a film by John Appel

Once the Dust Settles (English Trailer)

Once the Dust Settles (Dutch Trailer)

Three places destroyed by a major disaster: Amatrice in central Italy by an earthquake, Chernobyl in Ukraine by a nuclear catastrophe and Aleppo by war. Once the Dust Settles shows what happens when the dust has settled and the camera crews have left. The film centers around the evocative stories of survivors who are trying to rebuild their lives, against the background of emerging disaster tourism in poignant locations. A cinematic triptych about dealing with disaster and mental reconstruction: the only survivor from the control room at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, one of the best tour guides in Syria, and the pastor of Amatrice, once a tourist town, now destroyed beyond recognition.


Amatrice, Chernobyl, Aleppo: three iconic disaster sites from modern history. Amatrice was destroyed in 2016 by an earthquake. Chernobyl witnessed one of the worst nuclear disasters in history in 1986 and in the city of Aleppo people are starting to rebuild the historic centre which was reduced to ruins by the war that broke out in 2011.

Constructed as a cinematic triptych, Once the Dust Settles shows what happens when the dust has settled and the camera crews have left for new catastrophes. The film centers around the evocative stories of survivors who are now trying to rebuild their lives. Their stories are set against the background of the emerging disaster tourism at poignant locations.

Alexei Breus, the only operator from the nuclear plant’s control room to survive, now works as a tour guide at the amusement park which Chernobyl has become. Gina Zobian, one of Syria’s best tour guides, who before the war used to show tourists around the archeological monuments, now waits in Aleppo’s ruined centre for the first tourists to return. And Ama-trice’s pastor and former tour guide Luigi Aquilini now has to face the fact that his town will never be rebuilt.

A film about dealing with disaster and mental reconstruction.

Once the Dust Settles

Written & directed by John Appel
Produced by Carmen Cobos and Kees Rijninks
Photography : Erik van Empel nsc
Editor : Mario Steenbergen nce, John Appel
Sound : Mark Wessner, Mike van der Sluijs
Sound Design : Hugo Dijkstal
Research and Location Manager : Ralf Groothuizen, Sasha Ourikh, Daisy Mohr, Joseph Bashoura, Fouad al Ali, Lama Kayali
Post-production Supervisor : Rob J Maas
Technical Facilities : Filmmore
Grading : Petro van Leeuwen
Commissioning editor VPRO : Barbara Truyen

‘Once the Dust Settles’ is a COBOS FILMS production in co-production with VPRO
made possible with the support of NPO-fonds, NL Film Fonds, NL Film Fonds Production Incentive, COBO

ISAN 0000-0005-8B18-0000-5-0000-0001-K

Anne Vierhout anne@cinemadelicatessen.nl
Daan Vermeulen daan@cinemadelicatessen.nl
T +31(0)20-4207123

RISE AND SHINE WORLD SALES – International Sales Agent
Stefan Kloos stefan.kloos@riseandshine-berlin.de | +49 172 4030435
T +49(0)30 473729810

COBOS FILMS BV – Production company
Nicolaas Witsenkade 18 D
1017 ZS Amsterdam – NL
Carmen Cobos | E: ccobos@cobosfilms.nl | +31 6 558 558 81
Kees Rijninks | E: kr@euronet.nl | +31 6 502 818 54

The Publicity Company B.V.
Trix van Alphen trix@publicy.nl | +31 20 6127000



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