2009
Cinema City 09, Serbia, June 2009
TAC, The Netherlands, June 2009
Filmfoyer, The Netherlands, June 2009
Rodos International Films+ Visual Arts Festival, Greece, June 2009
NZIFF competition, New Zealand International Film Festival, New Zealand, July 2009
Groene Engel, The Netherlands, July 2009
VIFF competition, Vancouver International Film Festival
National Cinemateque, Denmark, September 2009
NFF, Dutch Film Festival, The Netherlands, September 2009
MEDI MED Docs come true, Spain, October 2009
Planet in Focus, Environmental Film Festival, Canada 2009
DOK Leipzig, Germany, October 2009
AFF competition, 10th Astra Film Festival, Romania, 2009
ânûû-rû âboro, Peoples’ film festival, New Caledonia, November 2009
Med Film Festival competition, Italy, November 2009
International Documentary Festival Agadir competition, Morocco, December 2009
DOCPoint Helsinki Documentary Festival competition, Finland, January 2010
Human Rights Human Wrongs, Norway, february 2010
Cinema Planeta Mexico, Mexico, March 2010
Montreal Human Rights Film Festival, Canada, March 2010
Cronograf Documentary Film Festival, Moldova, May 2010
Planete Doc Review – Against Gravity 2 competitions, Poland, May, 2010
FICA – Festival International de cinema e video ambiental – Brasil, June 2010
Centraal Museum Utrecht – In your face, june – September 2010
Bolivia el septimojo es tuyo, Bolivia, June 2010
Documentarist Film Festival, Istanbul, Turkey, June 2010
Millenium Film Festival – Belgium, June 2010
Criterio Ambiental, Costa Rica, September 2010
Split New film festival Poland, September 2010
Centraal Museum – Recht voor zijn Raap / In your face, June – September 2010
Jihlava IDFF, Czech Republic, October 2010
Duke City DocFest, Albuquerque New Mexico, October 2010
International TV Festival Bar, 15th festival, Montenegro, October 2010
Etnia FIlm Festival, Finland, October 2010
Ad Hoc Inconvenient Films, LHCR, Lihuania, October 2010
This Human World, Austria, October 2010
Art of the Document, Multumedia Festival, Poland, November 2010More screenings coming soon…
Synopsis 100 wordsa BLOOMING BUSINESS is a poetic documentary by TON van ZANTVOORT about people in Kenya who are imprisoned by the global flower industry. The dilemmas of the industry become painfully clear and a dark world of oppression, sexual abuse and terrible working conditions unfolds. There is only one conclusion possible: the smell of the imported rose is not sweet, but bitter.The film combines pure observation with direct comments of the main characters. The camera is absent and present at the same time. With great humanity van Zantvoort shows us a different world in which all human life is valuable.
Film description 519 wordsa BLOOMING BUSINESS is a poetic documentary by Ton van Zantvoort about people in Kenya who are imprisoned by the global flower growing industry. Flowers love people, is a well known Dutch saying, that the flower industry tries to propagate. But whether flowers actually do love people remains the question. A large percentage of flower production in third world countries, where the pay checks are low and the environment constraints are flexible, is auctioned in The Netherlands.In an assertive way, a BLOOMING BUSINESS shows the world of Jane, Kennedy and Oscar. Jane is a single mother who works at one of the many flower farms in Naivasha, Kenya. She works day and night for her survival and to be able to feed her children. Jane finds herself constantly exhausted and compares her life to that of a prisoner. Her supervisor forces her to have sex with him. If Jane would reject him, she would be fired and banned from working at other flower farms. She has no choice. If that would happen, who would look after her children? Jane’s family lives far away. She has been all by herself since she immigrated to Naivasha. There were rumors that one can make a considerable amount of money working in the flower industry. However, once you arrive in Naivasha, the reality turns out to be far from positive. Jane is imprisoned in her situation; she does not even have the money to go and visit her family. To her, the rose means hard work, thorns in her hands and exposure to a lot of dangerous chemicals. However, despite her hard and difficult life, beating her down, Jane remains fighting for her children’s dreams and future.The flower is a huge source of income. But for whom? The flower industry in Naivasha – and anywhere else in the world – demands its price both socially and ecologically. Each rose bush needs 1,5 liter of water per day. Fisherman Kennedy suffers from this and watches his catch diminish daily: “the surface of Naivasha’s lake decreases a lot each year because of this water consumption and the water is polluted by the use of chemicals and pesticides of the surrounding companies.” Another victim is Oscar. He was also fired by a flower company and ever since, in order to make a little money has been transporting the polluted water from the lake in jerry cans to the community by mule. He knows the water is polluted, but Oscar, just like the community who drinks the water, has no other choice.Do flowers also love these people? Everything is being done in order to keep up appearances of the flower industry, as, together with tourism, flower export is Kenya’s largest source of income. The dilemmas of the industry grow painfully clear. There is only one conclusion possible: the smell of the imported rose is not sweet, but bitter. Pure observation goes unnoticed, hand in hand, with straightforward comments from the main characters throughout this film. The camera is present and absent at the same time. With great humanity van Zantvoort shows us another world in which the life of each human being is valuable.

