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Rising Stars: Meet Miriam Kruishoop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Miriam Kruishoop.

Hi Miriam, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
From a very young age, I was obsessed with watching movies. I knew I wanted to make films and create art. After I graduated from high school, I attended The Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. It’s considered the most prestigious art school in the Netherlands. I studied audiovisual and really focused on filmmaking. In my 3rd year, I won the award for best graduation film even though I was still only in my 3rd year, It gave me a lot of visibility and allowed me to do my own thing and develop my style. I really loved that about my academy years, the teachers, and especially my mentor, Frans Zwartjes, recognized that I needed a lot of freedom and they fully supported that… In my 4th year, I did an exchange program in Paris where I shot my first feature film. The film won multiple awards and had a theatrical release in the Netherlands while I was still in school. That was super school. Besides filmmaking, I always worked with photography, light, sculpture and installation. I regard myself a storyteller and I use different disciplines to express my narratives. Sometimes that’s a film and sometimes that’s a neon or installation.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I had a lot of success early on and I think things went pretty smooth. Once you start to play on an international level things definitely change. Especially when bigger budgets come into play. In the US films get financed through the market, in Europe there are more tax incentives and grants. But still, when your budgets and projects become bigger, they automatically become more complicated. I have a love/hate relationship with that part of filmmaking and the art business. Rating money for projects becomes a big focus. It really becomes “business” while I’m only really interested in the creative side of things,

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I work in multiple disciples and am multi-faceted. I’m a storyteller at heart, but through my education, my drive and curiosity I’m able to express myself in different mediums. I have careers as a filmmaker, writer/director and as a visual artist. I think my range is quite broad and that sets me apart. You can’t really place me in a box. Not everybody understands that. People are like, “What are you? A director or an artist?” I always answer, “I’m creative”. One doesn’t; exclude the other. I was able to make an award-winning film and have 2 solo shows in Mexico City and New York in the same year. That’s a very fulfilling year and I’m very grateful for the opportunities. For over 20 years my work, both as a filmmaker and visual artist, focuses on the same themes. They are all interconnected and deeply rooted in reality.

My work approach is very similar, I always work with a team since my projects are often technical. Because I take my inspiration from people I do “cast” a lot, meaning my team and the people who end up in my projects. I direct all my projects regardless of what the medium is. That’s my way of working. My inspiration comes from people and the society we live in. I’m drawn to the portrayal and empathetic celebration of under-seen people in society and the isolated within communities. The victims of abuse, racism, and prejudice. I address isolation both physical as well as mental isolation in my work. I try to create platforms and find innovative forms and ways to communicate these voices and evoke emotions… I think it’s important in today’s world to have something to say about the way we perceive, judge, love, learn about and communicate with each other. As an artist we have a responsibility and I really hope that I’m using my voice and position as an artist in an effective and responsible way.

Any big plans?
That’s a great question, because as we’ve learned the last two years that you can’t always plan things. Circumstances can change overnight. I’m working on multiple big projects. Two film projects are currently casting, and I’m developing a tv show as well. I’m always working on my visual art and I’m working on a public sculpture in a major city. Experience has taught me that projects can always falls apart, so I’m careful not to talk about my work too much. However I’m excited about the future, even though as an artist there are no guarantees anything will ever come to fruition.

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