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Casting Fortune

Casting Fortune, 2004-2005

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Casting Fortune (remarkable moments and spiritual predictions in Almere) is a portrait of the Staatsliedenwijk in Almere. The portrait was commissioned by Museum De Paviljoens and the City of Almere, 2004. Behind the station in Almere lies the Staatsliedenwijk – the Statesmen’s Quarter. It is an area with a reputation: high unemployment, criminality, anonymity and 41 different nationalities. For the commission, Janssen made a neighbourhood portrait with and about the inhabitants, in the process dispelling prejudices and revealing the neighbourhood’s hidden ‘gems’.

The project developed into a neighbourhood portrait in the form of six short films with local residents in the leading roles. A ‘casting’ was held on the streets, where local residents could register as participants and could submit a plan for a short film. Then a practice space and film lab / preview space was fitted out within Museum De Paviljoens, a place where local residents met regularly to rehearse the acts they had proposed. All the short films were recorded on the streets of the Staatsliedenwijk between February and April 2004. The films were shot on super 8 film, in order to produce an instant historical document in this city that is lacking a collective ‘history’. (Almere is a newly built city which was only begun in the 1970s.)

The short films are interlinked by street scenes from the neighbourhood. Three local fortune tellers shared their visions for these streets in statements and gave their tips on how to improve the neighbourhood. This served as a counterpart to municipal policymakers who, with their graphs and tables, ‘know’ what is good for the future of a neighbourhood. The whole film was transferred to DVD and provided with a soundtrack and subtitles, then screened at the annual neighbourhood party in September 2004. Every household in the neighbourhood received one free copy.

Casting Fortune was shown at Museum De Paviljoens in 2004, at Art Cologne in 2005, and at various film festivals.

Casting Fortune: super 8 film transferred to DVD (28 mins), subtitles in 10 different languages / edition of 2,000, various photos of the sets and a banner.

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Film poster

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Press release Museum De Paviljoens

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