"We are, as a species,

addicted to story.

Even when the body goes to sleep,

the mind stays up all night,

telling itself stories.

Let's celebrate ourselves

as storytelling animals.”

- John Gottschall

Storytelling is inextricably linked to being human. As an 11-year-old boy, I wrote my first sort-of-book, which carried the all-encompassing title 'Africa'. I described the romantic image I had of the continent and fantasized about all the life that took place there. The Tintin-level was sky-high, the storyteller in me was awakened.


In 2010, I set out to make my first documentary film. Framing the Other, a film about the invasion of tourists at a tribe in southern Ethiopia. I indulged in this adventure without a degree in film, it was simply a story that had to be told in a visual way. And with success: the film was screened at over a hundred film festivals worldwide and received multiple awards.


Ever since I craft documentaries, (travel) reports and journalistic programs for various national and regional Dutch broadcasters. In addition, I also create corporate films for companies and NGO's whose vision I share.

I specialised in all facets of filmmaking. From directing to interviewing, from scriptwriting to editing, from camera to sound. I also own my own professional filming equipment.


Besides filmmaking, I have ample work experience in the development sector. As a communication designer at Butterfly Works I design social campaigns, educational materials and (new) media forms for development organizations. I also train local media professionals in various African and Asian countries in storytelling and technical skills.

In filmmaking, I translate big themes and complex issues into visual personal stories. By means of a show-don't tell approach, I always try to take the viewer into a world or a view that was previously unknown. I also believe in the power of the personal, the small, the intimate. Personal stories of individuals have the power to move, to stick, or to leave an uncomfortable feeling. This is what has the power to make a real change.


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© 2020 Willem Timmers