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Marit van den Elshout new director FilmForward

Marit van den Elshout has been appointed as the new director by the Board of FilmForward. As of September 1, 2022, she will take over the tasks of quartermasters Dana Linssen and Joost de Vries. With her national and international network and innovative vision on talent development, she will determine the further course of the new network institution and center of expertise for talent development in the Dutch film and AV sector.

Marit van den Elshout is currently head of studies at the New Producers Academy, the newly established training program for producers with diverse backgrounds in Rotterdam. Marit will remain involved with the NPA until September to help shape the program and after that she will continue to offer her network and knowledge to the NPA Fellows from FilmForward.

From 2006 to the beginning of this year, Marit was head of the IFFR Pro department of the International Film Festival Rotterdam and was a member of various selection committees, including those of the Rotterdam Media Fund and the Netherlands Film Fund. She attended the EAVE Producer’s Workshop in 2009, has served on several project market juries and is a member of the European Film Academy.

FilmForward is a network institution and center of expertise for talent development in the Dutch film and AV sector. The organization started in 2020 as a sector-wide initiative to create a crossroads for the film and audiovisual industry in the Netherlands where all initiatives in the field of talent and skills development can come together. FilmForward focuses on the sustainable development of knowledge and skills for all professionally working makers in the film and audiovisual sector, with a focus on innovation, diversity and inclusion. There is close collaboration with the funds, festivals, professional training courses, professional and industry associations, broadcasters and streaming services and with Eye Filmmuseum. FilmForward is also part of the Screen Talent NL network for talent in the region.

Over the past two years, quartermasters Dana Linssen and Joost de Vries have set Filmforward on track, developing a substantive program of activities together with the board and the stakeholders, shaping the structure of the organization, including the development of a governance model and a have drawn up a strategic policy plan. Marit van den Elshout will take over the work of the two quartermasters from September.

Marit van den Elshout: “The Dutch film and television industry is on the move. There are challenges, but certainly so many opportunities to further professionalize it and make it more diverse and inclusive. FilmForward plays an important connecting role between all the great initiatives. that are already there at the moment and will try to fill in what is still missing. I consider it an honor and challenge to build on what Dana Linssen, Joost de Vries and the current FilmForward team have achieved over the past two years. To put together a permanent and diverse team that will turn FilmForward into a fully-fledged knowledge center that contributes to the further development of film and television talent in the Netherlands at all levels and thus to the future of the Dutch AV industry.”

Ernestine Comvalius, chairman of the board: “We are impressed by the clear way in which Marit has outlined in our discussions the steps that must now be taken to grow from the pilot phase of FilmForward into the network institution that can contribute to a more innovative, inclusive and diverse way of developing talent for all working professionals in film and audiovisual media in the Netherlands.”

Dana Linssen and Joost de Vries, quartermasters: “We know Marit as a passionate networker who listens carefully to what is going on in the sector. Her international experience will certainly contribute to raising talent development in the Netherlands to a higher level.”


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