The filmmaker Joris Ivens was the son of C.A.P. Ivens, owner of the CAPI photography shop in Nijmegen. With the help of his father’s employees, in the 1910s the young Joris Ivens made the short film De wigwam, with roles for his parents, brothers, and sisters.
Ivens studied economics and photography. From the end of the 1920s, he was one of the vital figures in the world of Dutch avant-garde film. As a technical consultant, he was involved with the Filmliga, and made important avant-garde films like De brug and Regen. He also founded the film company Studio Joris Ivens, where young, enthusiastic filmmakers could find a home. The Studio was the cradle of experimental film in the early 1930s.
Ivens developed into a political filmmaker, and with films like Borinage, Spanish Earth, and Indonesia Calling!, he grew into a leading documentary filmmaker.