Gerard-Jan Claes (born April 3, 1966) is a Belgian film and television director. He is best known for his work on the critically acclaimed television series, Aanrijding in Moscou (2012) and De Ridder (2014).
Claes was born in Brussels, Belgium, and attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Antwerp. In 1993, he earned his degree in film and television directing from the Royal Academy of Flemish Arts and Sciences.
In 1998, Claes made his feature film debut with the drama Aanrijding in Moscou. The film was a critical success, winning several awards including Best Picture at the Belgian Film Festival. From there, he went on to direct several other television series, including De Ridder (2014), Codenames (2015), and The Pact (2017). He also directed the feature film The White Room (2016).
Claes is known for his visual style, which is often described as “cinematic”. He often uses long takes and minimal dialogue to create a sense of atmosphere and tension. His films often explore themes of violence, morality, and the human condition. Claes also has a strong commitment to socially relevant filmmaking. His work often focuses on characters from marginalized communities and examines the effects of systemic oppression.
In addition to his film and television work, Claes is also a successful theatre director. He has directed several plays at the Royal Flemish Theatre, including the award-winning production of The Tempest (2009).
Claes is considered one of Belgium’s most talented directors. He has been praised for his visual style and his commitment to socially relevant filmmaking. With a career spanning over two decades, Claes is one of the most respected filmmakers in Belgium.