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Families wanted for documentary 'Aan de Zijlijn'

We are looking for families who will be followed for a longer period of time for the documentary "Aan de Zijlijn" (‘On the sidelines’), about the impact of a child with cancer on a family. How does a child being seriously ill affect the family, the people on the sidelines; the parents, brothers and sisters? And what does this mean for relationships within the family? 

What is "Aan de Zijlijn" about
"On the Sidelines" is a documentary about the emotional impact a child with cancer has on the rest of the family. There are more and more stories out there about children with cancer and their doctors. But what is the impact on the family "on the sidelines"? "On the Sidelines" will show the influence of cancer on the people on that sideline: the parents, brothers and sisters. And what this means for relationships within the family.

In the film, five families will be followed for about a year. Every family deals differently with a child's illness on an emotional level, also prompted by a different social or religious background. And these differences have an effect on how the sick children themselves deal with their stay in hospital.

Hopefully the documentary will contribute to a better understanding of the pressure which parents and siblings face. And it aims to make clear how much they benefit from support and understanding from their social environment, their employer and school.


Where will filming take place
The film is partly filmed in the Princess Máxima Center and partly at the family home. When the child is in the Máxima, the parent who stays at home and the other children in the family are filmed while their life goes on. Interviews with the parents are part of the documentary. Of course, filming will only take place if there is permission from all involved. At no time will the filmmakers work against what people want or are comfortable with. Parents who decide to cooperate can also withdraw at any time. Doctors, nurses and other practitioners are kept out of the picture as much as possible.


Who are we looking for?
We are looking for five families. Families who are followed over a longer period and whose child (aged up to 13 years) is still being treated at the Máxima. We would like to try to follow at least two families from the very beginning (just after diagnosis); the other families can already be a bit further along in the disease process.


How did the idea come about?
In November 2017, the documentary “Pilotenmasker” ("Pilot Mask"), about children with cancer, premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). A gripping documentary in which the world and perspective of sick children was chosen. The film was a collaboration between the broadcaster, EO, producer De Haaien, director Simonka de Jong and the Princess Máxima Center, where the film was shot. "On the Sidelines" is a sequel to this documentary, this time focusing on the family members who are "on the sidelines".


Who is the director?
In her documentaries, Simonka de Jong often focuses on the power of family relationships. In addition to the documentary "Pilot Mask", she previously made the award-winning documentary "The Only Son" and the documentary for talk show De Wereld Draait Door "Dit is de Leven". Her documentaries can be viewed on 2doc.nl.


Who is the producer?
The documentary is produced by De Haaien. They aim to reach a wide audience with their programs and documentaries by telling small, human stories that point to bigger themes. These stories have a clear social relevance and show worlds that aren’t always easily accessible by viewers.

Among others, De Haaien has produced series such as: ‘De wereld van de Chinezen‘ ("The World of the Chinese", VPRO), "De Amazone" (‘The Amazon’, BNNVARA), "Change your Mind" (Human), “Alleen in Geleen” ("Only in Geleen", Human). And also the documentaries "Pilot Mask" (EO), “Maxima, de pleitbezorger ("Maxima, the Advocate", NTR), and "Kuyt" (BNNVARA).


How can you sign up?
Are you interested or would you like more information? Send an email to ouders@prinsesmaximacentrum.nl.