Hispano Filmfabriek


The Hispano Filmfabriek was founded in May 1924 by filmmaker and cameraman Henk Alsem. Between 1924 and 1932, the company produced many corporate and advertising films.

For the corporate films, Alsem travelled around the world, sometimes accompanied by fellow cameraman Otto van Neijenhoff. He shot footage of e.g. the first flight to the Dutch East Indies, and of the excavations in Luxor, where the tomb of Tutankhamen was discovered. In 1929, Hispano was commissioned by Barnstijn’s Hofstad Film to make a number of short sound films of sketches featuring well-known revue artists.

In 1927, a branch of Hispano was established in Batavia. It is unclear whether Alsem – who at the time was staying in the Dutch East Indies – was involved. This quickly caused a conflict with the Hispano Filmfabriek in The Hague, which is why Bekker, the general manager of the branch in the Dutch East Indies, announced in December 1929 that he was dropping the word Hispano from the name; the Dutch East Indies branch would thereafter simply be called Filmfabriek. A few months later, in 1930, Hispano renamed itself Hispano Filmfabriek voor Nederland en Koloniën.

For Hispano, Alsem directed the feature film Rawana in the Dutch East Indies, an educational film about the dangers of opium use.

Thereafter, things quieted down for Hispano, but Alsem continued to work with on several feature as a cameraman for Cinetone Studio's. He would also still sporadically shoot films for Hispano. In 1937, Alsem presented plans for his own studio that would make it possible to shoot colour film in the Netherlands, though these plans were never realized.

After Alsem's death in 1953, his widow took over the Hispano Filmfabriek. When she died in 1967, the company was dissolved.


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