THE BACKYARD OF MAASTRICHT
In the 1920s, the "Eerste Nederlandse Cement Industrie" (first Dutch cement industry) began excavating marl. After almost 100 years of marl mining, the very last cement mill was shut down in the summer of 2020. A unique area was left behind, which is described by the local residents as “the backyard of Maastricht”.
You will get to know the area through our three main characters: forester José Hermens of Natuurmonumenten (a Dutch nature conservation organization), William Gerardu of the interest group Stichting Sint-Pietersberg Adembenemend and Peter van Havere, former employee of ENCI. Everyone has a special and emotional connection to the area, but a completely different vision.
In February we came across an article about the ENCI area. We were immediately interested; how is it possible that we did not know this place? For us it felt very un-Dutch, this belongs in France, or another tropical destination.
The first time we got out of the car and walked towards the quarry, we found the area even more impressive than expected. The many visits that followed, this place continued to amaze us. After a while we found out that it has a rich history. Generations of residents from Maastricht have proudly worked in the ENCI factories, to provide the rest of the Netherlands with cement. Former employees spoke full of passion and nostalgia about their time at the company.
Not only the employees who worked in the factories look at the area with a loving gaze, it also has great emotional value for the rest of the residents of Maastricht. For us this was very special to see, so we decided to make a documentary about three people who have a completely different view of the area, but who share their love for it.
What will happen next? The quarry is currently in the hands of Natuurmonumenten, but there is still a lot of uncertainty about the future of the area. The discussion about its future has been conducted for years by the five parties involved, who are all fighting for their own interests.
As young, beginning documentary makers, we do not have a large budget. All trips to Maastricht, the overnight stays, camera and audio equipment and post-production simply cost money. In addition, we want our documentary to be screened at international film festivals, which requires a registration fee. Your donation can help The backyard of Maastricht go all over the world!
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