On the Roof Film Festival 2017

Films that will change the way you view the world. Come and join us at the On The Roof Film Festival (OTR), which will take place on the roof of VU Amsterdam from 5 to 8 September 2017.

Sustainable edition

For four evenings the latest films from world cinema will be screened in the open air, with breath-taking panoramic views over the city of Amsterdam. There will be talks by Bas Heijne, Mounir Samuel and others. And, of course, plenty of music, food and drinks. See the full programme.

General programme

17.30 Roof open, food served | 19.00 Performance| 19.45 or 20.30 Filmtalk of programme Science for Sustainability | 20.45 Movie | 22.45 End
Films are English spoken or subtitled. Rest of the programme is in Dutch.


Students and members of VUvereniging €7.00, or with food €11.50 | VU staff members €9.50 (with food) | others €12.50, or with food €19.00

Roof open, food served: Vegetarian lasagne with blue cheese, served with a tomato and rucola salad.

19.00 – 19.30
Isaac & Friends
Every day, singer-songwriter Isaac Bullock introduces us to a musical friend. This time it is the American singer Markus Mann who plays soul, neo-soul, funk, rock and folk based on his diverse cultural background.

19.45 – 20.30
Talk show: Science for Sustainability
The VU campus is a place where innovative solutions are being developed and implemented to bring about a more sustainable world - from solar energy to new forms of teaching. Host Marco Visscher talks with a diverse group of university students about what they are doing to achieve innovations. According to Josh Fox, director of the opening film of the On The Roof Film Festival, we all need to develop a 'moral imagination' to realize a sustainable world. But how can we ensure that the climate issue is brought to the attention of as many people as possible - by emphasizing the threat or by being optimistic about the opportunities?

About the speakers:

Marco Visscher is a journalist. He edits Tegengeluid, a fortnightly digital newsletter that includes introductory articles and links to the most challenging and controversial opinion pieces. In 2017, he published his book Ecomodernism: A new way of thinking about the environment and growth in which he and six other journalists address the key ideas of ecomodernism, an emerging school of thought based on pragmatism, a love of nature and free thinking.
Roebyem Anders studied Economics and Political Science at the University of Amsterdam and University College London. In addition to being an author, she is also the co-founder of Sungevity, a supplier of solar panels which combines a mission to help create a cleaner world with the power of local enterprise. Roebyem is also a guest lecturer at VU Amsterdam.
Lisanne Brummelhuis currently works for Sungevity. While studying at VU Amsterdam in 2015, she designed a portable charging point housed in an old ship container that enables mobile devices to be charged. The charging point can also be used as a cooling box and runs on solar power.
Pieter van Beukering is a lecturer in Environmental Economics at the Faculty of Sciences at VU Amsterdam. He won the VU Award for Innovative Teaching in 2015. Pieter is coordinating the theme of Science for Sustainability at VU Amsterdam. 
Josja van der Veer studied Social Geography at the University of Amsterdam. As the director of the VU Corporate Real Estate and Facilities, she is responsible for the implementation of the Sustainable Services (Energy Management) programme on campus.

Hanna_DijkstraHanna Dijkstra studied Environment and Resource Management at VU Amsterdam. She currently works as a junior researcher at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM). She works on various research projects concerning environmental issues, often in collaboration with the WWF Netherlands.

20.45 - 22.45 uur BUYTICKETS
Film How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change 

In this documentary, Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox (Gasland) investigates climate change. He travels across twelve countries spread across every continent of the world. The film shows Josh’s personal take on the ‘greatest threat the world has ever known’. ‘By making this film, we put our trust in the rest of the world. That trust has been returned in the most overwhelming way,’ said Josh Fox in Down to Earth magazine.

Tuesday 5 September: How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t ChangeBUYTICKETS
 In this documentary, Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox looks at the burning issue of today: climate change. Watch the trailer

How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change

Roof open, food served: Veggie paella with fennel, artichoke and peas or paella with chicken, served with a green salad with olives.

19.00 - 19.30
Isaac & Friends
Performance by singer-songwriter Isaac Bullock Kintu, who studied Communication Science at VU Amsterdam. This show-stopping musical talent has performed on numerous stages at VU Amsterdam and in and around the city of Amsterdam.

20.30 - 20.45
Introduction to the film by Bas Heijne 

Bas_HeijneRites of passage are used to mark important transitions in human lives. In many cultures, the transition from childhood to manhood or womanhood is associated with special coming-of-age rituals. They mark the coming of new opportunities and responsibilities in adulthood. Hardly any such rituals exist in the Netherlands any more. But what can we learn from the rituals that still exist in South Africa?
Bas Heijne, columnist for the NRC newspaper and VU Amsterdam Writer in Residence, introduces the film The Wound. He became intrigued by this subject when he was researching the life of Nelson Mandela, who wrote about the ritual in his biography. Heijne’s latest essay - The World Changers, about Ghandi, King and Mandela - will be published in September.


