ILSE & FEMKE VAN VELZEN
Biography of the Directors: Ilse en Femke van Velzen
Identical twins Ilse and Femke van Velzen were born on the 11th of October 1980 in Delft. Both chose to study Cultural and Social Development, one in Utrecht, the other in Amsterdam. It was in their final year that they decided to pool their talent; rather than produce separate theses they created a joint-venture. Opting for the medium of film they made the documentary “Bush Kids in South Africa”. The result spoke for itself; the twins graduated in (year)
Their explosive carreers were launched! Since 2002 the unstoppable duo have specialised in making documentaries in the developing world. Exposing the injustices rampant in the poorer countries to a world audience, their aim is to give oppressed people a voice. Their production company “IFPRODUCTIONS” faces challenges head-on. Their inspiration is found in choosing subjects that move them personally. Their activities have caused them to lose their hearts and minds to the African continent and its people. Amongst the films they have made are “Bush Kids”, “Return To Angola” and, most recently, “Fighting The Silence”.
Not only do they produce and direct their own documentaries, they also do all their own research, scripts and scenarios. As if this wasn’t enough, the indefatigable pair also organise the distribution of their finished products! Ilse van Velzen: “We are driven by passion when making our documentaries, which can take two to three years to produce. We motivate each other to move forward to the bitter end despite the difficult paths we frequently have to take.”
As independent film-makers the pair are uniquely aware that making their sort of documentaries in their chosen countries demand time, energy and resilience. Femke: “Once we’ve sunk our teeth into a subject we don’t let go until we’ve achieved our aims. Failure? What’s that?”
Their latest documentary, “Fighting The Silence” had its world premiere on the 23rd of November during The International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA). “Fighting The Silence” was nominated for the ‘First Appearance competition’ and the ‘ Movies that Matter Award’.
For more information about IFproductions go to http://www.ifproductions.nl