November 3, 2020

Documentary Canalcups

Unfortunately for many people in Leiden, the Leidens Ontzet of 2020 was passed over by the coronapandemic that made festivities around 3 October impossible. In order to have a feeling of liberation of Leiden, the documentary about Canalcups premiered in October.

The city of Leiden was besieged by the Spaniards during the Eighty Years' War for almost a year, to be liberated by the Geuzen on October 3, 1574. With the Leidens Ontzet (Leiden Relief) the liberation of the Spaniards is celebrated annually on 2 and 3 October. At the 2019 edition, reusable deposit cups were used for the first time on a city-wide level. A switch from disposable plastic cups to deposit cups that had been promised by local politicians for almost twenty years and was supported by the resistance of the two Leiden biologists for a successful introduction.

Canalcups is a film by Alexander Schippers about the resistance of Leiden against disposable plastic cups. The biologists Auke-Florian Hiemstra and Liselotte Rambonnet fished thousands of disposable cups out of the Leiden canal after the Leiden Relief of 2018. Cups that could have reached the North Sea within a day due to the current. The biologists photographed a thousand of the collected cups and placed one on their Instagram (@CanalCups) every day to create support from the municipality of Leiden and Leiden residents for a switch to reusable deposit cups.

About the maker

Alexander Schippers (33) is a photojournalist and videomaker living in Leiden. Since his studies at the School of Journalism in Utrecht, he has worked for almost ten years as a freelance photographer, video journalist, and image editor for various media. He has worked with, among others, NRC media, Nieuwe Revu and ANP. Canalcups is his first documentary.
View his portfolio on

Vrijdag 30 oktober ging de documentaire in première tijdens het Leiden International Film Festival. Na afloop interviewde Senna Matoug van De Collectie Alexander, Auke-Florian en Liselotte over de documentaire.