Noord Oost Hard West / North East Hard West

A film by

the Netherlands | 24' | 09/2014 | documentary

The film tells the story of young kickboxers from Amsterdam West. In a splintered narration, without fixing on one single central character, sport is portrayed as both an educator and a means to escape from a neighbourhood flooded with bad temptations.

Central to the story is a kick-box gym, located in an old school building centred in the area of Amsterdam West, and surrounded by a neighbourhood that is best known for its aggressive growth of criminality. The gym has become a refuge for loitering boys. In the gym these boys undergo a rigorous, and sometimes almost a Spartan-like, training. Through narration from the perspective of the boys, an intimate image is created of the group’s process and the trainers’ role as mentors.

Uninhibited, the separate scenes tell of group culture, violence, and a way for the boys to be acknowledged for who they are. The harsh lessons from the trainers inside the gym compete with the temptations outside. The world of the streets and the world of the gym are face to face with each other, and it is the world of the kick-box gym to win in order for the boys not to fall into the pitfalls of streets.

Bart van den Aardweg


Bart van den Aardweg (1984) grew up in a creative environment in Amsterdam, with his mother as an artist and his father as a graphic designer. His early interests were painting and theatre. Several years followed of wandering and a wide array of different occupations, for example the military, before Bart returned to the diversity of “images”. Through an internship of television-making, which is linked to the Media Academy, the first steps toward making documentaries were taken. Together with Jos van Mieghem, he made a portrait of Eddy De Clercq, the founder of the Roxy. This documentary likewise became his admission video for the Film Academy. Seized by a turbulent world, documentaries provide a good way to get a grip on and to learn lessons from that which this turbulent world has to offer. In the quest for humanity in a world that sometimes seems to resemble a battlefield inspiration is endless.


  • Parelwit / Pearl White – 2012 – 8’
  • De Nacht die niet van Ons Was / The Night that was not Ours – 2013 – 18’
  • Noord Oost Hard West / North East Hard West – 2014 – 24’
  • Vanaf Nu / From Now On – 2014 – 48’
Square Eyes -


Director: Bart van den Aardweg
Producer: Michelle Hoekstra
Line Producer: Nanda van Aalst
Cinematographer: Antonio Martínez Urbina
Sound: Kamila Wójcik
Editor: Berend Boneschansker
Composer: Lucas Malec
Sound Mixage: Tijn Hazen


  • Netherlands Film Festival, the Netherlands (24 September – 3 October, 2014)
    Student Competition Won: WildCard
  • SCENECS International Debut Festival, the Netherlands (4 – 9 November 2014)
    Debut competition Won: Best documentary
  • International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima, Poland (21 – 27 November, 2014)
  • Mecal – Festival International of Short Film and Animation, Spain (11 March – 19 April, 2015)
    Documentary Competition
  • International Sports Film Festival Amsterdam, the Netherlands (17 – 19 April, 2015)
    Out of Competition
  • Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival, Germany (22 – 26 April, 2015)
    International Competition
  • Fest München, Germany (7 – 14 May, 2014)
    International Competition
  • Sheffield Doc/Fest, United Kingdom (5 – 10 June, 2015)
    Short Docs
  • FEST – New Directors/New Films Festival (22 – 29 June, 2015)
    Short Documentary Competition
  • InTe Cinema Festival, Italy (11 – 13 September, 2015)
    Official Selection Won: Best Documentary
  • Vilnius International Short Film Festival, Lithuania (7 – 11 October, 2015)
    International Competition
  • Curta Cinema – Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival, Brazil (4 – 11 November, 2015)
    International Competition
  • Sichuan TV Festival, China (6 – 8 November, 2015)
    International “Gold Panda” Awards for Students Won: Best Photography for Documentary
  • In The Palace – International Short Film Festival, Bulgaria (8 – 13 December, 2015)
    Official Selection
  • WE Film Festival, the Netherlands (28 – 30 April, 2016)