An Amsterdam-based filmmaker who has previously worked as a creative and designer at various international ad agencies. After an “around the world” trip, Boris wanted to be more in the field. He found his path in mastering a new craft; film.
Starting off with making a documentary film in Nepal and several music videos, he now creates commissioned and non-commissioned work for the likes of: Nike, Timex, Porsche, Heineken International and Universal Music. His approach can best be described as conceptual storytelling. Told with kicking moody cinematography and strong musical editing. It’s a Feeling. ?
Wilfrid Brimo can be as funny directing an animated spot for AIDS prevention as he can be shocking with a live action film and iPhone application for Amnesty International.
After channeling his teenage passion for graffiti into graphic design studies, Wilfrid joined Wanda in 2001 to create the TV design department. It quickly took off with contracts such as the global design of MTV or TF6, winning him many prizes including the BDA (Broadcast Design Advertising).
His first commercial for The World Athletics Championships, won a Silver Lion in Cannes in 2003 and marked the beginning of a prolific directing career. In the next few years he transitioned from pure animation films like AIDES, Shakedown and Frucor to live action films, building on his previous work as a photographer: Orange, Peugeot, Citroën, Mercedes, Surfrider, Meetic, and many others, winning awards in several international festivals along the way: two Silver and one Gold the Cannes Lions, Eurobest, Epica, D&AD.
Always pushing the limits of visual language, Wilfrid doesn’t hesitate to mix live action, special effects, motion control, matte painting and 3D in a single film like he did in the spectacular Carlos preview for Canal+. Whether he’s filming intimate human moments or a glove struggling on a beach, Wilfrid only considers his job well done when he manages to create an emotional experience for the audience
Our South African born director started out her directing career while she was still studying at college in London. After that, she went to study Film at the University of Westminster.
Bear is a filmmaker in heart and soul, living for the story and the image, forever hungry to be more fluid and progressive in the language of film.
He’s as lovingly obsessive over nuance in acting as he is over the use of lenses, film stock, and other technicalities of the medium. While he’s always looking for a certain hypnotic quality on the visual surface of his films, the more visceral stories manifest itself in the deeper layers of his work. Through this, Bear knows how to leave an everlasting impression in the gaze of the viewer.
Sophie Dros’ choice of themes for her work is far beyond the normative boxes of society, and that’s exactly where she finds her inspiration.
Sophie unravels themes like gender discourse or the affection towards humanlike dolls. Themes that she can’t really get her head around at first, but starts to understand as she works on it. By transferring this understanding into a screen, she shows her viewer that people aren’t that different from one another after all.
Sophie is best known for her documentaries ‘My Silicon Love’ and ‘Genderbende’.
Born in London but raised in the Netherlands. Quickly Jonathan discovered he had a great feeling to music and films, ultimately crafting up his talents for the latter one. His films can best be described as humorous and heavily reliant on beautiful art-direction. His work is well received by not only his audience but by his peers alike as can be seen in the amount of awards Jonathan gathered throughout his career, for instance a Gold Lion and three ADCN Awards.
Initially educated as a sociologist, Kay followed his heart and switched to filmmaking.
As an autodidactic filmmaker, he is currently expanding his creativity and talent as a director at Czar. Kay’s style can best be described as a close personal approach to life and its wonders, but stylistically conceptual at the same time.
Michael Middelkoop is a young director who has uniquely navigated both hemispheres of the creative game.
On the one hand, he’s a filmmaker. One who has risen from chopping up kinetic video edits while majoring in film studies, to becoming one of the more promising young directors in the game, working with the nation’s biggest artists and touring film festivals with his surreal approach to fictional storytelling. His latest short, Netflix & Chill, garnered him a spot in the Debut Competition of the Netherland’s Film Festival and a prime slot at the prestigious Fantasia Filmfestival in Montreal. On the other hand, he’s a creative polymath, providing concepts for international agencies such as Anomaly, 180, Saatchi & Saatchi, Happiness Brussels, Achtung! and Dawn. Moreover, working for brands such as Vodafone, T-Mobile, SIRE, de Bijenkorf and Triodos Bank. His freeform creative approach has been published on Vice, Fastcompany, Adweek, Itsnicethat and more. Awards include: CCB, Spin Awards, Lovies, Merit, Young Dutch Talent, a Bronze Lion in Cannes in 2015 and a Webby in 2018.
