Alex van Warmerdam (filmmaker, writer, designer, director and actor) was born 14 August 1952 in Haarlem. After the School for Graphic Design he successfully completed the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and went on to become co-founder of the legendary music theatre company Hauser Orkater.
In the late seventies, in collaboration with Jim van der Woude and Frans Weisz, he wrote the script and drew the storyboard for the filmed versions of Hauser Orkater’s performances Entrée Brussels and Striptease. After the short film De Stedeling (The Townsman), he made his first feature film Abel (Voyeur) in 1986, followed by De Noorderlingen (The Northerners), De Jurk (The Dress), Kleine Teun (Little Tony) and Grimm, Ober (Waiter) and De laatste dagen van Emma Blank (The Last Days of Emma Blank).
From 1980 onwards, he has made 11 theatre performances with his company De Mexicaanse Hond, including Graniet (Granite), Kaatje Is Verdronken (Cathy Has Drowned), Kleine Teun (Little Tony), Adel Blank and De verschrikkelijke moeder (The Horrible Mother). All his theatrical texts and plays, as well as his novel De Hand van een Vreemde (The Hand of a Stranger) have been published by publishing house Thomas Rap. In 2006 publishing house Nieuw Amsterdam published his collection of poems Van alle kanten komen ze (They’re Coming From All Sides).
In addition to many film awards, he received the prestigious Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation Theatre Award for his body of work as maker of theatre and film, as well as the Albert van Dalsum Award from the city of Amsterdam and the Dutch/Flemish Toneelschrijfprijs for his theatrical work, amongst others. In 2001, he entertained and astonished readers of the newspaper NRC Handelsblad with his weekly gouaches. In the spring of 2010, the city museum of Schiedam put on a special exhibition of his multidisciplinary work, titled Alex van Warmerdam: exhibition, paintings, film, theatre. On 15 November, Alex van Warmerdam receives Holland’s highest artistic and cultural distinction, the Johannes Vermeer Award 2010, the state prize for the arts.