HOLGUT (2021)

Links to watch:


The Siberian permafrost is melting. Ancient bones rise up from the ground and wild animals seem to have disappeared. Three Yakutians venture into the vast wilderness on different quests. Villager Roman and city boy Kyym hunt for a rare reindeer while not so far away, scientist Semyon scourges the permafrost for a viable cell of the mammoth, which he needs to clone the extinct animal. In the midst of an ongoing mass-extinction of fauna and flora, of a Siberian Ivory Rush, and at the dawn of de-extinction, a contemporary myth unfolds. While Roman, Kyym and Semyon close in on their goals, both the frozen earth that they walk on and reality itself melt into another state. HOLGUT boldly combines elements of fiction and documentary and manoeuvrers effortlessly from captivating reality to visual poetry. Down the mammoth-hole, science fiction seems to become reality and reality seems to become myth.


“Holgut is like a prehistoric skeleton, pushed to the surface of the thawing Siberian tundra, both a bearer of mythical meaning and a sign of our current times of climate crisis and transgressive science.”

– Business Doc Europe, Kees Driessen, 16.4.21

“Global warming helped the mammoth go extinct thousands of years ago. Now, global warming is the main reason why bones of the huge creature are re-emerging.”

– Business Doc Europe, Geoffrey Macnab, 15.4.21

 This feature promises to “boldly combine elements of fiction and documentary” and “manoeuvre effortlessly from captivating reality to visual poetry.”

– Cineuropa, Davide Abbatescianni, 15.4.21

“An atmospheric film that blurs the lines between reality and myth, “Holgut” eschews linear storytelling, offering instead a poetic journey where past and present meet.” 

 – Variety, Lise Pederson, 25.4.21

Interview with Liesbeth for AYARKUT: “Simultaneous ping pong with reality and mythology. Interview with Liesbeth De Ceulaer

Links to watch:
Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Belgium, 2021, 75´
Visions du Reel – International Competition & CPH:DOX – NEXT WAVE Competition, DOK.Fest Munich – International Competition, Indie Lisboa, Doku Fest, Asian premiere: Shanghai IFF, Melbourne IDFF, RIDM, Seoul Eco FF, Green Image Japan, MOMA - Earth Screenings, FIDOCS, Tempo IDFF, Green FF San Francisco, Zagreb Dox, Verde Giffoni, AFO Olomouc, Jean Rouch IDFF , FIC Valdivia
Special Mention at CPH:DOX - Next Wave, Best Film at Docville, Special Mention - Beldocs International Competition, Science New Wave Award presented by Warner Media at Imagine Science NYC, Best Cinematography in The World of Knowledge FF Sankt Petersburg, Green Image - Special Jury Award, Jean Rouch FF - Gaia Award, Premio De Cine Socioambiental Award at Guadalajara IFF, Grand Prix at Prague Science FF
World except of Belgium (Dalton Distribution)
Festival & sales

Liesbeth De Ceulaer is a Belgian independent filmmaker based in Brussels, whose films explore the tense and complex relationship between man and his environment.
These cinematic explorations lead us into captivating worlds, in which documentary and fiction are in continuous exchange. The Best Act on the Isle (2008) and Behind the Redwood Curtain (2013) have been shown in Docville (BE, Jury Prize Best Belgian Documentary), Hot Springs DFF (USA), GIFF (KOR) or Ânûû-rû Âboro. Her feature film Victoria premiered in Berlinale and currently holds 9 festival awards.