"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. Apparently it is inextricably linked to being human. And I can only agree. 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 form. And with success: the film was screened at over eighty film festivals worldwide and received multiple awards. The bar was set high.


Since then I craft documentaries, (travel) reports and journalistic programs for various national and regional Dutch broadcasters. In doing so, I often work together with production house

Copper Views. In addition, I also create corporate films for companies and organisations whose vision I share. They usually happen to be NGO's.

I specialised in all facets of filmmaking. From directing to interviewing, from scriptwriting to editing, from camera to sound. I own my own equipment, but I don't mind laying my hands on other people's cameras either.


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 try to translate big themes and complex issues such as globalisation, inequality, imagery and sustainability into visual 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. In its narration, I 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. It is often this inconvenience that has the power to make a real change.


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© 2019 Willem Timmers