Martin Koolhoven

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Martin Koolhoven
Martin Koolhoven door Joshua Rood.jpg
Martin Koolhoven in 2011
Born Martinus Wouter Koolhoven
(1969-04-25) 25 April 1969 (age 48)
The Hague, Netherlands
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 1993–present

Martinus Wouter "Martin" Koolhoven (born 25 April 1969) is a Dutch film director and screenwriter. He directed the Dutch-language films Schnitzel Paradise (2005), Knetter (2005), 'n Beetje Verliefd (2006), and Winter in Wartime (2008). His first English-languaged film Brimstone was released in 2016.

Early life and education

Martinus Wouter Koolhoven was born on 25 April 1969 in The Hague in the Netherlands

Koolhoven went to a Dutch film school and graduated in 1996.


Critical acclaim

Almost immediately, he made an impact on the Dutch film industry with his 53-minute television film Duister Licht ("Dark Light") in which the slaughtering of a pig was shown. The film was nominated twice at the Dutch Film Festival.

It was his next (and first feature length) film however that established his name, also outside of the Netherlands. Suzy Q (also made for television) became the most awarded Dutch film of 1999 and established both Koolhoven's career and that of actress Carice van Houten, who Koolhoven worked with several times in the films to come.

His first film for the cinema, AmnesiA (2001), got a small theatical release in New York City.

Koolhoven was one of the "New Faces In European Cinema" as presented at the AFI festival (Hollywood) in 2004.

Commercial success

Koolhoven started off with strongly stylized films that were all hailed by the critics, but never gained commercial success. In 2005 that changed when he went into the mainstream with Schnitzel Paradise, that not only got him rave reviews (both inside and outside the Netherlands), but was the highest grossing Dutch film of that year. The film was shown at many international film festivals (amongst them the Berlin Film Festival and the Karlovy Vary Film Festival where it was part of the Variety Critic's choice.) The film was sold to more than 20 countries, which is a remarkable amount for a Dutch film.

In the same year Koolhoven released Bonkers, which internationally became his most awarded film and performed well at the box office. He was also the first director to have two films in the Dutch box office top 20.

''n Beetje Verliefd (2006) (Happy Family) was his third hit film in two years time, earning him another Golden Film. It was followed in 2008 by Oorlogswinter (Winter in Wartime), a Dutch movie based on the hit novel by the same name, written by Jan Terlouw, which went platinum. The movie was praised by almost all critics (including Variety that wrote a raving review) and was an enormous success at the box office, being the number one movie at Christmas 2008 in The Netherlands. Winter in Wartime grossed more money than all previous movies Koolhoven made together. The movie outgrossed competing movies like The Dark Knight and Twilight and was the Dutch entry for the Academy Awards. It made the shortlist of 9 movies, but failed to get nominated. The movie is being distributed in the United States by Sony Classics.

In 2011, Koolhoven started his own production company, together with producer Els Vandevorst, called N279 Entertainment that produced several movies.

Koolhoven latest project is the soporific thriller/western, called Brimstone, which was his first production for N279 Entertainment as a director. It premiered September 3 2016 at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.


All his films have won awards at the Dutch Film Festival, but Koolhoven's work has also won awards in France, England, Lithuania, Egypt, Surinam, Japan, Uruguay, Italy, Spain and the Czech Republic.


TV series


External links

  • Official website
  • Martin Koolhoven on IMDb
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