Louis van Gasteren

Date of birth
Date deceased


Amsterdam-born Louis van Gasteren worked as a film producer, a technician for film and television, visual artist and director. He is the son of the actor Louis van Gasteren (1887-1962) and the singer Elise Menagé Challa (1891-1962).

Van Gasteren studied electrotechnology in high school. From an early age he was fascinated by film and at the end of the 1940s he went to Paris to intern as a sound technician at Epernay Studio. In 1951 he started up his own film company called Spectrum Films and a year later he made his first commissioned film, called Bruin goud, for a firm called Van Houten. Van Gasteren made a name for himself with hig-profile documentaries about controversial subjects.

His documentary Begrijpt u nu waarom ik huil? (1969), in which a former concentration camp prisoner is treated with LSD, caused a great deal of controversy. He won many prizes, including the State Prize for the Filmic Arts in 1969; in 1983 he won the Golden Calf for best film (Hans: het leven voor de dood), and in 2004 he won the Netherlands-Japan Prize.

He taught at the het Instituut voor Kunstnijverheid (now known as the Gerrit Rietveld Academie), the Institute for Social Studies (The Hague) and was a visiting lecturer at the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts (Harvard, US) and UCLA (US).


  1. 1957
    Director, Editing, Script writer

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