Submarine Channel

What’s in Room 2017?

It’s every director’s nightmare: to return home without your material. This is exactly what happened to director Rob Smits. Find out how he deals with it when finding himself in a room in Taipei with just one tape…

The Story

Wait for the sunset. Turn your lights down low, settle back, grab a drink, and watch Room 2017. Rain is a plus too, because Room 2017 is not a fast-paced, viral doc like our other MiniMovies. Released online in 2008, Room 2017 is an atmospheric, beautifully made and poetic film that needs time to sink in. It’s also contemplative, mysterious and sometimes shocking.

Director Rob Smits went to Venezuela to make a film about the Yanomami, a fierce indian tribe. But he discovers that even in the jungle today it’s all about money, and all but one of his tapes are confiscated by the Venezuelan authorities.

Later in Taipei, Smits finds himself in a state of disorientation, but manages to regain his grip on the project and finish the Minimovie.


About Rob Smits

Rob Smits (1965) has directed a large number of documentaries, mainly for the Dutch networks VPRO and NPS, such as Jungle Rudy: The Chronicles of a Family, Best in Beef, Paradise and Observations in Holland//PUNT NL. Besides director, Rob Smits is also a cinematographer, editor and for most of his films he composes the music as well.
It is only normal then this MiniMovie has a one-man-crew: the original music and editing are by Rob Smits.

About Minimovies

A Minimovie is an episodic documentary consisting of 8 to 10 episodes. Episodes are 7 to 10 minutes each. Put together, they form a self-contained story. With MiniMovies SubmarineChannel explores a new narrative and visual style of documentary filmmaking. You can watch the Minimovies here or simply download them to your digital device of choice.


a Submarine Channel production in collaboration with VPRO Television and Vrij Nederland magazine.


Screening at Nederlands Film Festival 2007



Art After Crisis

The Boy


Artist Profile Series


Tjeerd Veenhoven

Lucas Maassen