Ilse and Femke van Velzen are internationally acclaimed, award-winning documentary filmmakers. Weapon of War, about systematic rape in war-torn Congo, was awarded the 2010 Golden Calf, the Dutch equivalent of the Oscar. With Amsterdam-based IFproductions, Ilse and Femke produce and direct documentaries, and develop impact campaigns using true stories for real change.
‘Our films are about big themes, such as human rights and inequality, but also very much about ordinary people fighting for a better life.’
Ilse van Velzen
‘Ilse and Femke have a unique ability to address complicated issues from a purely human perspective. They capture stories of inconceivable injustice and present these in ways that motivate people to take action. IFproductions has paved the way for independent filmmakers and impact producers in the Netherlands and beyond.’
Nicole van Schaik, director of development, Doc Society
Driven by passion
From an early age, twin sisters Ilse and Femke van Velzen have been driven to contribute to a more just world. They are fully committed to telling the stories of unfairly treated and oppressed people and communities. As filmmakers, Femke and Ilse are guided by a fierce passion for their subject matter.
The good fight
For Ilse and Femke, documentaries are a tool to fight injustice and bring about social change. Their ultimate goal is to create awareness, and empower people and policy makers to make a difference. IFproductions is committed to bringing back the stories to the community of their origin. This has led the filmmakers to create extensive impact campaigns using films and other materials to start a process of reconciliation.
‘For us, filmmaking is about fighting the good fight. Our intolerance for injustice has led us to places that have been impacted by violence and oppression on a scale unimaginable to us personally.’
Femke van Velzen
The IF way
At IFproductions, projects involve all aspects of filmmaking, including research, funding, scripting, producing, filming, editing, and distribution. Ilse and Femke are closely involved every step of the way, working with a capable crew of trusted collaborators.
Ilse and Femke spent many years working in The Democratic Republic of Congo, making a ground-breaking documentary trilogy about victims and perpetrators of rape, and the corrupt justice system in this war-torn country. A Haunting History, about South Sudan, earned them a second nomination for the prestigious Golden Calf award. For Prison for Profit, they returned to South Africa where their career began with the documentary Bush Kids.
IFproduction’s documentaries have been screened at festivals and in cinemas all over the world. Specific audiences have included politicians, lawmakers, policymakers, activists, NGOs, and legal professionals. With the Mobile Cinema impact campaigns, IFproductions brings back the stories to the communities of their origin.