I, Joost van der Wiel, was born on December 4, 1983. On the same day as legendary goalkeeper Jean Marie Pfaff, rapper Jay Z and historian Geert Mak. A brief exposition of this apparent coincidence.


‘Ik dook in die Linkerhoeke, und die Bal kwamte auch in die Linkerhoeke’

– Jean Marie Pfaff


The late 1980s I mainly spent on the football fields of Liempde, a town in the south of The Netherlands. At that time Jean Marie Pfaff was in his prime and arguably the world’s best goalkeeper. I chose the same position, under the crossbar, at the local club DVG. Without consciously thinking about it at the time, I chose the position of a loner. Overseeing everything and with the responsibility of my own territory. That urge for autonomy has never disappeared. I shun the masses, seek the eccentric, but never stray too far from the herd. My films feature characters who have the same irrepressible urge for freedom.


With that disdain in my membrane
Got on my pimp game

– Jay Z in December 4th


In high school it was hip-hop music that made me insatiably curious about a world radically different from the one I knew. I studied the map of New York night after night. The unknown beckoned. Brooklyn. I had to go there (and had the luxury to do so). On Flatbush Avenue I bought LPs from Shabaam Sahdeeq, Talib Kweli & Mos Def. I continued to stare at mysterious places on maps. And then I ventured out. To Russia, Mauritania, Colombia, Tunisia, Rwanda and Moddergat, Friesland.


The cricket that just danced and sang all summer while the ant toiled away its supplies for the winter. It got cold, the cricket got hungry, but the ant refused to help him: he would have had to work.

– Geert Mak


When I enroll at film school I am under the impression that I want to learn how to make fiction films. At the same time Geert Mak’s series ‘In Europe’ is broadcasted. The series reveals major shifts in European history on the basis of seamingly ordinary citizens. It opens my eyes for the beauty of the micro world. The world of astonishing details and budding characters. Tutors point me towards the drop of water in Werner Herzog’s The White Diamond. At a film festival the rhythm of 4 Elements blows me away. I learn I don’t want to invent stories. They are already here.

In 2023 me and my wife relocated to work for international news media in the Middle East.


2023 | Extra Hands
2019 | Drømmeland

2016 | The Shepherd
2012 | Growing up can wait
2010 | Soles of Ethiopia

Other work

2019| Tutor BA Design (Film), Willem de Kooning Academy
2018| Founder and creative director Klein New Orleans Festival

2017 | Volunteer Municipality garden De Rotterdamse Munt
2016 | Voluntary tutor Dutch language, AZC


2019 | Arts tutor degree, WdKA
2014 | Interview techniques, OpenStudio

2010 | BA Design (Film), Willem de Kooning Academie Rotterdam
2008 | BA Screen Based Graphics, University of Lincoln, UK
2006 | MultiMedia, SintLucas, Boxtel