Leonard Retel Helmrich

Leonard Retel Helmrich, born in the Netherlands in 1959. He finished his study at the NFTVA, Netherlands Film and Television Academy in 1986 with his fiction film “De Drenkeling” (The Drowning Man). As a fiction film director he made in 1990 his first feature film “The Phoenix Mystery“. In 1991 he operated the film camera himself and filmed and directed the documentary “Moving Objects that was a success in the Netherlands. Since his film “Eye of the day” (Stand van de Zon) which he shot in Indonesia Retel Helmrich’s films have screened and won acclaim at film festivals world wide, garnering major awards for his documentary work. His awards include the inaugural Grand World Documentary Award at SUNDANCE 2005 and the prestigious Joris Ivens Award at IDFA Amsterdam 2004 for his Indonesian feature documentary “Shape Of The Moon” (Stand van de Maan). In 2010 he won for the second time the Grand VPRO/IDFA Award for feature documentary for “Position among the Stars” (Stand van de Sterren) together with the IDFA Award for the best Dutch documentary. It was for the first time in the IDFA history that someone has won an award for the second time. In January 2011 he won with “Position among the Stars” the special Jury Award at SUNDANCE.

Leonard shoots as well as directs all his own films, and is best known for a philosophy and approach he calls ‘Single Shot Cinema’, which involves long takes with a camera orbiting the subjects. Above all in his films it is the framing and movement of the camera that captures and leads the emotions of the audience. He has run over 60 workshop programs in Single Shot Cinema technique for film festivals, television broadcasters, independent film makers film schools and universities worldwide in Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America and in Africa.