How we inspire world-renowned directors to tell the true story of Rotterdam
In the beginning of March we flew in award-winning directors from over the world to show them the real Rotterdam. We wanted to offer them unique insights into what makes this city tick, as well as its’ beautiful and unique locations and its fascinating inhabitants. With the Story Conference organised by HotelRebel we wanted to inspire them so that the Rotterdam, I Love You feature film is truly reflecting this city’s life.
Surrounded by art, architecture and one hell of a view the beautifully decorated loft of the Nhow formed the perfect ambiance for a inspirational weekend full of brainstorms. Going on this creative journey all together, the directors were able to discuss the creation of interconnecting and overlapping story elements, such as recurring characters and locations. The brainstorms guided by British storytelling expert Simon Hodges, were sometimes interrupted by directors rushing to the window to photograph impressive boats floating by on the Maas or the Splashtours ‘amphibian bus,’ which astouned a few of the directors.
During the brainstorms we were honoured with a visit of two special guests. Mayor Aboutaleb held an impressive speech about Rotterdam and his personal drives. Directors asked him all about his experiences and his love for the city. Director Atom Egoyan called Mayor Aboutaleb ‘a beacon of hope.’
The other special guests that was there to inspire the team was world-wide Cities of Love producer Emmanuel Benbihy. As the producer of both Paris je t’aime and New York, I Love You he brought in a ton of knowledge about the production process.
Exclusive Guided Tour
To get to know the city as we know it, the directors were taken on a well currated tour by Rotterdam based location scouts throughout the city, showcasing both the spectacular highlights and the lesser-known areas in town. Driving through Rotterdam in Mama Taxis with historical background stories collected by writer Jelle Simons, they got to know the Rotterdam story.
Private Concert by Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
In the middle of the guided tour we were taken to de Doelen to meet our musical partner Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra treated us with a private concert in the Doelen. The directors were invited on stage to experience the music from within a few metres of the musicians.
To inspire the directors even more with real Rotterdam stories, we’ve presented the outcomes of the #Rotterdamis campaign. Stories that were submitted by ‘real’ Rotterdammers about the city that is their home, were shared with them.
The Nhow Loft
To be able to inspire the directors fully designer Carmen van der Velde was asked to decorate the Loft especialy for the Story Conference. The combination of the furniture by Seventies Design, pictures by Kracht van Rotterdam photographers, flora by Zomers, pinball machines from the Dutch Pinball Museum and the Barrelproof and Pinkyrose bar created a truly inspiring atmosphere for the brainstorms, the press conference and closing party.