Johan Gildemeijer was an Amsterdam businessman who made his entrance into the film world in 1908 by exporting films to the Dutch East Indies.
In 1912, he became the general manager of Amsterdam’s Union Bioscope and of the film rental agency Union. After a brief period as an advisor at Haarlem’s Filmfabriek Hollandia, he founded his own production company, Rembrandt Film Co. In 1915, he produced his first film for this company, Fatum, directed by Theo Frenkel Sr. Fatum was followed by a number of long feature films, including the ambitious film project Gloria transita, a melodrama about an opera singer.
Gildemeijer, who made extensive use of sound effects and music in his films, had the vocals in the film performed live by a quartet of singers led by renowned baritone August van den Hoeck. At every screening, the singers were on hand to accompany the film.
In 1919, Gildemeijer made the film Onze Oost in collaboration with the Vereeniging tot Verbreiding van kennis over Nederland in den vreemde . The images in this compilation film were shot in the Dutch East Indies in the early 1910s, on commission from the Koloniaal Instituut. In 1920, Gildemeijer was the Chairman of the executive committee of the Internationale Kino-Tentoonstelling in Amsterdam.
After the advent of sound films in the 1930s, Gildemeijer made two more attempts at a musical film, but without much success. The negative of the first film, Romance Impromptu, went up in flames. The sequel, Fantasia Musica, based on Richard Wagner's opera ‘Tannhäuser’, turned out to be a largely unsuccessful experiment.
But Gildemeyer was still able to make a living as the general manager of his firm Handelsmy Gildemeyer Export. In addition to being a producer, director, and distributor, he was also a writer, publishing 'Koningin Kino’ (1914), the first Dutch book about film.
- 1914—Script writer, Actor
- 1915—Script writer, Producer
- 1915—Producer, Script writer, Director
- 1916—Script writer, Director, Producer
- 1916—Director, Producer, Script writer
- 1916—Producer, Director
- 1917—Actor, Director, Producer, Script writer
- 1918—Actor, Producer, Director
- 1922—Director, Producer, Script writer