Born to a Dutch seafaring captain and a German mother, he moved with his family to Capelle aan den IJssel when he was 6 months old and grew up in Berkel en Rodenrijs. In 1993 he graduated from the Art Academy Rotterdam. In 2005 he was the co-writer and co-producer of Paradise Now, for which he won a European Film Award for Best Screenwriter. Since 2015 he is the director of the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
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