52 minutes, 2009
a NEWTON film in co-production with VPRO

produced & directed by
TON VAN ZANTVOORT

scenario, cinematography, sound & editing by
TON VAN ZANTVOORT

first assistant & sound by
STIJN VAN EEKELEN

music composed by
ROY BEMELMANS

commissioning editor
VPRO BARBARA TRUYEN

world distribution
NEWTON film/ 7th Art/ Journeyman

with
JANE and children
REAGAN, DAVIS, BRIAN & SHARON

OSCAR
water supplier

KENNEDY
fisherman

PETER
former employee – filmmaker

AGNES
former employee

GEOFREY
former employee

EUNICE
Workers Rights Watch

support & advise
WOUTER VERHOEVEN
ANNEROSE LANGEVELD
GIEL VAN SCHAIJK
MARCEL MELCHERS
JEROEN BERKVENS

Thanks to
PETER OTIENO OMBUDE
EDWARD INDIMULI
MOHAMED MUKONGO
JUDITH, MOUNIE, WANGERA
PETER EDWIN OCHARI
KIMANI KIGURU
NATHALIE VAN HAREN
FRANK VAN MOURIK
MAUREEN FREICHMANN
BIANCA LOOMAN
FAM VAN ZANTVOORT
AND EVERYBODY ELSE THATMADE THIS FILM POSSIBLE

financial support
NCDO
Province Noord-Brabant
City Breda
Foundation BKVB

All rights reserved Copyrights 2009
NEWTON film/ Ton van Zantvoort

About the director 52 words
Ton van Zantvoort observes with great attention and takes us into a world of people on the edge, people who try to survive but are confronted by external powers as tourism, international commerce and mass communication. With great humanity, van Zantvoort shows us a different world in which all human life is valuable.

About the director alternative 136 words
Ton van Zantvoort is an independent filmmaker and takes the initiative to produce a film in accordance with his own interest. His way of producing seems to be connected with direct cinema; direct observations with minimum external interference and control over virtually the entire process of making a film. However, in Ton’s films, you will notice that the preference lies in styling and emphasizing the layout of image and sound. This makes the work original and bears witness, content wise, to the enormous willpower of the maker. Throughout his films, Ton consciously lays down his statement, through which he creates his own vision of reality. The vision of a western civilized person who makes us do some soul searching. Some confronting soul searching, yet making it a process you want to endure as long as possible.

About the director & the film 107 words
The films by Ton van Zantvoort are typified by the language of intimate images, a poetic structure and enormous involvement and commitment. a Blooming Business, the second long documentary produced by this young film maker, is next to the obvious almost self explanatory humanity, especially exemplified by its extraordinary tale structure. Pure observation goes unnoticed, hand in hand, with straightforward comments about life and living from the main characters throughout this film. The camera is present and absent at the same time. The vision of a western civilized person who reflects us a mirror. A confronting mirror, but also one you would like to long-lasting look in.

Directors statement 70 words
I am not a journalist. I am a filmmaker. My films are about true people, and their believes, struggles and dreams in life. Filmmaking for me, is like writing a poem, only with images and sound. For me this film is a poetic story about the complexity of our human existence and the globalizing world we are living in.

 