In his work Michael likes to play around with bringing the normal and the absurd together in singular visual worlds. With his background in advertising he’s not afraid to help mould the conventional 30 second spot to a mixed and mashed playhouse that can cater to the ever shorter attention spans of young audiences around the world.
In 1999 Michaël studied at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television de Cuba where he made several short documentaries.
Later in 2005, he graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy audio-visual arts department. in 2005. After a few experiments in the fields of industrial design and fine arts, his interest in film remained strong. Michaël has made short films and commercials and has been awarded and nominated for a few, a.o. the Young Directors Awards in Cannes. Currently, Michael works as a filmmaker and autonomous artist, creating a body of work that combines genuine imagery with personal realism, incidentally elevating his films with a surreal touch.
Aaron van Valen is an Amsterdam-based director and known for his soft hair and indicative style of shooting.
He majored in American Studies with an extracurricular interest in Japanese Language and Culture. After several years as a photographer for various agencies and magazines, he found directing to be a lot more fun and ended up joining CZAR.
A heavy heart in a light body. Judith Veenendaal’s style can best be characterized by simplicity and lightness, in awe of the mundane and everyday life.
Through her cross-media passion for film, music, photography, dance, and theater Judith opens herself up to every new experience that constitutes her creative work. She’s constantly in development and on the lookout for new ways to share her stories. All of this comes together in a totally fresh and relevant collection of films. As a token of her creativity, Judith received a Young Director Award during the Cannes Lions Festival in 2017.
Sanne Vogel (1984) started working as a writer, director, and actress in the theatre when she was only 17 years old.
She was the youngest professional theatre writer/director and won young talent awards like ‘100watt Lichtpuntprijs’ and ‘Gouden Ei van de Mus’. In 2010 she expanded her creative horizon to the celluloid screen with her debut film ‘Mama’ (co-directed by Beri Shalmashi). ‘Mama’ was nominated for a Gouden Kalf at the Dutch Film Festival. After ‘Mama’ Sanne directed the short films ‘Kort’ and ‘Klein’. In 2014 Sanne directed her first feature film, ‘Hartenstraat’, which received a Golden Film (+100.000 visitors). It was this year Sanne received the Glamour Award for the most creative woman of the year. Only a year later, in 2015, Sanne directed her second feature film, ‘Brasserie Valentijn’.
Marit Weerheijm graduated at the Dutch Film Academy in 2016. Her eccentric film style can best be described as character-driven, naturalistic and organic with loads of room for spontaneity and creativity.
Her love for the freeform of film has delivered her the prestigious Student Academy Award for her film When Grey is a Color. Next to that, the film gathered two prizes at TIFF. This directly led to the development of her second film, ‘Before Dark’.
At Czar, Marit will deepen her love for the intimate and human nature of her fictional work.
Giancarlo Sanchez successfully completed his study at the Dutch Film Academy. As a director. After that, Giancarlo went with the wind, directed a lot of nice films at CZAR jr., and in 2016 even received a Gouden Kalf (the Dutch Academy Award) for his debute film Horizon.
Giancarlo’s interest and fondness for youth and popular culture makes him a versatile film maker that can speak to millennials and any generation that follows them. Basically, because he’s the biggest millennial walking around at our office.
Amsterdam based filmmaker Marleen Jonkman has been telling stories since she was a child, illustrating the books her novelist sister created. She went on to study film at the University of Amsterdam and direction at the Netherlands Film Academy. After graduating with the prize-wining short ‘Daughter’, Marleen joined production house Czar and started directing commercials, shorts and videoclips.
Marleen developed a personal style which shows an honest interest in people, catched in authentic and joy filled cinematic moments. She aims to celebrate life in all aspects and to show universal truth in everyday moments.
Currently she is pre-producing her feature film debute ‘La Holandesa’, which will be entirely shot in Chile in 2016.
Adam was born in Copenhagen in 1978. He started his filmmaking career during high school education by making small films & art projects. Adams own significant tone of voice as filmmaker put him on the top shelf of directors in Scandinavia in a split second, and within the last year, to the top of the UK and US markets as well. this has lead to several acclaimed collaborations with top agencies, such as Wieden+Kennedy, and has gotten to display his work on big arenas, such as the superbowl. At the moment, Adam is developing on a feature film in los angeles with screen writer Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en, Fight Club) through mutual reps, Creative Artists Agency. He continues to direct commercials globally. Among other awards, Adam won D&AD’s Yellow Pencil for best director in 2011.
