Year: 2023

Director: Thomas Brand

Playing time: 15 minutes

Language: none

4 November 2023 - 13:00

The beginnings of a mountain landscape can be found in the holloways, forested hillside and marlstone outcrops in Zuid-Limburg. With MERGEL, audiovisual artist Thomas Brand (from Amsterdam) pays tribute to Limburg marlstone and the mysterious landscape of a marlstone quarry. The camera scans the caverns in search of objects that breathe in the dark, a silent journey to the heart of stone and the unexpected light that penetrates within: the veins in the rock, stray stones, the abandonment and signs of life.  

Traditionally, the mountain film has been the quintessential medium for showing hidden and inaccessible places of raw natural beauty to an audience. Like explorers at the turn of the last century, with a small team of colleagues, Thomas Brand spent time in a Zuid-Limburg marlstone quarry, in search of an unknown landscape. The result is a work of art that reproduces the very essence of this special place in a medium somewhere between film and installation art.

Thomas began his career as a theatre lighting designer and in 2019 went to the film academy to study directing. He now works on a diversity of projects which vary from film to installation art, virtual reality and theatre and everything in between. His art projects are meant to provide an experience to his viewers, not to explain anything.  

The film MERGEL was produced in the Curfsgroeve marlstone quarry near Geulhem in Zuid-Limburg and will be premiered in the Kunradersteengoeve (quarry) near Voerendaal during the Dutch Mountain Film Festival.

The film came about under the supervision of Joke Olthaar, director of the film ‘Berg’ and with the support of CineSud and Limburg FilmFonds.


This stone quarry in Voerendaal (near Heerlen) has been in operation since 1902 and is the only open-pit quarry in the Netherlands. Originally used as a quarry and for the production of quicklime, it operates as a business trading in stone. Since 2003 they have been processing and selling Kunradesteen (the local stone) from demolition work. In order to meet demand and to continue building with this local stone, after 44 years, it reopened as a quarry mining stone in an environmentally friendly way


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