Dutch nature and wildlife filmmaking has a long history, starting with the pioneering work of the wealthy Swiss ornithologist Ad Burdet (1860-1940). Directors of international renown such as Bert Haanstra (1916-1997) and Hugo van Lawick (1937- 2002) were active alongside filmmakers who remained largely anonymous to the public. Many of the nature filmmakers who are still active have built up a considerable oeuvre and have collected a library of stock shots. Young filmmakers still find nature films a worthwhile proposition and a number of amateurs are also making active contributions. Compared to the Anglo-Saxon world nature films in the Netherlands have a low status and modest production budgets. There is no association to look after the particular interests of the Dutch nature filmmakers and prestigious awards can only be won abroad. There is no catalogue for nature films and stock footage, nor for historic or contemporary images. Furthermore, it isn’t clear where these films are being kept: in the offices of the filmmakers concerned, or of the nature protection organizations that commissioned the films, or in the audiovisual archives (Sound and Vision, Film Museum). In order to fill this void, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and the National Natural History Museum Naturalis have started the project Dutch Nature Film Collection. The collection will not only bring together data on nature films past and present, but will also offer access to films and stock footage via a digital platform. Nature protection organizations and broadcasters alike have shown considerable interest in this initiative.

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

Hogenkamp, Bert, & Malherbe, René. (2009). Collectie Nederlandse Natuurfilms. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 12(2), 333–348. doi:10.18146/tmg.570