Hanneke Schutte and Kevin Spacey

Jameson First Shot | An Interview with Hanneke Schutte



Last year’s Jameson First Shot SA winner was award-winning writer/director Hanneke Schutte who you might also know as the blogger behind Handsome Things or as one of our 2013 Creative Women. Her first feature film, Jimmy In Pienk, was released last year August and went on to be named Winner of the UK Film Council/NFVF 25 Words or Less Contest and Winner of the Best Feature Film Award at the Beloit International Film Festival. Her Jameson First Shot short film, Saving Norman, starred Willem Dafoe as a hypochondriac ex ping pong player who never got over missing a major tournament final because of a cold.


Ahead of the global premiere of the three winning 2014 films (look out for them on 10and5 soon), we asked Hanneke about her experience and what she has been up to since.


What was your motivation/the deciding factor to enter Jameson First Shot?


I thought it was an incredible opportunity to work with some of the best people in the film industry. It’s not every day that you get to direct an A-list actor and work with one of Hollywood’s best producers. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.


What do you enjoy about the short film format?


It’s challenging and exciting to tell an engaging story in such a short amount of time. It really forces you to find the essence of every scene.


What kind of films do you make and what kind do you want make?


At the moment I’ve made two shorts and a feature – the feature was a comedy and both the shorts were dramas. I enjoyed both genres, but I’d like to venture into magic realism next.


How would you describe your style or ‘voice’?


I enjoy creating films that are slightly off-beat and whimsical.


Why was Saving Norman a piece you wanted to make?


There were elements to the story that were personal to me and the theme of the film is something close to my heart.




What did you learn from the JFS experience that has helped you since?


It has given me the courage to take on any challenge. It was incredibly intimidating working with an A-list actor, but the experience has taught me to trust myself.


What advice can you pass on to filmmakers graduating soon or young creatives considering a career as a writer/director?


I think it’s important to put yourself out there. Create things: write, paint, take photos, make little films. The more you immerse yourself in creativity and the more you dare to fail, the more you’ll grow.


What have you been working on since?


My first feature film Jimmy in Pienk was released last year and I’ve recently completed the development on my next feature film script.




What do you think constitutes ‘making it’ in your industry?


I think it’s a privilege just to be able to make films. I personally just want to learn from each experience and to get the opportunity to tell stories that are meaningful to me.


What’s next?


I’m hoping to get funding for my next project. Crossing my fingers and toes.


Where can we keep up to date with you and your work?


You’ll find me on:







Jameson First Shot: Saving Norman Jameson First Shot: Saving Norman Jameson First Shot: Saving Norman
Hanneke Schutte and Kevin Spacey






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