After the crisis in 2008, it seemed urban development had come to a standstill for a while. But to some people the empty plots of land seemed to beg to be put to good use. Abandoned shipyard De Ceuvel was one of these places. In 2012 a multidisciplinary group took the initiative to turn this empty and polluted piece of land into a work- and meeting place. Proving that you don’t need money to develop an area, they decided to use a DIY approach and construct offices out of a very common Dutch waste product: scrap houseboats. The film documents the realization of a dream by an odd collection of visionary urbanites and how its unintended side effects are highlighting challenges familiar to cities and communities around the world.
About the director
Simone Eleveld is a filmmaker and journalist based in Amsterdam. Inspired by the hands-on mentality at De Ceuvel she started filming the process in 2013. As the piles of footage grew larger, it slowly turned into her documentary debut. The interaction between grassroots movements and authorities continue to fascinate her and the theme regularly pops up in her work – she is currently doing research on grassroots movements throughout Europe.