Leonard Retel Helmrich (Netherlands)

Leonard Retel Helmrich is a Dutch filmmaker who worked as a drama director and cameraman in the Netherlands before going to Indonesia to make a series of documentaries that have won awards world wide. His most famous film Shape Of The Moon won Best Documentary in the World Docs Competition at Sundance 2005 as well as at the International Documentary Film festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in 2004. Leonard developed a theoretical perspective for his work as well as a practical technique for an approach that he calls 'single shot cinema', involving long takes with a constantly moving camera. He has also designed a special camera mount that allows extraordinary stability and maneuverability in shooting.
Having spent years designing this technique he now also runs workshops for broadcasters and with filmmakers to share his skills, most recently in Amsterdam, Belgium, Kansas City USA, South Africa, Germany, Indonesia and Sydney Australia. His workshop program is designed for 15 participants and the workshop will run for 3 or 4 days. The workshop is for experienced filmmakers, especially directors who do their own shooting or DOP's planning to move into directing.


  • Het Phoenix mysterie
    93´, Netherlands, 1990
  • Moving Objects
    50´, Netherlands, 1991
  • Jemand auf der Treppe
    50´, Netherlands, 1994
  • The Eye of the Day/ De stand van de zon
    94´, Netherlands, 2001
  • Flight from Heaven
    50´, Netherlands, 2003
  • Stand van de maan/ Shape of the Moon
    92´, Netherlands, 2004
  • Promised Paradise
    52´, Netherlands/Indonesia, 2006
  • Stand van de Sterren/ Position Among the Stars
    115´, Netherlands/Indonesia, 2010
  • Hollandse Nieuwe/Raw Herring
    90', Netherlands, 2013

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.