This year’s edition of the annual training program for emerging Dutch-speaking documentary filmmaking talent, IDFA Project Space NL 2023, kicked off this week. The selection of six documentary film talents will develop their projects under the guidance of experienced filmmakers. As this year’s tutors, IDFA welcomes director/producer Renko Douze and screenwriter/director Beri Shalmashi. Together with guest tutors, these established filmmakers will offer professional guidance to the participants.
Following this several-month training program the participants will present their work to the Dutch public broadcasters during IDFA 2023. An independent jury will select one filmmaker as the winner of the NPO Talent Award—consisting of an incentive prize granted by NPO Fund of up to €25,000 for the further development of the plan.
An international outlook is key to the program again this year. Previous editions featured guest lectures exclusively from the Dutch documentary film world. Since 2021, the workshop has expanded its offer to include multiple program elements from the international IDFA Project Space program. The aim is to offer the participants an international outlook and to provide them with more opportunities at IDFA’s international markets—where filmmakers can connect with colleagues from across the world. During the past week of the on-site international IDFA Project Space program, the participants of IDFA Project Space NL have attended various Filmmaker Talks and screenings, alongside with the international participants.
IDFA Project Space NL 2023 participants: Faydim Ramshe, Jorn Koning, Juul Op den Kamp, Marieke Widlak, Matthijs Vuijk and Richard Hu.
Faydim Ramshe. Photograph by Coen Dijkstra.
Faydim Ramshe, born in Tehran, has always aspired to follow in her father's footsteps, who was a filmmaker and producer in Iran. At the age of eighteen, she made the decision to move to the Netherlands to pursue her artistic studies at the Dutch Film Academy. Upon graduating in 2021, she joined Dutch broadcaster NTR as a commissioner editor. In the same year, Ramshe directed the documentary Yalda: de langste nacht, which explores her bittersweet emotions following her immigration from Iran to the Netherlands, as well as her yearning for a home that can never truly be hers. This personal journey through immigration has granted her a unique perspective and insight into society. She seeks to challenge preconceived notions and foster empathy through her thought-provoking storytelling. With her unique background and talent, she is poised to make a lasting impact in the world of documentary filmmaking.
Jorn Koning. Photograph by Coen Dijkstra.
Jorn Koning has a background in engineering and isn’t the most likely documentary filmmaker. Especially because he exclusively makes portrait documentaries. For him, the most beautiful aspect of the profession is getting emotionally close to the people he portrays. He likes learning about what is on the minds of other people and what they have endured in their lives, whilst sharing his own life story with them. The goal for Jorn is not only to create documentaries, but also to build a strong relationship with his characters.
Juul Op den Kamp. Photograph by Coen Dijkstra.
Juul Op den Kamp graduated from the Netherlands Film Academy in 2014, won the annual producers award directly after graduation and received a Fulbright grant to obtain her master’s degree in documentary directing at Parsons University in New York. There, she founded girlcrewcollective.com with fellow female artists, a platform for stories made by/for female artists. Her latest feature documentary What’s Left about a left-wing party in The Netherlands was recently one of the most streamed documentaries on NPO start. Juul’s work is characterized by a focus on international current affairs and important social issues, set in a ‘magic realist’ cinematic form.
Marieke Widlak. Photograph by Coen Dijkstra.
Marieke Widlak made her debut with the short documentary Now or Never Again and graduated from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. The film received the Wildcard from the Netherlands Film Fund. In 2020, her second short documentary Centen van Knegsel was released as part of Teledoc Campus. With the Wildcard prize money she was awarded in 2018, Marieke made the short documentary CORRIE, which was released in 2022 and celebrated its premiere at the Netherlands Film Festival.
Matthijs Vuijk. Photograph by Coen Dijkstra.
Matthijs Vuijk is a director and artist with a diverse background in photography, film, and virtual reality. After studying photography at the Royal Academy of the Arts in Ghent, Belgium, he pursued a bachelor honors in Film & Television at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Matthijs' collaborative graduation film, Sikelela Tapes (2020), was selected for IDFA. His work revolves around creating captivating worlds through a powerful audiovisual atmosphere, exploring fragmented memory, space, and the emotional impact of societal shifts. Matthijs has been recognized with a Starting Artist stipend from the Dutch Mondriaan Fonds and Netherlands Film Fund for his recent virtual reality project, With the Whole World Crumbling, We Pick this Time to Fall in Love. Currently, he is actively engaged in various cultural initiatives in Johannesburg and Amsterdam.
Richard Hu. Photograph by Coen Dijkstra.
Richard Hu is a Chinese-Dutch filmmaker. With his camera, he tells stories inspired by clashes between Eastern and Western cultures. Graduated from the AKI Art Academy in 2017, he now works as a director, director of photography, and editor—where he further develops his film craft. Together with advertising agencies Wieden+Kennedy and We Are Pi he has won several awards, including his artistic campaign films for IDFA festival. Currently working on his first documentary film about skateboarding.
Tutors: Beri Shalmashi and Renko Douze
Beri Shalmashi is a screenwriter and director, she graduated from the Netherlands Film Academy and obtained her MA from the Utrecht School of the Arts. Shalmashi’s film Mama was nominated for a Gouden Kalf Award and she won the prestigious Zilveren Camera for Storytelling with Big Village. She recently made At the edge of the revolution for VPRO’s Frontlinie, about Kurdistan and Iran. Her feature screenplay Casting Call is currently being filmed. Shalmashi regularly teaches at film schools, works as an interim consultant for the Netherlands Film Fund and managing director at programme agency Avanti.
Renko Douze is a director, producer, writer, and editor. After studying Audiovisual Media at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU), he set up Een van de Jongens production house together with Hasse van Nunen in 2011—which has produced over 25 films. Although very diverse in content and form, all projects have one thing in common: The films are made with a sharp eye and infectious attention. The films have been screened in cinemas and living rooms around the world and have won awards at festivals such as the Berlinale, IDFA, and Full Frame. In addition to his work for Een van de Jongens, Renko is a scriptwriter, director, and editor for documentary films and series, he writes and directs for youth programs such as Het Klokhuis, and works as a guest lecturer at the Netherlands Film Academy and the University of Amsterdam.
IDFA Project Space NL is supported by the NPO Fund