Anton Koolhaas

Date of birth
Date deceased


Anton Koolhaas was a Dutch writer and former director of the Netherlands Film Academy. Koolhaas was introduced to filmmaking through a photographer friend while he was studying liberal arts. After he graduated, he worked as an editor for the foreign section in the Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant, a national Dutch newspaper. Around the same time, he began publishing short stories. In the latter half of the 1940s Koolhaas moved to Amsterdam for a job at the magazine De Groene Amsterdammer, and he made a number of short films for Polygoon; in 1950 he followed this with his feature film, De dijk is dicht.

After this, Koolhaas took on a difficult post in Indonesia. Upon his return in 1955, Koolhaas made advertising films to earn a living. In his free time he wrote reviews for the magazine Vrij Nederland. He also wrote his well-known animal stories, collections of which are still regularly reprinted today. He became famous for writing the annual Boekenweekgeschenk (Book Week gift) in 1962, titled Een schot in de lucht.

In 1958 the Netherlands Film Academy was founded and Koolhaas was appointed to teach screenwriting. In the 1960s he was the scenarist for Haanstra's films Alleman and De stem van het water. Between 1968 and 1978 Koolhaas was the director of the Film Academy.

After that, he was the chairman of the production fund for Dutch film. After a brain haemorrhage at the beginning of the 1980s, he had to start taking things easier. He continued to write short stories. He received two important awards for his life's work: he was awarded the Constantijn Huygensprijs in 1989 and, in 1992, the P.C. Hooftprijs. Koolhaas passed away later that same year.


  1. 1950
    Director, Script writer
  2. 1975
    Dialogue, Script writer

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