Gerard-Jan Claes (born 1966) is a Belgian filmmaker, film director, and producer who has directed and produced several feature films, short films, and documentaries. He is best known for his work on the feature films D'Ardennen (2015), which won the Grand Prix at the Brussels International Film Festival, and Beau Séjour (2017), which won Best TV Series at the International Emmy Awards.
Claes was born in Ghent, Belgium, in 1966 and attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. He began his career as a commercial director in the mid-1990s and soon moved into feature film production. His first feature film, De Bende van Oss (1997), was a crime drama which was nominated for several awards at the Ghent Film Festival. This was followed by the drama Dot (2003), which won several awards at the Flanders International Film Festival, and the documentary Achterland (2006), which was nominated for the Grand Prize at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.
Following this, Claes stepped up to the international stage with the feature film D'Ardennen (2015). The film was a critical and commercial success, winning the Grand Prix at the Brussels International Film Festival. He then wrote and directed the television series Beau Séjour (2017), a supernatural drama which went on to win the Best TV Series award at the International Emmy Awards.
Claes has since returned to feature films, directing the psychological thriller Nachtland (2021), which opened to critical acclaim at the Venice Film Festival. He is currently in post-production on his next feature film, De Verborgen Geschiedenis (2022).
Claes is renowned for his unique visual style and storytelling abilities, as well as his ability to draw out strong performances from his actors. He is known for creating complex, nuanced characters, and his films often grapple with themes of identity, social injustice, and the effects of war. His films have screened in many international festivals and have won numerous awards.
Gerard-Jan Claes is a respected and accomplished filmmaker, having created a body of work that is both critically acclaimed and popular with audiences. His films are known for their originality, strong characters, and powerful storytelling. He continues to be an influential voice in the Belgian film industry, and his work will likely continue to be seen and appreciated for many years to come.