20.45 - 22.15 Film The Wound
An unusually intense film directed by John Trengrove which looks at the anthropological aspects of traditional coming-of-age rituals for boys in South Africa. The traditions of the Ulwaluko specify that boys are circumcised, after which they are confined to a hut for a period of a few weeks. Factory worker Xolani, played by gay rights activist Nakhane Touré, supervises the Ulwaluko ritual. Sixteen-year-old Kwanda from Johannesburg opposes the initiation ritual and he also discovers that Xolani is secretly gay. This ritual has been a topic of discussion since Nelson Mandela wrote about it in his autobiography.
|South Africa, France, Germany, Australia | 2016 | 88’ | in Xhosa | English subtitles

22.15 - 22.45
Discuss the themes raised in the film with Bas Heijne afterwards. What struck you about the film and what appealed to you?

Wednesday 6 September: The Wound BUYTICKETS
An unusually intense film directed by John Trengrove which looks at the anthropological aspects of traditional coming-of-age rituals for boys in South Africa.
Introduction and post-film discussion led by Bas Heijne, columnist for the NRC newspaper and VU Amsterdam Writer in Residence.
Watch the trailer

The Wound

Roof open, food served: Chili made with sweet potato, sweet pepper, kidney beans and chili beans, served with tortilla chips, or with meatballs in tomato sauce. Also served with sour cream, iceberg lettuce and coriander.

19.00 - 19.30
Isaac & Friends
Every day, singer-songwriter Isaac Bullock introduces us to a musical friend. This time it’s Benjamin Fro, an Amsterdam rapper who combines philosophical and socially aware lyrics with dance beats.

20.30 - 20.45
Introduction to the film by Mounir Samuel
Mounir_SamuelIn recent years, many have watched the revolutions and social changes in the Middle East and North Africa with amazement. The film Mawlana shows that the debate about the relationship between state and religion remains a contentious one. What happens when religion, money and power come together to form a dangerous combination?
Mounir Samuel, writer and specialist on the Middle East, talks about the major challenges that Egypt is currently facing. He is fascinated by the social revolutions and minorities issues. In Mosaic of the Revolution he reports on ‘a revolution that affects us all’. He has also recently published a novel, Love is a Rebellious Bird - a story about how everyone carries their own story with them, but few are brave enough to show their true face.

20.45 - 22.45 BUYTICKETS
Film Mawlana
People in Egypt queued outside the cinema to see this political thriller. However, Mawlana was not such a hit with the religious authorities. A young sheikh, Hatem, experiences a rather unusual career change: from Muslim preacher to famous TV personality. He begins to work on a programme in which he answers viewers’ spiritual questions. A witty and eloquent man, Hatem soon becomes popular with a wide audience. But his opposition to fundamentalism attracts the attention of a number of shady characters.
|Egypt | 2016 | 130’ | in Arabic | English subtitles

22.45 - 23.15
Discuss the themes raised in the film with Mounir Samuel afterwards. What struck you about the film and what appealed to you?                                                  

Thursday 7 September Mawlana (The Preacher)BUYTICKETS
A film about a young sheikh, Hatem, who experiences a rather unusual career change from Muslim preacher to famous TV personality.
Introduction and post-film discussion led by Mounir Samuel, writer and Middle East specialist.
Watch the trailer.


Roof open, food served: Beluga lentils & couscous with pumpkin & dried fruits, served with falafel with a yoghurt dip or with a merguez hamburger. Also served with a fresh cucumber salad.

19.00 - 19.30
Isaac & Friends
Every day, singer-songwriter Isaac Bullock introduces us to a musical friend. This time it’s Nathaniel Klumperbeek, a singer and bass guitar virtuoso who plays a mix of Latin rock, reggae and ska.

19.45 - 20.30
Master Class: The Climate Debate in the Netherlands
Climate change is a politically sensitive subject. Why is this? And who can advance the climate debate?
René Leegte, a former Dutch member of parliament, presents a master class on the climate debate and explains how democracy really works behind the scenes. How can young people’s voices be heard, even behind the scenes of the climate lobby? After all, climate change is all about the future - their future.
A student panel chaired by moderator Suzan Doodeman will also give its views in response to the master class. How do they think the political debate should be managed? Who should participate and which issues need to be addressed?

