Stijn Bouma


Stijn Bouma (1991) is a Dutch filmmaker who grew up in Hoorn. After developing an interest in cinema during his high school years, he began studying Media & Culture – Film Studies at the University of Amsterdam. During his studies he worked at a small cinema called De Uitkijk, wrote some articles about film for the student magazine and made a few short films. At the end of his studies he did an internship at the renowned Dutch production company Circe Films. He graduated by writing his Bachelor’s and Master’s thesis about Paul Schrader’s book ‘Transcendental Style in Film.’ After graduating with his MA he got accepted into Béla Tarr’s film.factory programme at the Sarajevo Film Academy. There he made several short films and had workshops with diverse and international filmmakers such as James Benning, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Pedro Costa and Atom Egoyan. He also worked on several of his fellow students’ shoots, thereby gaining experience as a Camera Operator and First Assistant Director. His second year film ‘Lejla’ was selected for the Cinéfondation competition in Cannes and he is currently working on his thesis film ‘Regained Memory.’

Artistic Statement

The circulation of images has probably never been greater than in our contemporary world. On different platforms and in the streets, we encounter them everywhere. Most of these images are meaningless, they intend to sell us something or they try to impress us with some spectacle. Yet how many of these images find a place in our hearts? They are merely there to pass the time and distract us, thereby decreasing our capacity to concentrate.
In opposition to this, I still believe in cinema. In an experience which strongly imprints meaningful images in our memory. Images which, in contrast to the widespread desecration, nihilism, and irony, still manage to dignify human beings and life. Images which, instead of the fake or easy poetry of sunsets, travels, and nature speak of Beauty in banal, everyday things. Images which in contrast to the retreat into fantasy, dare also courageously to confront the dark thoughts and emotions of our existence.