Red Star Line

a series by Daniel Cattier & Fabio Wuytack
Red Star line deconstructs America's past to better understand today

Between 1873 and 1934, the Belgian shipping company Red Star Line transported approximately 2 million migrants from Antwerp to New York.
What makes the Red Star Line unique is that it mainly transported Eastern Europeans to the United States, many of whom were of Jewish origin.
This made Antwerp the main passenger port in Europe at the time.
The documentary series presents a mosaic of human migration stories. Audio tapes containing over 2000 interviews with people testifying on the most important journey of their lives, are kept on Ellis Island, the island just off the coast of New York where migrants would arrive. We visited the descendants of these Red Star Line passengers in America and brought with us the original sound recordings. With them, we discovered why they had left everything they owned, travelled to Antwerp, how the RSL brought them across the ocean to New York, and how they tried to build up a new life on the other side of the ocean.

un film très émouvant - Le Soir

‘Red Star Line’ is een kostbaar geschiedenislesje vermomd als zorgvuldig gemaakte toptelevisie. Eentje dat daarenboven nopend actueel is: elke politiek partij die zijn zegje wil doen over migratie, een term die ondertussen holler klinkt dan een echo in het gat van onze Reetman, weet waar hij de volgende dinsdagen op moet afstemmen. De rest hopelijk ook. - Humo

About the director

Daniel Cattier is a freelance film director. His aim is to tell stories linked with Africa. Through his mixed cultural and linguistic background, his father being Belgian and his mother Zimbabwean, the issue of identity is at the core of his interests. After completing the first cycle of a law degree, he read Politics and History at London University School of Oriental and African Studies. Prior to filmmaking he worked as a Reasearch and Campaign Assistant at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International. He then moved into TV production by working as a Reasercher for documentaries produced for Channel 4, BBC and France 3. Beside his personal projects, he does storyboards and directs corporates, TV programmes as well as commercials.

Fabio Wuytack is a Belgian director who studied at Sint Lukas in Belgium and Manchester Metropolitan University. During his studies, he gained three master degrees: master in Audiovisual Arts (Brussel/Sint Lukas) – Specialisation: Film Direction Documentary, a post degree “Social inclusion through access to the media industries”-programma (Manchester Metropolitan University) and a pedagogical degree/Master in Audiovisual Arts (Ghent/Sint Lukas)The focus of Fabio Wuytack's work lies in both socially and historically relevant subjects, as seen in several of his documentaries. Fabio has made several award-winning documentaries, such as his first movie Made In Italy that tells the story of a 100-year-old movie by the Lumière brothers, and Persona Non Grata, a journey through the life of Fabio's father: Frans Wuytack. His most recent project is Expecting, the story of a couple that escaped their homelands and fell in love and struggle to survive now that they are expecting a child. He is currently working on Red Star Line. He does not limit his talents to the world of film, and explores the world of the arts as well as a sculptor, just like his father.


directed by
Daniel Cattier
Fabio Wuytack

director of photography
Colin Leveque

sound engineer
Jean-Luc Fichefet
Olivier Ronval

edited by
Simon Arazi
Thomas Vandecasteele
Fabio Wuytack
Frederik Nicolai
Marc Carter

written by
Daniel Cattier

voice over
Björn Soenens  

Laure Portier
Michael Oshins

online & photo restaurations
Jo Pascolo

3d animations
Frederik Palmaers
Michael Palmaers 

cut out animations
Dirk Henrotay

photo animations
Serge Lenaers 

map animations
Xander Clerckx
Tom Van Gestel

head of research
Sarah Al Dabaghy

Ingrid Leonard
Clara Van Gompel
Antoine Dauer
Marta Golba
Agnieszka Woszczynska
Marina Ponomarenko
Richard J. Lee
Selm Wenselaers

color grading
Nick Foretemps

online edit
Niels Christensen
Herman Germeys

sound edit
Olivier Mortier
Jean-François Levillain  

sound mix
Olivier Mortier

additional voices
Anne Cohn
John Greene
Christopher Flores
Tom Hoemig

copywriter voice over
Sven De Potter  

post-production manager
Nicolas Bertrand

line producer
Annabella Nezri

production manager
Maarten D'hollander 

production animations
Frederik 'Frits' Dierickx

Eric Goossens
Frederik Nicolai
Samuel Tilman
Marie Besson


Awards & festivals

Broadcaster on
TVP Kultura 
Planete (Poland)
LTV (Letland)
RTS (Slovenia)
Ceska Televize (Czech Republic)
DR (Denmark)
YLE (Finland)
Histoire (France)

Production Details

An Off World production

in coproduction with
Eklektik Productions

in coproduction with
Red Star Line Museum

with the support from the
Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF|MEDIA)
Casakafka Pictures
Ellis Island Museum New York
le Centre du Cinema de la Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles
the Brussels Capital Region and Wallonia
the Tax Shelter of the Federal Government
Creative Europe Programme of the European Community

with the participation of
TVP Kultura (Poland)
Planete (Poland)
LTV (Letland)
RTS (Slovenia)
Ceska Televize (Czech Republic)

Broadcaster on 
DR (Denmark)
YLE (Finland)
Histoire (France)