Marjolein Busstra is a documentary photographer and filmmaker. Her work has been exhibited at several venues and directed documentaries that have been screened on Dutch TV and (inter)national film festivals. Aiming to unravel identity structures and representations, she captures stories touching on universal themes such as human rights, dislocation, and political and cultural exclusion. Although these are somewhat heavy subjects, Marjolein’s work always has a touch of humanity, humour and personality.

Take the project ‘Moroccan Mothers’, where she interviewed Moroccan moms on their view with regards to bringing up their sons in the Netherlands. A perspective rarely voiced in the current media landscape. The project came to fruition through an exhibition and a television series. Her documentary ‘I Love my Muslim’, broadcasted by Viceland, received global appraisal including tributes from international film festivals like DOK.fest and Movies that Matter.

Marjolein is also co-founder of production house ‘Lege Fles’. Here she developed campaigns that paint a more complex image of vulnerable situations in non-Western countries; which values self-determination, solidarity, and above all, humanity instead of victimisation. She has documented various subjects for Doctors without Borders and Amnesty International. After her participation at the IDFA Academy 2019, Marjolein partnered with HALAL working on her newest documentary which is currently in development.

2009 - 2011Academy of Arts St Joost, Breda: Master Photography
2005 - 2007University of Amsterdam: Master Filmstudies
2003 - 2005University of Groningen: Bachelor Art, Culture and Media
1999 - 2003Academy of Arts Minerva, Groningen: Photography

Exhibitions / Screenings
2018Movies that Matter: screening documentary `I <3 My Muslim`
2018Melkweg cinema Amsterdam: premiere documentary `I <3 My Muslim`
2018Viceland TV Netherlands: broadcasts `I <3 My Muslim`
2018Docfeed Eindhoven: screening documentary `I <3 My Muslim`
2018DOK.fest München: screening documentary `I <3 My Muslim`
2018Fjuzn Bratislava: screening documentary `I <3 My Muslim`
2016RecycleArt Brussels: solo exhibition `Moroccan moms`
2016Fotodok Utrecht: group exhibition `Family`
2015NTR: five-part documentary series about Moroccan mothers for Dutch television
2014Melkweg gallery Amsterdam: solo exhibition `Moroccan moms`
2014Tolhuistuin Amsterdam: group exhibition `Pickle Magazine` in collaboration with `Eddie the Eagle museum`
2013Eddie the Eagle Museum Amsterdam: fist offline issue of `Pickle magazine`
2012Gallery Kulter Amsterdam: screening of `Alter Ego`s`
2012BOLO Amsterdam: `Operation Peter Pan`
2011International Departure Gate 11 Modena, Italy
2011CBK Den Bosch: Final Exams, AKV St. Joost: documentary `Alter Ego`s`
2011Kunsthal Rotterdam: group exhibition `Crisis!`
2010De Balie Amsterdam: screening short film `Michel` `Kamermans Kermis`
2008Filmhuis Gouda: screening documentary `Palestine`
2007Kriterion Amsterdam: screening documentary `Jatorria`
2004Bornse Synagoge: solo exhibition. `It`s your mind that creates this world.`
2004CBK Assen: group exhibition

2018NRC: article about `I <3 My Muslim`
2018Trouw: article about I <3 My Muslim
2016De Morgen: article about exhibition `Moroccan Moms` in Brussels
2015Vrij Nederland: photo story and short film about convert Carla
2015VPRO gids: publication on tv series `Moroccan mothers`
2014De Morgen: article about exhibition `Moroccan Moms`
2014NRC: article about exhibition`Moroccan Moms`
2014Parool: article about exhibition`Moroccan Moms`
2014Trouw: article about exhibition`Moroccan Moms`
2014Vice: interview about the exhibition`Moroccan Moms`
2014Vrij Nederland: photo documentary of homeless girl Naomi
2014De Corespondent: publication of three short movies `Urban Nomads` Correspondent
2014De Correspondent: series of photos and a short movie about homeless girl Laura
2014De Corespondent: pictures and one short movie about the eviction of `Urban Nomads`Correspondent
2013NRC-next: publication of the series `Urban Nomads`
2013Mister Motley: article on Moroccan Moms
2012De Betere Wereld: publication of the series `Open Rescue`
2012Vice Magazine: publication of the series `Open Rescue`
2011Pickle Magazine: together with three other photographers I started online magazine Pickle magazine
2011Volkskrant: `Crisis!` exhibition Kunsthal Rotterdam
2011NRC: `Crisis!` exhibition Kunsthal Rotterdam
2010Vice Magazine: photographic image `100 years of solitude`

Work experience
2019Joined HALAL
2018Filming a campaign in El Salvador commissioned by `Amnesty International`
2017Filming a documentary in Irak commissioned by `Doctors without borders.`
2011 Started production company Lege Fles
2008Banja Luka Film Festival: Programmer student films.
2007International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA): researcher programme-department
2007Giving a documentary film and photo workshop in the Palestine Territories

2019Participant of the IDFAcademy & NPO-fonds Workshop
2018Nominated for the Dutch Doc Award of `Movies that Matter` with `I <3 My Muslim`
2018Invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands to screen and attend Human right film festival Fjuzn with `I Love My Muslim` in Bratislava, Slovakia.
2016Project `Moroccan mothers` is included in the collection of the museum Amsterdam city archive.
2014One of 20 documentary filmmakers and interactive storytelling talents from the Netherlands
and Belgium at IDFA doc lab academy
2014Selected for the Vrij Nederland photo story
2011Stichting Stedelijke Fotografie: photographer for Dutch Crisis project in cooperation with `Fonds BKVB`
2011Selected for International Departure: Gate 11 Modena Italy
2010Workshop `Sight/Site` Academy of Arts Parsons New York