Photo: Joshua Rood

Martin Koolhoven, writer and director of BRIMSTONE

Martin Koolhoven is a Dutch film director and screenwriter, born 1969 in The Hague.

When he discovered his passion for film, he first started an image-and-sound study in Sittard. He continued his studies at the Belgian Film School and then realized the Amsterdam Film Academy was the place to be. In 1996, Koolhoven graduated from the Netherlands Film Academy in Direction, Screenplay and Feature Film. His graduation film was received well and he was discovered as a young talent with low budget television film DUISTER LICHT. After this he established himself with the television film SUZY Q.

In 2005, two films by Martin Koolhoven were released: the box office hit SCHNITZEL PARADISE and youth film BONKERS. He was the first Dutch film director to have two films in the Dutch movie theatre top 20 chart at the same time. In 2005, SCHNITZEL PARADISE rated best Dutch film at the box office. Koolhoven followed these films in 2006 with the romantic hit comedy HAPPY FAMILY.
His biggest success, however, was WINTER IN WARTIME (2008), which even out-grossed American competition like THE DARK KNIGHT and TWILIGHT.

BRIMSTONE was released and was Koolhoven’s first English spoken feature. The film was selected Venice Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and BFI London Film Festival in 2016. The film has been sold to over 80 countries and won 7 Gouden Kalveren on the Netherlands Film Festival 2017 including Best Director.

Martin Koolhoven is member of the jury of the Competition Program of CinemAsia 2018. Saturday March 10 he will give a masterclass together with Joko Anwar on directing genrefilms.


AMNESIA (2001), director
DE GROT (2001), director
HET ZUIDEN (2004), director
SCHNITZEL PARADISE (2005), director
BONKERS (2005) director
HAPPY FAMILY (2006), director
WINTER IN WARTIME (2008), writer/director
BRIMSTONE (2017), writer/director