ABOUT THE BOY WHO ATE AN OAKWOOD CHAIR – Pieter Goethals (Belgium, 2016) 28’07”

BEST FILM – Pieter Goethals


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Video recording sessions for soundtrack

This crowdfunded film tells the melancholic and wondrous tale of Gerard, who is tremendously in love with the girl next door, but doesn’t have the guts to tell her. One day, he decides to do something nobody has ever done before: eat the chair he was always standing on, staring outside from the attic. From that moment, his whole life changes. He even gets famous and makes it to Hollywood, as a horror movie icon: “theee woooodmannn”!!! But the big question remains: is this the life Gerard always wanted?   A funny, slightly surrealistic and universal telling about the human desire to archieve a goal, to belong, to love and to be loved back in return. And about how stupid and ill-considered decisions can have a huge impact on someones life.


Director: Pieter Goethals;  Writer: Pieter Goethals; Producer: Pieter Goethals, Jimi Abidts; Key Cast: Gauthier Castille, Greg Timmermans, Jaak Van Assche, Inge Paulussen, Tibo Vandenborre, Lize Feryn; Music By: Hannes de Maeyer

Director bio: Pieter has been working as a director for a lot of prime time TV-shows since 2001. He also directed two of the most successful daily drama series for a few years. In 2012 he founded Creative Genes, a production company for corporate and publicity films. “Oakwood Chair” was a project of love, ambition and persistence for many years, for a big part funded through crowdfunding from all over the world (Belgium, Netherlands, UK, USA, Asia,…). This film hopefully will become the stepping stone to other and bigger adventures…

Director statement: From the first moment I read the children’s book by Edward van de Vendel, only a few pages long, I wanted to turn this story into a film. It made me wonder about a possible back story: why would somebody even think about eating a chair? What could be the consequences? And that made it a story for grown ups, not only for kids. It’s about falling in love, getting older, realizing your dreams (or not), finding peace and being able to forgive, especially oneself.

Although one would expect a psychological, low profile approach for this kind of story, as a director I chose for a dynamic and expressive style. In the true tradition of Hollywood cinema, with a very gentle nod to Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg. So we were gonna need a lot of period sets, costumes, cars and props from the forties and sixties, very believable special and make up effects, a few vans with camera equipment, dollies and cranes and a full classical orchestra for our score! Only that way the story would truly come to life, in my opinion. But that also meant it was going to become a very ambitious project, by Belgian short film standards. Or any!

Since we got no government funding, we embarked on a crowd funding trip a couple of years ago. It all started on IndieGoGo, but soon our campaign only got bigger and more elaborate. A lot of work went into convincing people from all over the world, by making avant la lettre “making of” video’s, showing them what our plans were. In the end (after several years) we got contributions from Belgium, the Netherlands, France, UK, USA, Asia,… everybody wanted to see our project succeed!

With the help of the Belgian Tax Shelter system, several logistical partners and a lot of goodwill from cast and crew, this project finally got made. Everybody was paid for their job though, which also was one of my “ambitions” from the start. In retrospect we could have done it all very differently and a bit more low key even, but looking at the result, I don’t regret it. This is the kind of cinema I wanna make!

Yes indeed, it was quite a journey, being the director and producer on this film, but well worth the effort. It convinced me I made the right choice a couple of years ago: keep believing in something till you finally get it done!