After completing his study in economics, Floris started as a commercial producer at AT5 (Amsterdam Television Network). Cutting costs -he’s an economist after all – he found the REC-button himself. While his parents considered this as a complete waste of college money, he continued shooting humorous stuff. Nowadays, Floris directs commercials worldwide via CZAR, giving his parents the feeling of return on investment after all.
After completing his film studies at RITS in Brussels, Koen made several short films, the last of which, 'A Hard Day's Work', won several international prizes. In 1999 he established Czar in Brussels with fellow director Joe Vanhoutteghem.
Besides advertising Koen has made two feature films: ‘Ex Drummer’ (2007) and ‘22nd of May’ (2010). Both were selected for international festivals and won several prizes. Koen has worked for clients including Eneco, Jupiler, Leroy Merlin and TNT for whom he directed the ‘Push to add Drama’ viral campaign, earning him a Gold Lion amongst many other awards.
Andreas is a director noted for his dark, surreal and playful style, producing a consistently inspiring body of work. Having grown up in deep in the Swedish countryside, Andreas moved to Gothenburg to study the noble arts of painting and sculpture and that together with his immense music interest led later to that he directed a music video for a friend´s band and he hasn´t stopped since.
Andreas has created dazzling videos for major artists ranging from Royksöpp and Peter, Björn and John , Jose Gonzales to Kanye West, David Guetta and Robbie Williams.
His latest spot for Volvo Truck ft Jean-Claude Van Damme "The Epic Split" is one of the world´s most successful viral campaigns ever.
Writer-director Max Porcelijn’s commercials stand out in their comedic timing and their visually cinematic approach. Max directed countless commercials and music videos for Czar. His feature-film debut PLAN C received seven Golden Calf nominations (the Dutch equivalent to the Oscars) winning two; Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay for Porcelijn himself. The film garnered international praise as well and among other prizes won the award for Best Screenplay at Austin’s Fantastic Fest, where it also caught the attention of WME who rep Max in the US. Max’s second film, THE GLORIOUS WORKS OF G.F. ZWAEN was released to critical acclaim, both domestically and internationally and premiered at Austin’s Fantastic Fest in 2015.
Jeppe was born in Aarhus, Denmark and worked as a professional musician until he graduated in Film Science and Art History from the university of Copenhagen. He had his feature debut in 2003 with "Jerusalem My Love", which won numerous international awards. With his second feature length film, "The Swenkas" he won Best International director at Toronto, a Robert (Danish Oscar) and a European Oscar nomination among others.
After that Rønde directed a critically acclaimed 8 episodes TV-series for the national Danish Broadcasting Union (Danish BBC) called “The Quatraro Mystery”.
Rønde was voted best commercial director in Denmark 2010, and in 2013 he won two Cannes Lions, gold and bronze for direction and cinematography.
Ben Strebel is an exciting young British-Swiss director whose reel boasts a wealth of eye-catching work. His approach to story telling is driven consistently by careful casting, art direction, visual techniques and cinematography.
He started his career carving visuals for brands, documentaries and music videos for the likes of Madness, Phoenix whilst also directing fashion films for Vivienne Westwood and AllSaints to mention just a few. The success of his music video / short film for Clock Opera ‘Once And For All’ that has won him numerous awards and nominations to date including the prestigious Raindance Film Festival.
The digital experience ‘A Trip Out Sea’ for Guy Cotten cleaned up at the Cannes Lions 2014 and has cemented Ben’s growing reputation as a rising star.
During his studies at the Film Academy in Holland, Bart started working as a video assistant to Thed Lenssen.
From moving cables, working as a production assistant and doing video assist, Bart quickly started to direct commercials. Bart’s professional growth to leading commercial director went hand in hand with the development of the most talked-about creative teams of The Netherlands.
Bart’s strength in his storytelling is his extreme attention to detail, his timing and his humor. This, combined with a big talent for directing actors, makes him one of the best directors that The Netherlands have to offer.
Lieven Van Baelen's first step into advertising was as a telecine operator and he quickly became one of Belgium’s leading colour graders. The next step was working as a director of photography for a series of commercials and music videos. Occasionally he still works as a DOP on his own projects.
He started out with the production of his short feature film ‘The Thread’ in 1999 and went on to win several international awards for the direction of his early commercial for Dexia ‘Club Brugge’, including a Eurobest Award and a Gold CCB (Belgian Art Director’s Club). He kept on evolving in his work and has directed for major international brands such as Heineken, Grolsch, Canon, Coca-Cola, Nissan, Renault & Ikea.
