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Bregtje van der Haak to become the new director of Eye Filmmuseum

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak – long connected to the broadcaster VPRO as a programme maker, editor of the Tegenlicht programme and editor-in-chief – will succeed the current director Sandra den Hamer on 1 April 2023.

By Eye Editors07 December 2022

Bregtje van der Haak (photo © Jordi Wallenburg)
Bregtje van der Haak (photo © Jordi Wallenburg)

Van der Haak was appointed by Eye’s supervisory board. The new director looks forward to leading a contemporary museum for cinema with a world-class collection that provides a unique opportunity to connect past, present and future as well as to question the world in transition around us on the basis of images, and to discuss film’s role in digital image culture.

Sandra den Hamer leaves a museum that, since ‘crossing the IJ River’ in 2012, has undergone massive development. Over the past 15 years, Eye Filmmuseum has transformed into a bustling centre for film culture and a museum with international allure.

Bregtje van der Haak (1966) will continue to further the museum’s ‘kaleidoscopic assignment’ to be a meeting place that showcases film in all its guises and provides context, from the earliest films to the most contemporary developments, and from meticulously restored classics to the latest digital experiments as well as exhibitions on contemporary artists and filmmakers.

Career

Van der Haak studied dance in Paris, law and politology in Amsterdam, and political theory and journalism in New York. She was a member of the board of the Prins Claus Fonds and the Erasmusprijs, a member of travelling biennial Manifesta X in Palermo’s artistic team. Van der Haak is also a member of IDFA and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam’s supervisory boards.

Bregtje van der Haak (photo © Jordi Wallenburg)
Bregtje van der Haak (photo © Jordi Wallenburg)

As the editor-in-chief for VPRO Television (2006/2007 with Frank Wiering) she initiated programmes including Metropolis TV, Eeuw van de Stad and the 3D archive on urbanisation T_visonarium OPEN CITY (with Jeffrey Shaw). Van der Haak has been a visiting professor at the City University of Hong Kong and at USC in Los Angeles. In 2005, she made Lagos Wide & Close (with Silke Wawro, Rem Koolhaas & The Harvard Project on the City), one of the first interactive documentaries. During the economic crisis, she reported on its societal consequences for sociologist Manuel Castells’ Aftermath Network. Until 2022, Van der Haak worked as a director and editor-in-chief for the TV programme VPRO Tegenlicht, where she recently presented the innovative project Archief van de Toekomst [archive of the future].

Lex ter Braak, (interim) chair of Eye Filmmuseum’s supervisory board:

‘The supervisory board has found its dream candidate in the shape of Bregtje van der Haak. With her knowledge of film and new media, and her educated convictions concerning the collection’s importance and societal impact, Bregtje van der Haak will create new options for Eye and its audience. She will intensify the dynamic between the museum and society, creating an urgent programme around it. Bregtje van der Haak will make Eye a multicoloured prism, a place for everyone.’

Bregtje van der Haak:

‘Under Sandra den Hamer, Eye became a fabulous public institute, an essential meeting place for everyone who thinks and dreams in images. I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity to further her work, cooperating with a team of excellent professionals who highlight film culture at every level with passion and dedication. In my dreams I see Eye, the oyster on the IJ River, further opening itself to the world like a ‘brave space’ where cinema reveals itself in many ways and everyone feels welcome to enter into dialogue with the collection and the international film community: jointly arriving at a highly personal, yet shared diagnosis of our times.’