Education
1999- 2003 Art Academy St. Joost, Audiovisual design. diploma obtained with credit
1996- 1999 Grafisch Lyceum Eindhoven, Art-direction. diploma obtained
1991- 1996 HAVO, Maaslandcollege Oss. diploma obtainedFilmography
a BLOOMING BUSINESS/ 53 min/ poetic documentary / 2009
GRITO de PIEDRA/ 59 min/ documentary/ 2006
Khamu village/ 25 min/ documentary/ 2003 (student work)Festivals
Doc Review/ Poland/ 2010
Montreal HRFF/ Canada/ 2010
Human Rights Human Wrongs/ Norway/ 2010
DOCPoint Helsinki Documentary Festival/ Finland/ 2010
DOK Leipzig/ Germany/ 2009
GFFIS / Green Film Festival in Seoul /Korea / 2009
Netherlands Film Festival/ the Netherlands/ 2009
IFFB, International Film Festival Breda/ Breda/ The Netherlands/ 2009
TDF, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival/ Thessaloniki/ Greece/ 2009
Margaret Mead Film Festival/ New York, Chicago, Florida, Vermont, Indiana/ ‘08-’09
Astra film Sibiu/ Romania/ 2007
Netherlands Film Festival/ the Netherlands/ 2007
Festival de Cine y video de los derechos humanos/ Bolivia/ 2007
DOCSDF- Festival International de Cine Documental/ Mexico/ 2007
Rodos ecofilms International Films & Visual arts Festival/ Greece/ 2007
IDFA/ Amsterdam / 2006
Iowa city International documentary festival/ IOWA / 2006Awards & Nominations
– Audience Award, Millenium International Documentary Festival, Belgium 2010
– Press Award, Festival Internacional de Cinema Ambiental FICA, Brasil 2010
– Jury Award best treatment, Cinema Planeta, Mexico 2010
– Audience favourites Mixed Greens, Planet in Focus, Canada 2009
– Open Eyes Award special mention, Medfilm Festival, Italy 2009,
– Dok Leipzig HW Film Award, International Leipzig Festival, Germany 2009
– Startstipend award BKVB 2007
– Highlights of the Lowlands/ IDFA 2006/ GRITO de PIEDRA
– Honourable Mention/ Media city 13 Visual art Festival 2007/ Pack
– 2nd award NFTVM award 2006/ for best new Dutch filmmaker
– 4th price 1 minute & sound award 2006/ dogs
– Scenario Nomination (Scenario workshop during IDFA)
– Nomination for St. Joost Penning/ 2003
– Scenario Nomination NPS Uur van de Wolf
– Startstipend award BKVB 2005Additional
– Doc Review/ Warsaw, Poland/ Panel debate member with Frederik Gertten / 2010
– Margaret Mead Festival / Workshop and Lecture on the University of Manitoba 2009
– Masterclass with Cherry Duyns & Ton van Zantvoort / Nijmegen17-20 januari 2008
– Teaching Photography&Audiovisual design/ Art Academie ‘s- Hertogenbosch
– Lecturer in Poetic Documentary/ Academie St. Joost/ Mgr Frencken College
– Publications Filmkrant, IDFA daily, Brabants Dagblad, BN de stem, Dutch Filmfestival
– DVD publications: Eenoog koning: Treasures of the filmbank, TEEK DVD

Publications in English (selection)

Eye for Film :review-publication A Blooming Businessreview-publication Movie Review (2009)
Vancouver International Film Festival 2009 movie review
DOKLeipzig Healthy Workplaces Film Award EU-OSHA Mention
Edinburgh Internationa Film Festival (EIFF) web/ articles/ press / reviews
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (TDF), Greece, March 2009, 10 pages
International Film Festival FICA , awards,reviews and articles, Brazil 2010
Docreview Poland panel debate with Frederik Gertten, 2010
Indiewire, 2009 (website)
Green Festival Seoul, Korea, 2009 (website)
Sundoc 13.09.2009 Copenhagen / Denmark
Cinema City, Serbia, 2009
The Internet Movie Database (IMDB)

Radio & Television / interviews
Al Jazeera English, London, International, July 2010
VRT National radio Klara, with Heidi Lenaerts, Belgium, June 2010
Deutsche Welle Ethiopia, National Germany & International Africa, June 2010
TV Cultura zoom, National Brazil June 2010
TV Cultura Reporter Eco National Brazil June 2010
Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009 – Sky Movies, Movie Geek
ET1, Thessaloniki, Greece, Tv interview, March 2009
TV10, The Netherlands, 2009
Omroep Brabant radio, March 2009
Dutch Radio interview March 2009

