Who are Sébastien Rombout and Valentine Potten, the two Belgian directors of the video clip “ALMANIAX - Hopes & Dreams”?

Sébastien Rombout's journey into video production comes from a profound passion for cinema that started during his young years. He delved into the craft of filmmaking during early adolescence, driven by an intrinsic desire to weave narratives through visual storytelling. Pursuing studies in graphic design and multimedia creation further fueled his creative ambitions, providing a solid foundation for his future endeavors.

Also passionate about storytelling, particularly in literature, Valentine Potten began writing short stories and novels at an early age, gradually developing her own artistic universe.

In a twist of fate, Sébastien crossed paths with Valentine Potten. Their shared affinity for creativity transformed into a profound partnership, culminating in marriage in 2010.

Together, Sébastien and Valentine embarked on an artistic exploration, learning music and acting. Together with Fiona Rombout and Julien Fierens, they are also part of the musical project ALMANIAX, with Sébastien assuming the role of vocalist and guitarist, and Valentine contributing as the drummer.


Simultaneously, the duo started creating numerous music videos for the metal scene in Belgium (Anwynn/InHuman, Cathubodua, Neverus, Meridian4).

The release of Almaniax's debut EP in 2015 marked a milestone in their artistic journey, accompanied by an ambitious music video for the main track, 'Le Minotaure.'


To present their new album "Out Of Time," the first single, "Hopes & Dreams," was visualized in the form of an ambitious science-fiction music video. The video received a special mention at the EUROPE MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS 2024. 

Music and video production are not Sébastien and Valentine's professions. However, their commitment to crafting compelling narratives and pushing artistic boundaries continues to drive Sébastien and Valentine.



Inspired by the sci-fi classics of the 1980s and 1990s, we sought to capture the magic of those cinematic moments before the era of CGI.


The spaceship set was constructed in the heart of our living room during our free time (evenings and weekends). The film crew comprised the four members of our band, alongside three friends who shared our vision. To give you some examples: the miniature spaceship itself was ingeniously repurposed from a shampoo bottle, and our space suit was born from the transformation of a judo kimono.

Despite the constraint of budget, our commitment to delivering a high-quality visual experience never wavered. We passionately believe that limitations can spark creativity, and in this case, they led to the birth of "Hopes & Dreams."

"Hopes & Dreams" is a testament to the idea that passion, resourcefulness, and a shared dream can overcome any financial constraints.



The song "Hopes & Dreams" tells the story of a man who learns he only has three months left to live and must reevaluate his existence. We didn't want to tell this story literally by showing a sick man in a hospital. Instead, we sought a more visually ambitious approach and came up with the idea of a space journey.

The crew of a spaceship, confined in the void of space, learns following an incident that they only have three months left to live. We wanted to tell the same story but with added suspense and adventure.


We also embraced the idea of narrating the stories of those who don't succeed, those who struggle to find their way to survival. In storytelling, there's often pressure to ensure a happy ending, but we believe that stories accompany individuals through life. Characters become like friends with whom you share moments. Therefore, it's important to include sad narratives as well because life isn't always a celebration.




Share a humorous moment from filming, what's the funniest thing that happened to you?

Having a spaceship corridor set in the middle of his living room inevitably leads to humorous situations. Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when Valentine, working from home, had to make calls with colleagues via Skype but had science fiction sets in the background.

Tell us more about the music scene in Belgium, what are its positive and negative aspects? How are you succeeding in making a mark in your country?

The music scene in Belgium, particularly within the rock and metal genres in which we operate, pulsates with an abundance of passionate and talented individuals. The biggest challenge is the lack of resources. This scene consists of passionate people, but few bands have the opportunity to make a living solely from their music. Even with the involvement of labels or record companies, bands often find themselves shouldering the financial burden of their project.

Therefore, it requires extreme creativity to create magnificent visuals and tell memorable stories with very limited budgets. Collaborating within this community is a deeply rewarding experience. Within this ecosystem, bands and artists often possess a unique universe to defend, adding depth and authenticity to their creative endeavors.

Our approach has been one of resilience and adaptability. By leveraging our collective ingenuity and passion, we always try to create impactful visual narratives that resonate with the audience.


What are your visions for the future, what milestones would you like to achieve?

In terms of our future aspirations, our immediate focus centers around the promotion of our latest album, 'Out Of Time,' with our band Almaniax. This album represents over five years of dedicated effort, crafting every facet of its creation—from composition and writing to arrangement, recording, and the development of a cohesive visual universe. We are genuinely thrilled to finally unveil this labor of love and share the culmination of our creative journey with our audience.

Looking ahead, we have ambitious visions for the continued evolution of our musical and visual storytelling endeavors. Given the opportunity and resources, we aspire to expand our creative horizons by producing additional music videos for select tracks from the album. These projects serve as a platform for us to further immerse audiences in a rich visual universe that complements and enhances the sonic experience of our music.


Why would you recommend audiovisual festivals to musicians?

Audiovisual festivals offer musicians a valuable platform to showcase their work and engage with a diverse community of industry professionals and enthusiasts, offering invaluable perspectives that can contribute to their growth and development.

Moreover, the recognition given to artists at such festivals serve to amplify their visibility and credibility within the industry. In an era where digital platforms are saturated with a multitude of content, standing out from the noise can be a daunting challenge. However, receiving awards or recognition at audiovisual festivals elevates an artist's work.

Furthermore, participation in international ceremonies give artists the opportunity to transcend geographical and cultural boundaries, resonating with audiences across diverse demographics and promoting connections that transcend borders.