It was a big surprise, I was already really honoured to be nominated with such a personal project. When I saw them from the window I called my sister and we had a little freakout moment because I wasn’t dressed yet.
When studying at Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, they talk about finding your identity as a creative. In my last year, I felt that I missed a part of who I am as a person. How could I even know who I am as a creative, without knowing such an important part of my life. So I decided to find out who my father was.
When finding out more about my father, I discovered many things that reminded me of myself. When growing up without my real father I started to wonder what he was like as a child and if there are similarities between the two of us. The seven moments I chose are the moments where I always wondered what he was like at that age. The moments of him being older are the ones that I wished to experience as an adult.
I wrote down a short description of this fictitious person, stating that I didn’t know who he was and that the actors had freedom in how they wanted to portray the character. They weren't aware that the film was about my father - I wanted the actors to have freedom in their acting. Once the project was completed, I told them who they were really portraying - they really liked it and were happy to be part of this journey.
Yes, when researching my father I had the opportunity to meet people who knew him and through this experience I bonded with those people. The project was primarily a journey to find my own identity, so this was always really important to me.
There are many people who have the same problem as me, and many of these people don't want to talk about it. I always felt ashamed for not coming from a stable family and was afraid people would pity me and wouldn’t take me seriously. I learned that opening up to others also creates freedom for yourself and the people around you.
This depends on the project – sometimes I start writing or talking out loud to myself. Other times I just open my laptop and start researching until I'm lost in the internet, that's mostly when the magic happens.
I go to museums and watch a lot of documentaries and films to get inspired. I also sketch a lot to get stuff out of my head. Talking to other creatives also really helps when doing a project, sometimes you think too much about it and other people come into the project with a fresh view which can really help.
Trust your own intuition – which sounds corny but it really helps me.
Yes, right now I'm working on a really cool project that I think is really important for society to know more about. I’m currently working as a film Creative at MediaMonks and really love to do personal projects next to my job.