Publications in Dutch
Trouw (National newspaper), june 2009
Holland Doc, june 2009
NRC Next (National newspaper), june 2009
Vakblad voor de Bloemisterij, june 2009
VPRO, june 2009, guide / KRO, june 2009
Bredavandaag, March 2009, IFFB / Februari 2009
BKKC – VBF Film in Brabant, 2009 (2 pages) / poster
Filmkrant, International Film Festival Breda,2009
BN de Stem, March 2009
Eindhovens Dagblad 6 mei 2009
Zondagnieuws April 2009, / Bernhezer April 2009
TV- tip Arthouse film – Bloemen houden van mensen
Thuis in het Nieuws – Groene Engel – twee documentaires
THESSALONIKI DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL
Among the films that constitute this year’s program, the 11th TDF is proud to present the following premieres: a BLOOMING BUSINESS by Ton van Zantvoort, Netherlands a discerning look into the workings of the world flower industry, a BLOOMING BUSINESS follows the lives of Kenyan women trapped by their need for work in the global flower-growing industry, situated mostly in third world countries. While we find out that Jane, a single mother, is forced to have sex with her manager in order to keep her job in a flower-growing farm and support her family, the film shows not only the horrific human repercussions, but also the ecological damage occurring from the industry’s practices (World Premiere).CINEMA CITY
The film shows “the other side” of the beauty of flowers, through the flower industry’s slave mechanism involving Kenyan prisoners. The oppression, sexual harassment and horrible working conditions are the main characteristics of the dark and inhumane world recorded by the director Ton van Zantvoort. One conclusion can be drawn from the harsh truth – the smell of imported roses is not sweet, on the contrary, it is bitter, sodden with human misery.EDINBUGRH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL – Wake up and smell the imported roses
short
Meet the people who work at least twelve hours a day on vast flower farms in Kenya to supply an insatiable global flower industry. Workers endure oppressive working conditions and few risk their livelihoods to tell their stories, but Dutch director Ton van Zantvoort has found those with the courage to do so. His poetic documentary quietly exposes the corruption, chemicals and hardships hidden behind the supermarket labels.Long
There is very little need to force oneself through the security gates of flower farms in Kenya in order to film the environmental destruction and abuse of workers’ rights occurring in the large-scale farms supplying a hungry Dutch flower market. The evidence is quite plain from the contaminated water spewing out of the farms, the agonising illnesses caused by chemical industrial accidents, and the toll of long working days on human beings. Very quietly, director Ton van Zantvoort lifts the lid on what could be described as enslavement. The style of his film is not over-dramatic but instead offers snapshots of life on the shores of Lake Naivasha in Kenya. Since the massive industry of flower farming – worth 400 million euros – arrived, there are very few ways to earn a living. Agnes used to be employed by one of the farms, but having worked in close proximity to harmful pesticides, she is scarred for life and knows she is now not pretty enough to be hired again. Jane, on the other hand, is still employed and clings on to her job so she can feed her children. She works at least 16 hours each day and has to be prepared to obey her supervisor, including submitting to his sexual demands. Oscar has been reduced to selling polluted water from the lake to local villagers – a demeaning job within his community. Kennedy has to continue fishing the lake in spite of dwindling fish breeding grounds since the flower farms began. The list of witnesses goes on. Everyone is powerless against the might of the flower farm and its seemingly complete disregard for human beings in favour of profit. However, the spark of hope that remains – which van Zantvoort manages to capture – exists in the dreams of these people: for a better job, for their children’s education, for a full exposé of the atrocious working conditions they have to endure in order to survive. Some are resolutely clinging to these dreams, but some are beginning to lose the battle as they are ground down. It is clear that a rose symbolises something quite different from love to those featured here. a BLOOM ING BUSINESS explores and exposes this injustice with a dignified strength. VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL- Movie Review
A rose is a rose is a rose, unless it’s a toxic offshoot of international corporate corruption. Director Ton van Zantvoort’s unsparing portrait of the dirty reality of the flower business, may make it impossible for you look at a flower in quite the same way again. A quietly formidable film, A Blooming Business focuses on three different individuals, who make their living in the vast flower plantations that cluster thickly on the shores of Kenya’s Lake Naivasha. Jane, Kennedy and Oscar are each trapped in different ways by economic desperation. Drawn by the promise of a job, Jane moved to the area, only to find the reality of work in the flower plantations to be little more than slavery. After working a 16-hour day, she makes porridge for her children and leads a solemn prayer before bed. Kennedy, reliant upon a good catch, heads out to fish the waters of Lake Naivasha every morning, but toxic runoff from the factory farms has disrupted the spawning beds and resulted in an ever-decreasing supply. Oscar, an itinerant water salesman, knowingly sells water polluted by the toxic runoff. International flower companies deny their practices have resulted in disability and disfigurement for their workers–a disavowal shown for a lie by the secretly filmed footage of toxic chemicals being sprayed a few feet away from women wearing no protective gear. Van Zantvoort’s film brings a depth of poetic image to endemic horror and exploitation. But the thing that most endures is the extraordinary dignity of the individuals depicted, who simply want honest work

 

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