Producers NL Film and Studio Freek are working on behalf of VPRO on a new youth series, 'The Freek Tapes' (working title), about the childhood years of Freek Vonk. The famous professor and adventurer has been the most well-known biologist in the Netherlands for years. Freek grew up in Dordrecht, just a stone's throw away from the De Biesbosch nature reserve, where he explored and documented nature with his two best friends, all on VHS tapes, to be precise. In 'The Freek Tapes,' the adult Freek Vonk (played by himself) is ordered by his parents to clean up the attic and sort through his old belongings, where he comes across a moving box filled with old videocassettes containing video material from his youth. In each episode, Freek watches one of those VHS tapes, and the viewer, just like Freek, is drawn into the adventure that the young Freek (played by an actor) experiences.
"This is not only a tremendous honor but above all a wonderful opportunity to show what it's like to be 'different' from the rest. That you shouldn't let your surroundings drive you crazy but should simply follow your own feelings and always be able to be yourself, regardless of what people think of you or say to you. The greatest superpower you have is belief in yourself. Never let others chip away at that. We are all equal, with our own unique stories in the making. And I can't wait to share my story with all of you," says Freek Vonk.
Dennis Cornelisse, Producer at NL Film, says, "After the success of 'De Regels van Floor,' we are really looking forward to returning with a new bold, unique youth series. 'The Freek Tapes' not only takes viewers on a journey through Freek's youth but also serves as inspiration for young people to follow their own unique path. We are ready to bring this adventure to life together with Studio Freek, VPRO, and the amazing creatives from 'De Regels van Floor.'"
'The Freek Tapes' consists of 16 episodes of approximately 10 minutes each. Each episode addresses a framed problem for which nature has a specific solution. The common thread throughout the series is the comparison between human and animal behavior. It explores how humans can learn from animals but also how they differ significantly from each other. Each episode focuses on a specific animal, behavior, or theme, such as 'The Busy Bee,' 'The Mating Dance,' or 'As Proud as a Peacock.'