Bert Haanstra

Bert Haanstra (Netherlands)

Bert Haanstra was born in 1916 the town of Holten and became a professional filmmaker in 1947. He won international acclaim with his short documentary Spiegel van Holland/ Mirror of Holland for which he received the Grand Prix du court métrage at the Cannes-festival of 1951. During the fifties he made six films for Shell, among others The Rival World (1955) on insects spreading deadly diseases and how to fight them. In 1958 his documentary Glass, a filmic improvisation made in a glassfactory, won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. He directed several fiction films. Fanfare, a comedy situated in a small Dutch village, is still the Netherlands' second most popular film ever (measured at the box office), only surpassed by Paul Verhoevens Turkish Delight. Abroad however, Fanfare was hardly noticed. In several shorts and in long documentaries like Alleman/ The Human Dutch and Stem van het water/ The Voice of the Water Haansta reflected on The Netherlands and its inhabitants. All these films made him one of the most popular filmmakers in the history of Dutch cinema. The documentary Alleman was seen in the cinema by 20 percent of the total Dutch population. In the seventies and eighties Haanstra addressed a new subject. He made several films about animals. In the long documentary Bij de beesten af/ Ape and Super-Ape (1973), for which he collaborated with Frans de Waal and Jane Goodall, among others, he compared the behavior of animals and human beings. In total Haanstra received close to a hundred awards. He died in 1997 in the town of Hilversum.


De muiderkring Herleeft/ The Muider Group Revived (Netherlands, 1948)
Spiegel van Holland/ Mirror of Holland (10´, Netherlands, 1950)
Boer Pietersen schoot in de roos (19´, Netherlands, 1950)
Nederlandse Beeldhouwkunst tijdens de late Middeleeuwen/ Medieval Dutch Sculpture (Netherlands, 1951)
Panta Rhei (Netherlands, 1951)
Dijkbouw/ The Dike Builders (Netherlands, 1952)
Ontstaan en Vergaan (Netherlands, 1954)
Het olieveld (Netherlands, 1954)
De opsporing van Aardolie (Netherlands, 1954)
De verkenningsboring (Netherlands, 1954)
Strijd zonder einde/ The Rival World (Netherlands/UK, 1955)
En de zee was niet meer (Netherlands, 1955)
God Shiva (Netherlands, 1955)
Rembrandt, schilder van de mens (20´, Netherlands, 1957)
Over glas gesproken (Netherlands, 1958)
Glas/ Glass (11´, Netherlands, 1958)
Fanfare (93´, Netherlands, 1958)
De zaak M.P./ The M.P. Case (92´, Netherlands, 1960)
Delta Phase I (Netherlands, 1962)
Zoo (10´, Netherlands, 1962)
Lewis Mumford on the City, Part 2: The City - Cars or People? (28´, Canada, 1963)
Alleman/ The Human Dutch (90´, Netherlands, 1963)
De stem van het water/ The Voice of the Water (90´, Netherlands, 1966)
Retour Madrid/ Return Ticket to Madrid (Nehterlands, 1967)
Bridges in Holland (Netherlands, 1968)
Bij de beesten af/ Ape and Super-Ape (104´, Netherlands, 1972)
Dokter Pulder zaait papavers/ Doctor Pulder Sows Poppies (105´, Netherlands, 1975)
Nationale Parken... Noodzaak (Netherlands, 1978)
Een pak slaag/ Mr. Slotter's Jubilee (104´, Netherlands, 1979)
Nederland/ The Netherlands (Netherlands, 1983)
Vroeger kon je lachen/ One Could Laugh in Former Days (110´, Netherlands, 1983)
Chimps onder elkaar/ The Family of Chimps (55´, Netherlands, 1984)
Een monument voor een gorilla (53´, Netherlands, 1987)
Kinderen van Ghana (Netherlands, 1988)

Doc Alliance Members

Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.