About the speakers:
René Leegte was the VVD’s parliamentary spokesperson on energy and international trade between 2010 and 2015. As a member of the Dutch parliament, René Leegte was involved in issues concerning gas extraction in Groningen. Previously, he worked as a commercial director at AgroFair (a company that sells Max Havelaar-certified sustainable fruit) and environmental and sustainability manager at DHV Consulting and Engineering. He now works for the lobbying organization Publieke Zaken.
Suzan Doodeman studied, among other things, Religious Studies at VU Amsterdam. She is now the co-owner of the firm Hoe Dan Wel. Suzan organizes the traineeship programme SocialStart, a place where young social entrepreneurs and social organizations can work together.
Ruben Boyd studies Artificial Intelligence and is the founder of the student research platform De Focus.
Neele van den Bongardt studies Environment & Resource Management and is the manager of the Green Office at VU Amsterdam.
Ergün Çelik studies Pharmaceutical Sciences and is active in the debate platform IDEA NL.
20.45 - 22.30BUYTICKETS
Film Newton
This cynical political comedy is a parody of democracy in India. Newton Kumar, a young official, is put in charge of a polling station for 76 voters in the remote area of Chhattisgarh in central India. For years, this conflict-ridden jungle region has been plagued by regular skirmishes between the Indian army and communist guerrillas. Despite the far from ideal circumstances, Newton is determined to do a good job, but his attitude irritates Atma Singh, the local army commander. This, and the fact that the local population takes zero interest in the election, results in a number of outlandish situations in this humorous film by Amit Masurkar.
|India | 2017 | 106’ | in Hindi | English subtitles

Friday 8 September Newton BUYTICKETS
An Indian political comedy about Newton, a young official, is put in charge of a polling in a remote area of central India. Additional information


Campagne Green Office VU: Water and You
GO_waterCampagne Green Office VU: Reduce your Water Footprint
Green Office will be present every day of The On The Roof Filmfestival in de central hall of the main building with a campagne to reduce your daily use of water.Water scarcity is a growing problem. And what is your daily use of water - not just directly, but also hidden in the products you use? The Green Office VU invites the VU community to measure your water footprint, learn about the problem and solutions and how you can decrease your own impact. And because it's the beginning of the (academic) year, it's time to make new year's resolutions: how are you going to reduce your water use the next year? Make a promise and be rewarded with a gift.


Monday 4 September

14.15 - 16.30
Opening of the Academic Year, VU Amsterdam
What can science do to help?
‘The new government must pursue a clear, long-term climate policy.’
That was the message delivered by the leaders of the Dutch business community after a three-day expedition to the Arctic. The trip was organized by documentary maker Bernice Notenboom. She managed to convince these leading members of the business community of the urgency of this problem by arranging for them to see the melting polar ice cap with their own eyes.
And what can scientists learn from Bernice Notenboom? How can they ensure that everyone grasps the true urgency of global warming? And might these lessons also be applicable to other major social issues involving science?
Bernice Notenboom, Bas Heijne, the unversity’s Writer in Residence, and Jaap Winter, President of the Executive Board, will address this question during the opening of the new academic year. In addition, the British writer and religious scholar Karen Armstrong will receive an honorary doctorate for her compassionate contribution to the debate about the position of different religions in society. The StudenTalent Award will also be presented to a VU Amsterdam student who has distinguished himself/herself in intellectual and social terms. Additional information: vu.nl/oaj

Location: Aula, Main Building, VU Amsterdam
Registration is not required.

18.00 - 20.30 
Film debat: Before the flood
Imagine that you could see what will really happen to the planet as a result of climate change... Would you want to know? In Before the Flood by National Geographic, actor Leonardo DiCaprio travels to five different continents and the Arctic as UN peace envoy, where he finds out about climate change for himself. He goes on an expedition with scientists who look at the reality of climate change and meets politicians who are fighting the lack of action on the issue. But that's not all: DiCaprio also investigates the misleading campaigns organized by powerful interest groups in an effort to make the public doubt the urgency of the global climate crisis. With unprecedented access to world leaders, DiCaprio goes in search of hope in an era of increasingly disastrous news. 
A special screening of Before the Flood for all students of sustainability studies at VU Amsterdam. Afterwards, there will be a discussion chaired by Marjan Minnesma (Director of Urgenda) and Pieter van Beukering (VU Institute for Environmental Studies). How can we provide leadership on sustainable development?

