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Nonfiction makes up the bulk of film production and is the blanket term for all films that are not fiction. This includes everything from news and information films to scientific films and documentaries; basically all genres except for feature film, animation, and experimental film.

Commission, education, and industrialisation

Our database includes, for example, the commissioned films made ​​in collaboration with the Dutch industry (for example the VNF, or Dutch Association of Manufacturers), but also includes educational films that were made ​​in the 1920s for the increasingly popular school theatres. These films show how industrialization came to play an increasingly important role in our society after the First World War. Through the medium of film, the modernization of society became part of the school curriculum.

Still uit Fakkelgang (Max de Haas, 1932)
Still from Fakkelgang (Max de Haas, 1932)
Still uit Koninklijke Stearine Kaarsenfabriek Gouda (Willy Mullens, 1918)
Still from Koninklijke Stearine Kaarsenfabriek Gouda (Willy Mullens, 1918)

Influence of the avant-garde

Another example of nonfiction films are documentaries, which were clearly influenced in the 1930s by the films of the international avant-garde (which was represented in the Netherlands by figures such as Joris Ivens and Mannus Franken). In these films, we get an idea of the era during which they were made, and we can also distinguish trends in terms of film technique, style, and narrative structure.

Search and watch

In our online database, we present the nonfiction films from our collection, as well as information about Dutch film history and the social developments throughout the years.

To the database