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

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