about janica


Janica Draisma was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and grew up in Lusaka, Zambia, before she came to the Netherlands at the age of eight. She studied at the audio-visual department of the Rietveld Academy of Arts in Amsterdam, where she made her first 16MM films, entitled Cinematographic Choreographies. After her graduation, she moved to Paris to study mime (Decroux), classical singing and to further develop herself as a filmmaker and visual artist. Meanwhile she received a Golden Calf (Best Actress) for her role in Kyodai makes the Big Time by Ian Kerkhof. At the same time her short 16MM films, including La Balayeuse and Bala II, began touring around the world and were shown at festivals and various venues, including the Cinémathèque Française in Paris.

Invited by Ritsaert ten Cate, Janica returned to Amsterdam to join DasArts, a post-graduate MASTER institute for multimedia, dance and theatre, while she continued realizing and producing her own films and projects for which she founded Stichting Draft Foundation (ANBI status). She concluded her study with the documentary Ea Sola – Sécheresse et Pluie, a poetic film about the French-Vietnamese choreographer Ea Sola, which was co- produced by the Dutch television (NPS). In collaboration with visual artist Berend Strik, she then made The Wondrous, a sober portrait of mentally handicapped. Thereupon she moved to Rome to develop the choreography and video project La Terra e la Morte, inspired by the work of Cesare Pavese. It was created with the computer program Life Forms, that Merce Cunningham pioneered working with.

In order to improve her screenwriting skills, Janica did another MASTER at the Binger Film Institute, led by Jeanne Wikler. Meanwhile she was commissioned by the Dutch television (NPS) to write and direct the short film The Sound of Drumming. After this Janica received a stipend for an artist residency at the Holsboer Atelier, in the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, where she further developed a feature film script, produced a series of video interviews and made a collection of street photographs.

Back in Amsterdam she won the EPTAS Competition of the Dutch Film Fund and developed Crossing my lips (Over mijn lippen), a short, musical documentary about stuttering and communication. The film received a Nomination for Best Short Documentary at the Dutch Film Festival. It was shown at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, followed by screenings all over the world. She was then invited by double-bass player Quirijn van Regteren Altena to develop Romance with double bass, a silent film, accompanied by live music. It premiered at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ in Amsterdam and was presented at the Dutch Film Festival in 2009.

In 2015 Janica wrote and published an oeuvre book about her work, entitled Into the Light, a numbered and signed, limited edition, with a foreword by Sandra den Hamer, director of EYE Film Museum, Amsterdam. The book was launched at EYE, together with the screening of her short films. The book Into the Light can be ordered directly from the author or from www.draftfoundation.com

Janica recently concluded The Secret Room – A journey into the universe of Odin Teatret, a feature documentary about the Italian director Eugenio Barba (1936) and his multidisciplinary theatre company Odin Teatret in Holstebro, Denmark.
The film has been selected for the Official Competition of the Dutch Film Festival 2020.

Future projects include a video installation, an opera project and a feature film.

Janica her films and works feature in the collection of the Eye Film museum and in the collection of the Cinémathèque de la danse in Paris. Her work is also regularly shown in museums and other venues worldwide.

Languages: English, French, Dutch, Italian, German, understanding of Portuguese

Voice: Soprano
Curriculum vitae on request