T(w)o Work / Weg Naar Werk

a series by Annabel Verbeke, Farah Kassem, Nico Forero, Atsushi Kuwayama, Eka Tsotsoria, Zeina Al Qahwaji, Setareh Samavi
In production
6 non-European director follow in the footsteps of young migrants and their long-term struggle to find a proper job.

This project depicts the journey of young migrants in their struggle to find a job fitting their ambitions. In their search they receive assistance from experienced locals. Managed by a social organization, a job-seeking migrant (mentee) is linked to an experienced local (mentor). The series depicts several mentorships from the very first meeting until both parties agree they have reached the finish. During this average period of 6 months, both mentor and mentee would face a huge variety of personal, social and cultural challenges in their quest for a new and desired job.

The stories will be told through the lens of 6 non-European filmmakers. Their personal, innovative and cinematic approach will create a fresh and self-confronting view on our society. From this creative perspective, the series will look at our society as we know it today in an open, positive and exceedingly modern way and explore several socially relevant themes by immersing the viewer into the world the characters live in, their personal stories, their doubts, the changes in their world view. This way, the duo’s joint job search will provide the viewer with a special look into the current state of affairs in our society: how we look at each other, what expectations we have and how we define one another. T(W)O WORK is not just about immigration, it aims to explore the search for identity of all human individuals.

About the director

Annabel Verbeke (1987, Belgium) graduated Cum Laude at RITCS Film School in Brussels in 2010. Her graduation film “Les enfants de la mer/mère” won 8 international awards and was selected by more than 20 international film festivals. Her first feature length documentary “We will remember them”, was closing film of Visions du Réel 2019 and the most viewed documentary on Belgian broadcaster VRT-Canvas.

Annabel likes to explore humanity in her work, telling strong and relevant stories from individual characters, stories that reflect on ourselves and the society were living in. With this project Annabel is wondering why migrants are coldly considered as a group (often with an emphasis on their ‘numbers’), while their individual personalities, stories, talents and ambitions are largely ignored. Annabel is interested in strong and personal stories facing different challenges in their search for work. Stories that make blow some fresh air in the current social debate

Farah Kassem (1988, Lebanon) Ever-since she left Belgium after finishing her studies, Farah feels shattered between different places. She struggles to find a place to call home. She enjoys being in Lebanon, but settling there for-ever? No, after having travelled the world, she feel her place is somewhere out there. Where exactly is still undefined. Meanwhile she likes the freedom to travel and move around, a desire which is far from appreciated by many countries. Visas and their applications are her worst nightmare.

Zeinah Alqahwaji (1986, Syria) Zeina studied several years abroad. because those places felt much safer than her home town Damascus, she always encountered a strange kind of homesickness. As if she got used to the war. At the same time, many people abroad were doubting if she would go back to Damascus. Yes, she would, because it is her home. These feelings created an urge to observe her surrounding world and telling stories about migration

Nico Forero (1984, Colombia) Nico moved abroad for the first time at the age of 21, looking for fresh opportunities. He went to the US and worked on an island in Lake Erie in a laundromat. While steaming blankets and tablecloths he explored, the surroundings and tried to pick up the language as fast as he could. It was an intense, eye-opening and soul-expanding experience. It showed him how different the world was beyond the borders where he happened to be born, and made him aware of the complex power dynamics that migration implies.

Atsushi Kuwayama (1986, Japan) From early childhood on, Sushi felt he was a kind of an outsider. His definitions of life, home and society never exactly fit his family, community, school, work and country. His many travels and experiences fed his urge to explore and understand the world and to find an answer to his persistent question, where he would finally feel not far from home.

Eka Tsotoria (1989, Georgia) During her childhood, she learnt early to map her dreams and professional ambitions within the geographic limits of the country. As a child she often witnessed highly educated, intelligent people from Georgia, migrating to Europe to take jobs like cleaning or care-taking, in order to survive the financial hardship of Georgia.


written by 
Annabel Verbeke

directed by
Annabel Verbeke
Farah Kassem
Nico Forero
Atsushi Kuwayama
Eka Tsotsoria
Zeina Al Qahwaji
Setareh Samavi

original music by
Jef Neve

Edited by
Tom Denoyette
Thomas Baudour
Jan De Coster
Simon Arazi


Awards & festivals

Belgian Premiere at MOOOV festival
Brugge, Beringen, Turnhout

Production Details

an Off World production

in co-production with
VRT - Canvas
RTBF - Documentaires

with the support from
Flanders Audivisual Fund (VAF | Media)
BNP Parisbas Fortis Film Fund
the Belgian Federal Government Tax Shelter
the Belgian Development Cooperation

Developed at Esodoc 2019