Starting our Engines with Filmmaker Thomas Bos

Name: Thomas Bos


Year: 2019

Film Programme: New Dutch 3

Hank does not fit in. Riding his motorcycle enables him to clear his mind. Above 130km everything becomes black and white. During his nightly drives his thoughts and reality become deeply entwined.

Thomas Bos, born in 1988, has been (break)dancing since the age of 12. In 2013 he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Digital Video Design, pursuing a career as a filmmaker making autonomous as well as collective works. In his latest production with the collective 155 (onefivefive) his two passions came together: realising a touching and playful film, where stereotypes fall short while giving space to an overflowing communal fantasy of unconventional taste.

We have reached out to Thomas, who currently resides in a small Cabana on a beach in Sri-Lanka and asked him few questions on his latest production.

What was your starting point for LEER?

We (155) are a group of guys who grew up together dancing. At one point we realised that we also all rode motorbikes. We really wanted to do a project where we combine these two disciplines. Hence: we made a motorbike-theme’d dancefilm.  

What were the difficulties when making this short?

MONEY! No money. As a dance collective, we are becoming better and better in finding and securing funding for our (stage) performances. But to find funding for dance film projects has proven to be extremely difficult, despite it being a very good way to reach more people and get them excited about dance outside of the theaters.
In general, I think that all the problems we have encountered during the process where, in one way or another, related to a money issue. There was not a lot of time, nobody got paid, etc. DOX, our partner in the film, has been the only one, who gave us some funding.

How would you summarise the central theme of your film?

It is about growing up, ageing and encountering more and new responsibilities. How do you deal with these? We are all (almost) 30 now. A steady job, mortgage, cryptocurrency, babies, moving in together. Remove the plug or twist the throttle even further? Who do you want to be and how do you want to relate to the world? Riding your motorbike as an escape from algorithms and responsibilities. Leather (Leer) is about the ‘realness’ of experience and the intensity with which you live it.

Where do you see the dance film filed moving towards?

I think from the music video world (the place where dance is very present and very popular) dance films will arise that are a little bit less ‘dusty’. No more vacant buildings with crunchy soundscapes. I think starting from reality hopefully the variety of dance films available will become more diverse, loose a little bit of the old dusty image. Maybe, in the beginning, it needs to be a little bit commercial, but then, work will arise that feels contemporary, young and relevant. 

Don’t miss his latest film and all the other incredible productions in our New Dutch programmes on Saturday 9 March. See you at Eye.

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