Renée Scheltema

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Renée Scheltema (born 1951 in Bergen, North Holland) is a Dutch documentary filmmaker, living in Cape Town, South Africa. She has been making documentaries for 25 years.

After her Bachelors at Law, and Doctorandus degree in Criminology in 1974, she received her Masters at the School of Journalism at the University of California in Berkeley. Her main subjects were TV journalism and photojournalism.

In 1978, she proceeded to work for Dutch television as a Director for the NOS International Affairs Programme. She was also Assistant Director for two Dutch feature movies. Thereafter she became a freelance documentary filmmaker, working mainly for Dutch TV stations, like the NOS, NCRV, AVRO, Human TV, TROS, Veronica, IKON, VPRO, and the BOS, Buddhist Broadcasting Station.

Many documentaries were co-productions with TV and the Dutch Non-governmental organization SNV, focusing on sustainable development and the protection of the environment. She has been director, producer, cameraperson and editor.

Her art series "Canvas Extreme" consists of seven 30-minute portraits of contemporary cutting-edge artists in South Africa, and was sold to TV stations in France, Spain, Mexico, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

She filmed for a Dutch Public Broadcasting station documentaries including Happy in Zimbabwe?, Portrait of a Zen couple, and Een Gezelig Gesprek, Portrait of Nicolaas Pierson.

Scheltema's 2009 feature documentary Something Unknown Is Doing We Don't Know What[1] investigates the science behind psychic experiences, featuring top scientists in the US, such as Prof. Charles Tart, Dr. Dean Radin, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, and Hal Puthoff.[2] This award-winning film has been selected at many film festivals, and has been distributed worldwide. Renée also wrote a book called Something Unknown which is available on Amazon. The book has been translated in Dutch, called "Iets Bekends Doet Iets Onverwachts", available on Bol

In August 2015, after 4 years of working as a one-woman-film-crew, Renée completed a 120’ min. Feature Documentary: “Normal Is Over The Movie” on the big picture of what is happening to the planet, through an environmental lens. The documentary looks at the cause and symptoms of our current situation, and finds solutions where you would least expect them- on many different levels.

Film festivals for Normal Is Over The Movie[edit]

Official Selection International Environmental Film Festival Spain. Nov. 2015

Honorable Mention Award, Tassie Eco Film Festival, Nov. 2015

Film festivals for Something Unknown Is Doing We Don't Know What[edit]

Something Unknown Is Doing We Don't Know What

Hush, a portrait of artist Tracy Payne

  • Asolo Art Filmfestival, 2001[6]
  • International Festival for Woman Films, Paris, 2000

Other films

  • Donostia (Spain): “Seven Days in Burma” a co-production with TV and UNDP and UNESCO
  • Monte Carlo: “The Death Penalty”, a coproduction with TV and Amnesty International
  • WSSD filmfestival Johannesburg, 2002: “The Bus”, with WWF-Table Mountain Fund and the National Botanical Gardens in South Africa
  • European TV Festival of Rel.Progr.Norway: "A Zen couple in the Western Cape"


Scheltema is also a professional still photographer and has been working for magazines and newspapers in the Netherlands, the United States, and South Africa. She was a member of Gamma Liaison in New York City (now called Getty Images).

Exhibition: "More than Clogs and Tulips", Prints of Theo Van Gogh, A unique collection of photographic moments. 2008. Presented by the Dutch Consulate in Cape Town.

Exhibition: Streetkids in Cape Town. Curated by The Homestead



  1. ^ Something Unknown Is Doing We Don't Know What at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ scientists interviewed for "Something Unknown..."
  3. ^ Globians Doc Fest Berlin
  4. ^ Spirit Quest Film Festival
  5. ^ Durban International Film Festival schedule
  6. ^ Asolo Art Filmfestival

External links[edit]