Jan Kooyman – director TV series

After studying journalism Jan began work in television. He started as an editor/reporter, but soon became a chief editor/director. From the local station of Amsterdam he made, amongst others, ‘The Girls of Halal’ (NTR). After which he was part of the crew of ‘Expedition Robinson’ (RTL5). He expanded this broad experience with the series ‘Invisible Netherlands’ (VPRO) and various Travel & Food series with Miljuschka Witzenhausen. In 2020 he made ‘Rebellious Minds’ with Özcan Akyol and the series ‘The Village’ with Huub Stapel and Wim Daniels. ‘North Sea – Nature untamed’ is a challenging next step for Jan. As director of the TV series, he has to make the complex and unknown nature of the North Sea understandable and fascinating to a general audience.

Mark Verkerk – director movie

Mark has 40 years of experience in film and television with an overriding passion for documentaries. He was born in Nairobi, Kenya and studied at the London International Film School. In 1980 he joined the Australian broadcaster ABC and two years later began his own production company making documentaries. In 1990 Mark joined EMS FILMS and has written and directed a series of award-winning documentaries for international broadcasters (such as National Geographic, Discovery, ARTE and ZDF). The movie ‘Buddha’s Lost Children’ (2006) was his first cinema feature, which was nominated as an entry for the Oscars. As director of ‘The New Wilderness’, ‘Holland – The Living Delta’ and ‘Wild Amsterdam’ he has proven again and again to be a master storyteller. Something he will definitely put to use and evolve further for ‘North Sea – Nature untamed’.

Peter van Rodijnen – dir. of photography underwater

After he graduated at the technical university of Amsterdam as an industrial engineer Peter learned to dive at the Great Barrier Reef. That’s were his passion began. He is an autodidact underwater cameraman, who made it his lifetime mission to share underwater nature, so beautiful and still unknown to so many. Peter routinely pushes himself to the limit, challenging and expanding the ideas of what is possible. With this fierceness he has already contributed to several series and cinema movies, such as ‘Holland – Nature in the Delta’, ‘Wild Amsterdam’ and ‘Silence of the Tides’. For ‘North Sea – Nature untamed’ Peter has great challenges ahead, shooting images that have never been made before under the most challenging conditions.

Dick Harrewijn – dir. of photography topside

Over the past 10 years, Dick Harrewijn has contributed to a diverse range of international projects. After his film education at the ‘School of the Arts’ in Utrecht, he worked on several documentaries and TV productions, but his career in the direction of wildlife features made a big leap forward after working as a cameraman for the successful movie ‘The New Wilderness’. His work for ‘Silence of the Tides’ about the Wadden Sea was recently shown in cinemas throughout Europe. His love for the sea and passion for nature make ‘North Sea – Nature untamed’ a dream project.

Klaudie Bartelink – producer

After her education as a pedagogic specialist, Klaudie has developed a large number of educational multimedia products. Moving images played an important role in this. She loves documentaries, so she further developed herself in storytelling. ‘The Live Bait Squadron’ – an impressive documentary about the biggest shipping disaster in the North Sea – is one of her best-known achievements. Together with Peter, she is owner of Dutch Maritime Productions. The company is specialised in (underwater)-related productions, especially in the North Sea and in Dutch waters. In 2018 they took on the challenge to produce a TV series and a cinema film about the nature of the North Sea.

Ignas van Schaick – co-producer

Ignas started his career as a publisher at the Staatsuitgeverij and has been active in the media world for more than 25 years. He has extensive experience in the development of cross-media concepts and e-commerce. For many years he was responsible for the home entertainment exploitation of brands such as the BBC and Discovery Channel in the Netherlands. He was also a publisher at National Geographic and the science magazine Quest. With ‘The New Wilderness’ as debut, Ignas has produced a number of film focussing on Dutch nature. Together with Klaudie he will be responsible for the partnerships, marketing, production, educational packages and distribution for ‘North Sea – Nature untamed’.

Sam Reitsma – editor

Sam has been passionate for nature and photography from an early age. At his study ‘Applied Biology’ the opportunity presented itself to combine these two passions; which he didn’t have to think about twice. One of his internships he did at EMS Films. There he developed himself as an appreciated and valuable member of the team for ‘The Wild Port of Europe’. That internship went so well that it was obvious to involve Sam in ‘North Sea – Nature untamed’ as well. As a junior editor, his main task is to make narrative pre-selections of the footage.

Wim van Egmond – microphotographer

Wim studied painting and photography at the Rotterdam art academy. After graduating, he specialized in photography through the microscope. His work maneuvers between art and science. He uses nature as his subject, but there is always a certain amount of abstraction and alienation in his work. In 2009 he participated in the television project covering the journey of the Beagle and he photographed the plankton. He then contributed to the realization of Micropia, the first museum for micro-organisms in Artis. Over the past twelve years he has been making films through the microscope and time-lapse recordings of soil organisms such as fungi. One of his favorite subjects is plankton. ‘Much more fun then fish, seals and all those animals you see so often in movies.’

Max van Gils – camera assistent

‘Never stop learning.’ With that motto, Max started this special project. Previously, Max completed the studies ‘Audiovisual Design’ at the GLR and ‘Eco & Wildlife’ at the Helicon. He has also been able to perform film work for previous cinema films, including ‘Wild Amsterdam’. With enormous drive and enthusiasm, Max works on this project as a camera assistant. “Filming at this level is real collaboration. There is nothing more euphoric than when a team succeeds in capturing unique images!’

Melvin Kalshoven – camera assistent

At his education at the graphic Lyceum Rotterdam, Melvin founded his own company ‘Scenes Productions’. With his passion for cinematography and storytelling, he is always looking for real stories. He started making music video clips and various other media expressions in which purity and nature are the main focus. As a little boy he was always exploring nature and not much has changed ever since. It was a logical step to further specialise in wildlife filming. He has assisted as a junior cameraman for ‘The Wild Port of Europe’ and he is one of the team for the production of ‘North Sea – Nature untamed’.

‘EMS FILMS set out to produce ‘The New Wilderness’ to show that not all beautiful nature is found in some far away exotic land, it can be local and on the doorstep. With this in mind, it is a fantastic challenge to work jointly with Dutch Maritime Productions to bring the story of the North Sea to a general audience. DMP know the North Sea intimately from their many years of experience diving and filming underwater. The North Sea is not an easy place to work, but it supports wonderfully rich, diverse and beautiful marine life. The nature of the North Sea – just like the Oostvaardersplassen at the time – is to most people, a great unknown. It is fantastic that we can now visualise this together, because the North Sea deserves the spotlight and a big stage.’


The Wild North Sea is a co-production of Dutch Maritime Productions and EMS FILMS