New technologies, artistic ingenuity and creative entrepreneurship ensured that this new medium quickly developed into a popular form of entertainment. The film industry was able to grow in part thanks to passionate entrepreneurs such as Jean Desmet (1875–1956), who developed from a fairground owner into one of the most important cinema operators and film distributors in the Netherlands.
Jean Desmet’s dream factory. The adventurous years of film (1907-1916)’ is a tribute to the film entrepreneur Jean Desmet, but above all to the films he screened. The films from the 1920s surprise today’s viewer with their original imagination, their open-mindedness and their inventive use of cinematic means. They are often films with a visual sophistication that makes them artful and modern.
The archive that Jean Desmet left behind is managed by the EYE Film Museum. The Desmet collection not only includes more than nine hundred films, but also many posters, photos and documents. Among the films are masterpieces that were considered lost for decades.