The film and debate are both in English.
Registration is not required
Location: KC07, Main Building, VU Amsterdam
Tuesday 5 September

12:30 - 14:30
Opening exhibition, Whole Earth

The Whole Earth photo exhibition, which has been designed especially for universities and is touring the whole globe, will visit VU Amsterdam, marking the first time the exhibition has come to the Netherlands. The exhibition is designed to explore the question of how we can find sustainable solutions to problems such as climate change and to open up the debate about our future. Students and their teachers from all academic disciplines are challenged to deploy their talents to develop a global agenda for a sustainable world.
The exhibition will be opened by Mark Edwards, the creator of the exhibition.

12.30 - 12.40               Walk-in, lunch buffet in the Basket
12.40 - 12.50               Welcome - Guus Schreiber (dean Faculty of Sciences)
12.50 - 13.40               Speech - Mark Edwards, Whole Earth artist, in Aurora room Main Building
13.40 - 13.45               Closing - Neele van den Bongardt (Green Office VU)
13.45 - 14.15               Visit exhibition on Campus Square (optional)

Location: Central campus square, VU Amsterdam
Admission: free
Wednesday 6 September

12.45 - 13.30 
Even greener!
Q&A with Jan Terlouw & Roos van Rijswijk
‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ - Ghandi’s famous maxim is probably more relevant today than ever before. Climate change is all about us, and all of us can do something about it - including you! To find out how, come and talk to Jan Terlouw and Roos van Rijswijk about how you can motivate yourself to live more sustainably!
Roos van Rijswijk’s book Nog Groener! (‘Even Greener!’) comes out this week, offering practical tips for a more sustainable lifestyle - everything from smartphone apps to advice on more environmentally friendly travel. Also in the book, former politician and writer Jan Terlouw urges students to take responsibility for the climate. ‘It’s important to understand that this is all about your future - so you need to demonstrate how important the climate issue is to you.’ The Q&A sessions will be presented by Tabitha Saliba, co-founder of the Green Office at VU Amsterdam.
About the guest speakers:

Jan Terlouw is an author and politician. He represented D66 in the Dutch parliament and was Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands between 1981 and 1982. At the end of 2016, he made a remarkable appeal for a more sustainable society on the popular TV programme De Wereld Draait Door, in which he talked about his book Touwtje uit de brievenbus. Earlier this year he returned to the television programme to present a manifesto drawn up and signed by ten political organizations for young people.
Roos van Rijswijk is an author and literary scholar. She is well known for her columns in Ad Valvas and in 2016 she received the Anton Wachter Prize for her debut novel Onheilig. In 2017 she published her latest book Nog groener. Duurzaam door je studententijd, about how students can live their lives more sustainably.
Tabitha Saliba studied Law at VU Amsterdam. In her student days she co-founded the Green Office. Tabitha is now on the list of the top 100 young environmental pioneers in the Netherlands and works for the City of Amsterdam in the field of sustainability. 
Registration is not required
Location: Central Hall, Main Building, VU Amsterdam
Thursday 7 September

13.00 - 14.45
Tour of the VU Energy Centre
Join this unique tour and learn more about VU Amsterdam’s sustainable energy policy. VU Amsterdam’s Coordination Centre for Energy supplies energy for both the VU Campus and the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam Campus. In order to achieve the highest possible level of sustainability, green energy is purchased and innovative technologies are used such as cooling from the Nieuwe Meer (a nearby lake) and storing heat and cold deep in the earth. A brief presentation about the Coordination Centre for Energy will be followed by a tour by the manager.

Registration required by mailing ontheroofff@vu.nl; ‘Registration for Energy Centre Tour’ in the subject line
Meeting point: Desk Central Hall, Main Building, VU Amsterdam
Number of places: 10

Tour of the Botanic Garden Zuidas
Ever wondered where the Botanical Garden of the VU was? And what is growing there? The team of the Botanische Tuin Zuidas invites  you to a tour and shows you the hidden gems of this green oasis of peace and quiet. Do you have any special interests? Let them know and they'll adjust the tour to your needs. Meeting point is the campaign desk in the entrance hall of the main building. Language Dutch.
Registration required by mailing ontheroofff@vu.nl; ‘Registration Botanic Garden Tour’ in the subject.

Meeting point: Desk Central Hall of the Main Building, VU Amsterdam
Number of places: 10-25

Friday 8 September

360° Sustainability Lunch
How do you see sustainability? The student associations and the Green Office are holding a lunch session for students to share their ideas about creating a better and more sustainable world, so that they can understand more about the different perspectives on this issue. If you have some innovative ideas, come and share them! Would you like to contribute, either inside and outside your studies? Then please come, eat with us and talk with us! There will be discussion, presentations and, of course, a sustainable menu.

Location: Roof garden, VU Amsterdam
Register at Green Office
Number of places: 50