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51th Directors’ Fortnight May 15-25, 2019

Ronald Bijlsma

Ronald Bijlsma started his animation career in 1957 at the Dutch Toonder Studios. Five years later he moved to Cine Cartoon Centre, founded by American director Jim Hiltz. There Bijlsma made numerous animated commercials for television, among which the prize winning « Caballero » (1965). His first independent short is titled « Het Duel » (1967). He financed the film himself, and it was shown as one of the very first autonomous films from the Netherlands at the Annecy festival. After that Bijlsma made a second personal film, « In the void » (1968), in which his love for painting can clearly be seen. In the late 60’s he started his own production company and to improve the animation film climate in the Netherlands he founded the Dutch Association for Animation Film in 1973, which later was to become Holland Animation. Also in 1973 Bijlsma made his probably most well known film: « Brainwash ». It remained the guiding light and model for emerging Dutch animation for many years. In the meantime he kept making commissioned films for the state and the private sector to earn a living. His public service announcements are especially funny and effective. He also made illustrations for magazines and other publications. In the late 80’s he joined Top Drawers agency as a producer-director. There he made several films, among which the award-winning « Home of the future » for Philips, together with friend and colleague Greg Lawson. In the 90’s he decided to make another independent film, and his source of inspiration for this film was the early American cartoon. Koko the Clown and Betty Boop made their re-entry in Bijlsma’s « Back to the inkwell », which he completed in 1992. In the last years of his life Bijlsma decided to slow down the pace a bit and devoted himself passionately to painting.