Het Begin van Groeien

‘Het Begin van Groeien’ (The Beginning of Growing) is an experimental short film about growing up and feeling different in an environment where that is not accepted and appreciated. The protagonist of the film gets left behind, even though she tries to change herself for the people around her. Throughout the film, she goes through the motions of learning to accept herself for who she is and eventually braves the road to self-expression with the help of a chosen family. Movement, music, lighting, color and fashion tell a story about the duality of finding your own identity after being told to tone it down or hide your personality from a young age.​​​​​​​
For my last and biggest project at the HKU, I made this short film with my incredibly talented crew and cast. It is a story that is recognizable and therefore very special to all of us. The story is based on my personal experiences growing up with undiagnosed ADHD and just being ‘different’ in general. I had to put on a metaphorical mask every time I wasn’t alone in my room. I had to create many alter egos for different scenarios and different people, just to try and fit in. I never succeeded at that and lost who I was in the process, before I had the chance to even start forming my own identity. The ending is where I feel like I am now: finally surrounded by safe people, ready to figure out life and myself.
​​​​​​​Scroll down for the synopsis and the credits
'Het Begin van Groeien' exhibitions & publications

Interview for the London Director Awards
February 2024
I've been interviewed about my short film 'Het Begin van Groeien' and myself for the London Director Awards. Click here to read the interview.
Midnight Masquerade Art Festival
February 2024
My short film ‘Het Begin van Groeien’ was shown at the Nijverheid during the 'Midnight Masquerade Art Festival', which was organized by Pocket Knife Army with the support of the municipality of Utrecht.
Lift-Off: First-Time Filmmakers
September 2023
My short film ‘Het Begin van Groeien’ is being shown at online film festival Lift-Off: First-Time Filmmakers by Lift-Off Global Network.

Guest Artist 
September 2023
I was invited by No Limits! Art Castle to be a Guest Artist at Sexyland World. I showed my short film ‘Het Begin van Groeien’ accompanied by the installation.

HKU Exposure
June and July 2023
My short film ‘Het Begin van Groeien’ and accompanying multi-media installation were showing at ‘Exposure’, the graduation exhibition of the HKU Bachelor of Fine Art graduates from 2023.

June and July 2023
My short film ‘Het Begin van Groeien’ was projected on the HKU Conservatorium building at Mariaplaats as part of the collaboration project ‘O’, lead by artist Marieke van der Burg, supported by the Light-Up Collective.

Niet te vergeten - publicatie film still
June 2023
A film still of my short film ‘The Beginning of Growing’ is featured with a number of other art works on the front page of the ‘Niet te vergeten’ edition of the BK-informatie Magazine. The film still is also included in the magazine itself.
Film stills from 'Het Begin van Groeien'

‘The Beginning of Growing’ is an experimental short film about growing up and feeling different in an environment where that is not accepted and appreciated.

The film begins with a group of people called ‘the normal ones’, who represent this environment, moving as one living being with each other. The main character of the film suddenly breaks through the group. This is her ‘birth’. She’s different from the normal ones, but she doesn’t notice that. She’s looking around her fascinated, seeing and experiencing the world for the first time. That is, until she gets dragged down by the normal ones, because she seems different and isn’t supposed to stand out. The main character tries to defend herself at first, but she can’t win from the group. When the normal ones have belittled her enough, literally and figuratively, they leave her behind. She realizes she has to change in order to be accepted, which is visualized by the change into the same beige clothes that the normal ones wear. Suppressing herself might be ‘safer’, but it leaves her feeling empty and lonely.

The second act of the film is about wanting to find out who you really are and out different things, but being too afraid to hold onto anything. The main character sits in a grass field covered with beads of different colors and sizes. She begins to make a necklace from these beads, while her outfit is constantly changing. The beads represent different kinds of experiences during her childhood and young adulthood. These are beautiful and happy experiences, but also sad and confusing experiences. Every experience contributes to her development. Once the necklace is done, she examines it, which is an emotionally charged process. Suddenly, she sees a mirror and walks up to it. Sometimes, you need a different perspective to really see yourself for who you are at that moment in time. She slowly begins to accept herself and her past.

Entering the third act, she sees a group of people watching her through the reflection in the mirror. She is startled and recoils. These people are 'the others', a group of friends who are very different from each other, yet very expressive and open-minded. They appreciate each other for who they are. The others are dancing with each other and the leader invites the main character to join them. Even though she’s curious, she feels too overwhelmed. After watching from a safe distance for a while, she gets invited by another group member.
This member is gentler and the main character accepts the invitation. Dancing with the group, she’s experiencing something new: true friendship and acceptance. She feels safe and free for the first time. The film ends with the main character looking empowered and happy into the camera while dancing in the middle of the group.


Director & producer: Sara Roos
Director of Photography: Sierra Bloem

Lead Cast: Victoria Cornelis
Supporting CastErnanda Brandt, Daniëla de Boer, Jim Verhoeven, Eze Kozu, Lois Vecchi, Arwen van Doorn, Gerco Andringa, Maud Bosgra

Gaffer: Shenna Weijers
Best Person: Maryam de Vries
Lighting Assistant: Sire Mane

Choreographer: Mirjam Ravier 
Choreography assistant: Lois Vecchi

Stylist & Hair Dresser: Beak van Vliet
Styling assistant: Esmay van Loenen 
Makeup ArtistsDaniëla de Boer, Marinde Hendriks, Sophie Duinhouwer

Set Designer: Sara Roos
Set Design Assistants: Shenna Weijers, Beau van Rhee, Amy van der Steen, Kim Spaans, Louise Smit, Renske Tiersma

Set production assistants: Lieke Weijenberg, Beau van Rhee
Set assistants: Louise Smit, Amy van der Steen

Editor: Sara Roos
Visual Effects Editor: Jonathan Mechanicus
Composer & Foley Artist: Stijn Rombouts
The second day cast of ‘Het Begin van Groeien’
Video compilation of the ‘Het Begin van Groeien’ installation at HKU 'Exposure'.
‘Het Begin van Groeien’ accompanied by the installation at Sexyland World for my exhibition as Guest Artist for No Limits! Art Castle.
A 'Het Begin van Groeien' film still on the front page of and shown in BK-informatie Magazine 'Niet te vergeten'.

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