STUDIO KIMMO
Films & Projects by
Nina Spiering & Mirka Duijn

Information



PHOTO BY PIM TOP   


Studio Kimmo is a small but sturdy film production studio run by Mirka Duijn and Nina Spiering. Our projects often have an emphasis on the mediation of place, identity and mythmaking. In our practice we often work with archives and archival footage, renegotiating the historical narratives. Studio Kimmo’s most recent project ‘Shangri-La, Paradise under Construction’ premiered at IDFA 2022 in competition for best Duch film. 

Selected Prices:
Peabody Award, 2019.
International Digital EMMY® Award, 2015
Prix Europe, 2014.


Mirka Duijn is a Dutch-Finnish filmmaker working and living in Göteborg, Sweden. She has worked in a wide variety of art forms such as fiction film, documentary, installations, interactive film and film for museum contexts.

Mirka Duijn started her career in 2003 at broadcasting station VPRO Digital where she experimented with interactive and trans-media storytelling for web and TV. In 2008 she directs. Together with Nina Spiering she has been working on various fiction, documentary, interactive and experimental film projects.

Mirka Duijn is also Senior Lecturer in Film at the Master of Film at HDK-Valand in Göteborg, a MFA in Film in which the focus is on decolonial practices. 


Education

Image and Media Technology at the U niversity of the arts in Utrecht(BA, 2002) 

EMMA in Image Synthesis and Computer Animation at the University of the arts in Utrecht (EMMA, 2003, validated under the authority of the Royal Charter of the Open University, England)

History, UvA (BA, 2007, not finished)

Master of Film (MA), Dutch Film Academy Amsterdam (2015). 
Nina Spiering is a Dutch director and production designer. She has worked in a wide variety of art forms such as fiction film, documentary, installations, interactive film and film for theatre.

Nina graduated from the University of the arts in Utrecht in 2007. She has a background in spatial design and video for theatre, working with well-known Dutch theatre companies like Orkater and Oostpool. While her focus shifted to film, her background in 3D space is still very present in her work as a director as well as her work as a production designer.

Nina Spiering also teaches film at University of the Arts in Utrecht. 



Education

Bachelor Digital Video Design DVD at the University of the arts in Utrecht.

European Media Masters of Arts in Digital Video Design (DVD) at University of the arts in Utrecht. (Validated under the authority of the Royal Charter of the Open University, England).


Shangri-La, Paradise under Construction
Documentary

Shangri-La, Paradise under Construction (2022)
Directors: Mirka Duijn & Nina Spiering


World premiere at IDFA, International Film Festival in Amsterdam, 2022, in competition for Best Dutch Documentary.


A travelogue through Shangri-La; the fictitious paradise from the classic novel Lost Horizon (1933). Twenty years ago a Tibetan tourist spot in China presented scientific proof that it was the real Shangri-La. In her search for the truth behind the supposed evidence the filmmaker excavates layers of fact and fiction of the area. What words and images have attached themselves to facts? How do stories come into being and how do they shape reality?


Read the IDA-review:

“A film that richly explores the creation of meaning from different perspectives that infuse the project of “paradise under construction,” and leaves viewers with hard questions to ask themselves about exoticization and power.”

Read Modern Times Review about the film:

“In their film Shangri-La, Paradise under Construction, directors Mirka Duijn and Nina Spiering reconsidered the most basic premises of documentary filmmaking – truth, evidence, and interpretation.”

“Even if the fantastic nature of Shangri-La might indicate that this documentary will be about fantasy, it is not. The key theme of Shangri-La, Paradise Under Construction, is the reality and the mysterious ways of its construction.”
International Sales:
Journeyman Pictures

Produced by:
De Productie (NL),
Film Kreatörerna (SE),
Studio Kimmo (NL)

Funded by
Dutch Film Fund,
Amsterdam Fund for the Arts
Swedish Film Fund.


Watch the teaser.



Listen to an interview with Mirka Duijn on Opium Radio (in Dutch)

Reviews in Dutch Newspapers:

NRC Newspaper ︎︎︎︎ 
Volkskrant ︎︎︎
Fries Dagblad ︎︎︎︎
Telegraaf︎︎︎︎

Parool
Trouw
Filmkrant

Interview in the Dutch Film Newspaper: Filmkrant









Land of Change
Documentary



Land of Change, the Zeeland Archives Project (2013)
Directors: Mirka Duijn & Nina Spiering


What is it like to live in a region where everything is changing? How do you deal with the loss, but also with the new gains? A collage of portraits of inhabitants of West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen amidst the marches, mudflats and the ever-present wind.

A film made for the Zeeland Museum. It is part of their ‘Islands Archive Project’, eilanden.net. The museum asked inhabitants of Zeeland to make films about aspects of or objects from/in Zeeland that they would like to be ‘remembered forever’. The films were stored in the Islands Archive.

The purpose of this request was to get a gestalt view of the present-day cultural identity of Zeeland. As we watched these films, we asked ourselves: are the subjects filmed by the participants ‘remembered’ by being added to the archive? Can you glean any knowledge about the present-day cultural identity of Zeeland from it? We wanted to know if we – as filmmakers using our ‘film language’ – could restructure and (re)visualise the contents of the archive in order to gain a deeper understanding of those contents. To achieve this, we took the films from the Zeeland archive as a base for a new narrative. Some of the found footage is used as-is, but most of it is repurposed around recurring themes. This new narrative consists of several portraits of inhabitants of Zeeland. We asked ourselves: why do they want their memories to be remembered forever?