Rogier van der Ploeg (1961) studied at the Dutch Film Academy. In 1990 he founded Czar. At first to produce videoclips, but later on to the focus moved to producing commercials, with succes. In 1996 he won a Grand Prix in Cannes for the world famous Rolo film. You know, the one with the elephant. Rogier directed over 600 films in over 15 countries, but is still as enthusiastic to shoot a small videoclip with his digital Bolex and a one man crew.
Joe studied at the animation department of the K.A.S.K. in Ghent. He began as an animation director of commercials after his studies and in 1999 he joined Koen Mortier to establish Czar in Brussels.
Joe's distinguished style and taste for the surreal has won him the CCB film director award for 2 consecutive years with his spot for Keytrade Bank in 2006 and his public announcement commercial "Smoking animals" in 2007.
In June 2009 Joe received a Silver Lion - and recently he finished the new image design of the culture TV station Arte.
Martin hails from Denmark where he graduated from the National Film School.
In 2007 he directed the 25min short ‘We Who Stayed Behind’ and the 45min ‘Young Man Falling’, the latter of which was selected for the Critics Week in Cannes. His commercial for IKEA won ‘Best Direction’ at the Creative Circle Awards in 2008 and he has since then won numerous awards including ‘Best Director’ at the 2009 MVA´s and several D&AD Pencils among other awards for his poetic and dynamic work.
Martin Werner is one of Scandinavia’s most awarded and highly sought after directors. He started his career in film as a 1st AD, moving into directing in 1994 and quickly became one of the most respected and loved directors in Denmark.
After setting up the now world-renowned Bacon Films in 2001, he started to shoot more international work, picking up awards in the US and across Europe. Awarded work includes commercials for Coca Cola, Audi, Carlsberg, Café Noir and most recently his Jack & Jones campaign starring Christopher Walken.
Founder of Bacon CPH, cofounder of Bacon Oslo and Bacon de Czar
Willem Gerritsen studied Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, but decided to become a filmmaker.
He started a production company and directed commercials, corporate films and many music videos. After joining CZAR he has made commercials for brands like Heineken, Disney, LG, Auping and Coca-Cola.
He has won a Young Director Award in Cannes in 2008 and two bronze Cannes Lions with his work for TomTom and Hi-Tec, as well as an ADC award, multiple Epica’s, D&AD and Eurobest awards. The CFP in New York selected him for the Young Guns 2011 as one of the most promising talents in the creative industry worldwide.
Born in 1982 in Duisburg, Germany, Hauke began directing at age 12 when he found an old 8mm camcorder and started making stop-motion films.
After finishing school, he worked in the CGI department of a major German TV station. Hauke graduated from the renowned Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in 2011, becoming one of the most successful graduates of his year.
In 2010 Hauke had already joined forces with CZAR Germany. Shortly thereafter he landed his first Nike job, and was featured on the cover of Shots Magazine. Hauke has since shot commercials for clients such as Mercedes Benz, VW, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, HEAD and Orange.
He is still interested in finding new techniques (analog/digital/whatever) and enjoys maintaining the diversity in his reel.
Jelmar Hufen is a concept driven director with a keen eye, a deadpan sense of humour and a great skill for directing actors. In recent years Jelmar directed work for brands like Vodafone, Ford, McDonald’s, Bavaria, Audi, The Dutch Government and many more. His Femme-o-matic film for Vindeenlief.be won a Young Director Award during the Cannes Lions and was named Best Viral on Dutch Public Broadcast.
Jelmar’s debut short film For a few marbles more has been selected for 240 festivals in 57 countries and received a whopping 41 awards. It’s the most selected and awarded Dutch (short) film ever.
Lionel Goldstein is the pseudonym for Belgian directing team Koen Mortier and Joe Vanhoutteghem, co-founders of Czar Brussels.
In 2001, Koen and Joe decided to have Lionel follow a path that was different from the directing careers that each of them had established individually. With the absurd, near documentary style that they adopt, Lionel almost immediately won international acclaim.
In 2002, 2003 and 2005, Lionel won Gold at the Cannes Lions festival for, respectively, the Frisk and XBOX campaigns for Wieden+Kennedy London and BBH London and the Axion ’Braille’ commercial for Duval Guillaume Brussels.
In November 2003 Lionel was awarded the BAFTA for Best Director, which is the highest achievement for a commercial director Helming spots for Axe, Nike and steering the launch campaign for the Nissan Qashqai, Lionel’s reel has grown to encompass a range of comedy styles that belie an insightful focus on character, tone and setting.