Lionel Goldstein is the pseudonym for Belgian directing team Koen Mortier and Joe Vanhoutteghem, co-founders of Czar Brussels.
In 2001, Koen and Joe decided to have Lionel follow a path that was different from the directing careers that each of them had established individually. With the absurd, near documentary style that they adopt, Lionel almost immediately won international acclaim.
In 2002, 2003 and 2005, Lionel won Gold at the Cannes Lions festival for, respectively, the Frisk and XBOX campaigns for Wieden+Kennedy London and BBH London and the Axion ’Braille’ commercial for Duval Guillaume Brussels.
In November 2003 Lionel was awarded the BAFTA for Best Director, which is the highest achievement for a commercial director Helming spots for Axe, Nike and steering the launch campaign for the Nissan Qashqai, Lionel’s reel has grown to encompass a range of comedy styles that belie an insightful focus on character, tone and setting.
After completing his film studies at RITS in Brussels, Koen made several short films, the last of which, 'A Hard Day's Work', won several international prizes. In 1999 he established Czar in Brussels with fellow director Joe Vanhoutteghem.
Besides advertising Koen has made two feature films: ‘Ex Drummer’ (2007) and ‘22nd of May’ (2010). Both were selected for international festivals and won several prizes. Koen has worked for clients including Eneco, Jupiler, Leroy Merlin and TNT for whom he directed the ‘Push to add Drama’ viral campaign, earning him a Gold Lion amongst many other awards.
Lieven Van Baelen's first step into advertising was as a telecine operator and he quickly became one of Belgium’s leading colour graders. The next step was working as a director of photography for a series of commercials and music videos. Occasionally he still works as a DOP on his own projects.
He started out with the production of his short feature film ‘The Thread’ in 1999 and went on to win several international awards for the direction of his early commercial for Dexia ‘Club Brugge’, including a Eurobest Award and a Gold CCB (Belgian Art Director’s Club). He kept on evolving in his work and has directed for major international brands such as Heineken, Grolsch, Canon, Coca-Cola, Nissan, Renault & Ikea.
Raf Wathion started out making eye catching and original idents (both as an animator and director) for Belgian TV.
In 1988 he took his first steps into commercials and quickly became a valued member of the Belgian commercial scene. From the very beginning he chose to focus on graphically strong, visual work, winning him a CCB silver award for his public service film ‘Sleeping Pills’.
Over the years Raf has combined his passion for music and visuals and directed a number of pop promos.
In 2008 he concentrated on commercial projects for Inbev, Electrabel and Bacardi and won an APPE award for best European spot as well as the Best Direction award at the 2009 CCB awards (Creative Club of Belgium).
In 2011 Raf won another CCB award for Best Direction with the ‘Crash’ campaign for Samsonite. Most recently Raf finished commercials for Infinity and Ford, both for the international market.