Dr Biermans, a true story

This is the story of a Dutch self-made man (1864-1953) who, starting from nothing, managed to show his abilities as an entrepreneur and proved to be a great advocate of social welfare in Canada.
He was first hired in 1890, on the construction of the first railway line of the Congo under Leopold II, king of the Belgians, before being sent to Canada in 1900 in Shawinigan to set up a paper mill, the Belgo, which will become the first pulp mill in the world.
A philanthropist, he was involved in helping people by financing health and education. With his wife, Berthe Lapôtre, he built the Biermans-Lapôtre Foundation at the Cité Universitaire in Paris to help house students. He financed the Laval University in Quebec City and the University of Montreal as well as numerous charitable institutions in Belgium, France and Monaco where he founded the Monegasque Red Cross.

  • Olivier vandersleyen
  • martine degreef merckx laroy
  • Olivier vandersleyen
  • Jean Chrétien
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 14, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    45,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Belgium, Canada, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, France, Monaco, Netherlands
  • Language:
    Dutch, French
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Olivier vandersleyen

Olivier VANDERSLEYEN has been a professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels (ENSAV) in La Cambre, Brussels, since 1979. He is a member of the Belgian and European press corps, and as cameraman, has covered events such as the fall of the Wall in Germany, the war in former-Yugoslavia and the conflict in Northern Ireland for the major TV broadcasters. He is a graduate of INSAS (Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle et des Techniques de Diffusion ) Brussels. He began his career in France, at FR3, as well as at France Inter, France Culture and Sud Radio. He produces and directs documentaries on industrial heritage such as « Greenhouse Effects » , « Mad about Hats » , « Arthur Brancart and the Marbrite » or « Dr Biermans, a True Story » as well as on archeological heritage : « The Tempest Stela » or on art : « Lost from Sight ». The narrative is based on proven facts and documents that attest to them. The images are always a reflection of reality. There are never invented movie sequences that can be misleading. Sources are always cross-checked and information verified. Experts are given the floor with their own voice and express their opinions freely.

Add Director Biography