More information about the film:

West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is a very secluded part of the Netherlands. It is not connected to the Netherlands by land, you can only get there over water or through a tunnel, and you have to pay for both options. Inhabitants of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen speak of ‘the Dutch’ as if they are from another country. The region even has it’s own flag and anthem. Over centuries this area has been in constant change. The geography, the sea and the constant battle against the seawater dictated most of the changes.

Nowadays the changes in the region are of a different kind. The geography still plays a big part in it though: just as in many other secluded area’s in Europe, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is rapidly changing because of macro-economic changes. A lot of old industries are dying. For ages most inhabitants were farmers and fishermen. But now the fishing industry hardly exists anymore; it disappeared within the last 20 years. Next to that a lot of farmers are leaving the region as a result of the expansion of farms. Finally there is an enormous ‘brain drain’ going on. Young people leave, never to return: there is no work for them in the area. As a result the population is aging rapidly. These changes have been going on for years, but at this moment the inhabitants feel as if these changes are gaining momentum. They are right: the municipality changed its policy and therefore changes are accelerated.The government tries to deal with the problems by focusing on a new industry: tourism. Polders are dug out to give space for artificial lakes and grand marina’s.

The inhabitants of the area are in the midst of this change: a lot is gone already, but new things haven’t started yet. They are in a vacuum between the old and the new. They are holding their breath while waiting for the tourists to come. This film is a poetic collage of portraits of inhabitants of the area. Among them, for example, skipper Jaap Albrechtse (63), who retires from his work and sails his ship to Africa. And the 22-year-old Mariëlle Notebaart. At workdays you can find her behind the counter of the Texaco gas station. During festivities she has got an other job though: she is elected to be the towns’ beautiful ‘Shrimp Princess’, a new invention of the small fishing industry in Breskens to attract tourists to their town. Another character is Foort Lokerse (59), the head of the fish auction. He wants to turn his fish auction into a Fish Experience for tourists for whom he will place a ship on the roof of his building; it will be his own fish theme park. He hopes it will save the identity of Breskens as a fishing town.

The portraits of Jaap, Mariëlle, Foort and many others form a mosaic. All portraits together form one story, the story about change in West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. Sound and music are very important elements in this film. Broeder Dieleman, a rising artist from Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, made almost all the music for the film. His music, together with the sound of water, wind and seagulls, forms a base for the rhythm of the film.
The film is on permanent display in the collection of Het Zeeuws Museum.

 
Produced by: Zeeuws Museum, Serious Film, Studio Kimmo.


Press:
VPRO, DE AVONDEN
NPS, LIJN 1  
PZC
PZC & OMROEP ZEELAND @ FILM BY THE SEA

Film & Philosophy Conference:
http://www.film-philosophy.com








Jan Bot
Filmmaking Bot




Jan Bot (2016)
Directors: Bram Loogman & Pablo Núñez Palma

Jan Bot was EYE Filmmuseum’s first robot employee. Jan Bot was a computer program that worked day and night to create experimental films that match early twentieth century footage with current trending events. 

At Jan Bot’s website, www.jan.bot, it was possible to watch in real-time what Jan Bot was processing or preparing for its next movie.

Currently the site contains its complete collection of short films made by Jan Bot as well as a special section with notes on the research carried out by Jan Bot’s creators and guest writers.
 
Jan Bot: bringing film heritage to the algorithmic age, is a co-production between EYE Filmmuseum and Stichting Modern Times.

Produced by:
Mirka Duijn

Link to the site: www.jan.bot
Linkt to the Metalog: Metalog.


Funded by
Creative Industries Fund
Amsterdam Fund for the Arts







The Industry   
Interactive Documentary, VR, Podcast Series


The Industry (2017 - 2018)
Director: Mirka Duijn 


The Industry is a transmedia project existing out of a VR Documentary, an Interactive Documentary, a Podcast Series and a TV Documentary.

The Netherlands is the number one drugs country in Europe. Weed is in the DNA of The Netherlands, coke enters the country through the harbours, and XTC is as Dutch as chocolate sprinkles is.

The question then is: How is it possible that in a regulated country like the Netherlands drug can be produced and traded on such a large scale? The Industry explores this phenomenon. 

For The Industry weed growers, coke kingpins and drugs traffickers are being interviewed. Not as criminals but as entrepreneurs in a thriving industry where we never see or hear anything about. What made them choose to work in this industry? What makes them tick? How did their career develop? And how does a workday of a drug trafficker, coke lord or weet cutter look like?


Won a Peabody Award in 2018.
Won a FIVARS Award in 2019.
Special Mention at Prix Italia 2018. Nominated at IDFA 2018,
Nominated for Prix Europa 2018
Nominated for Prix Bohemia 2019

Produced by:
Corine Meijers,
Submarine Channel
VPRO

Read mere about the project here: www.vpro.nl/programmas/de-industrie.html

The broadcasts are also available as a podcast series via vpro.nl/deindustriepodcast.




Article
In 2017 Mirka published an article on the development in collaboration with H. Koenitz:
Beyond The Timeline a Data-Driven Interface For Interactive Documentary

Abstract
In this paper, we present work on the data-driven interface for The Industry, an interactive documentary in development about the Dutch illicit drug industry. The motivation for the work was to provide a more complete overview of a highly complex matter using a form of interactive digital narratives (IDN).

As it is with many complex issues, news reports on illegal drugs in the Netherlands are mostly fragmented and reactive, which makes it difficult for audiences to gain a good understanding of the topic. The approach starts by obtaining big-data sets from police and media. On this foundation, a narrative interface will be design

ed. This paper reports on the iterative design approach, and interface metaphors, on the lessons learned and the current state of affairs. Our intent with this paper is to fuel a discussion on narrative representations of complexity.