3 – 28 NOVEMBER 2023: Exhibition at Huis Vasari Amsterdam

From November 3 till 28 Metamorphosis is on show at Huis Vasari, Herengracht 366,  Amsterdam.

Metamorphosis is a series of photographs in which caterpillars are shown on their specific host plants. These photos were made against a white background, a visual reference to drawings and engravings from the 17th as those of Maria Sibylla Merian. The white background, and also the bamboo paper on which the photos are printed, emphasise the graphic part of photographic.

The complete metamorphosis of butterflies is a breathtaking process to witness. The transition to each new stage a visible struggle. Metamorphosis documents this process and also reveals the ecology of the caterpillars and the plants they live on.
Fine art prints on Hahnemühle Bamboo
Size 121 x 85 cm  | edition 7 + 1 AP
Size  85 x 60 cm | edition 7 + 1 AP


Very happy, proud and grateful that METAMORPHOSIS will premiere at IDFA:
11 Nov. 19:00 – Tuschinski 2
12 Nov. 13:45 – Pathe City 3 (industry and press screening)
12 Nov. 21:00 – Munt 13
15 Nov. 14:30 – EYE 2
17 Nov. 21:15 – Munt 12
18 Nov. 13:45 – Munt 10

“In Metamorphosis, filmmaker and media artist Pim Zwier chooses a highly original form to depict the life and work of the German artist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), whose study of insects laid the foundations of entomology. Her most important work revolved around the metamorphosis of caterpillars into butterflies: she recorded the process in beautiful prints and engravings and was the first to draw the insects in combination with the plant on which they live.

Zwier subtly sets 17th-century drawings and paintings in motion. He also uses actors to bring historical sources to life. His own observations play a central role: for Metamorphosis, originally a photography project, Zwier started breeding caterpillars himself to document their pupation in close-up. The film includes stunning footage of the process.

This combination of nature documentary, costume drama and art project offers a fascinating insight into Merian’s adventurous life, as well as into one of nature’s most mysterious metamorphoses.” 

from IDFA’s catalogue


Preparing for an exhibition!


Metamorphosis, my film about Maria Sibylla Merian, is now in full production. Shooting days and editing alternate. Similar to Merian, I follow the metamorphosis of various caterpillars into butterflies in my studio and document the process both on film and photography. Metamorphosis is a film about Merian’s fascination for the metamorphosis, her work and working process, her life story. It is also a film about ecology, colonial history, and women’s emancipation. 

With Carly Wijs, Pierre Bokma, Sieger Sloot, Tsead Bruinja, Jonathan Huisman, Sue-Ann Bel  and others. DOP Aage Hollander, camera assistant Deen van Liempd, sound Menno Euwe, costumes design Sasha Pershay, costume assistant Melisa Alkanlar, tailor of the dresses for Merian Flora van Egeraat, make-up music Holland Baroque, director/script/editor Pim Zwier, executive producer Tessa Bouwmeester, production assistant Floor van der Meulen and Eva Riemens, producer Carolijn Borgdorff, produced by Moondocs. 

Supported by Netherlands Film Fund, Film Fund Production Incentive, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Fond21, Cultuurfonds Documentary Stipend



13 MAY till 10 JUNE 2023: Exhibition at Contour Gallery Rotterdam

O, Collecting Eggs Despite the Times is on show at Contour Gallery in Rotterdam from 13 May till 11 June!
On 4 June from 15:30 till 17:00 there will be an artist talk in which I will speak on the project. You’re are very welcome!
May is the month in which we commemorate the victims of war and celebrates freedom. Eggs and war, a greater contrast hardly seems possible, yet they are bound together in O, Collecting Eggs Despite the Times.Through the correspondence on Max Schönwetter’s untimely embarkment on oology, or the study of birds’ eggs, and Zwier’s close-up photography of the eggs together with peculiar cinematic juxtaposition of human and fowl, a new light is shed on the formerly-unknown slice of history.

Cacophonies of goose honks and explosion, footages of marching Nazis switched up with those of birds nestling in the tree and clean close-ups of speckled eggs make for an unlikely set-up for this unconventional documentary. Awarded for Best Directing in the Envision Competition at IDFA, is praised by the jury for its combination of intense archive images, the tranquillity that the study of 19,206 eggs of 3,839 bird species brings, and the unique editing style that offers the viewer an unparalleled insight into the “times” of the war-torn Europe in the 20 century. Between the cold and clinical scientific research of and genuine passion for collecting the birds’ eggs, the film creates an interplay of contrast by placing side by side the fragility of the eggs, a metaphor for life, with the harshness of the war that entails millions of deaths.
Through the personal story that is recorded in these letters Schönwetterexchanged with the oologists and experts, or as Zwier calls an “intimate chronicle”, can we relate to the happenings and, as a result, better understand the nuance of history and see the past in a different light. These exchanges of letters also reveal something universally human: our attachment to certain objects that we hold so dear to and of which we shall not let go despite the circumstances. For Schönwetter, we
could see his relentless curiosity that led up to his determination to study the “entire avifauna” and contribute to the field of oology. Ultimately, it was simply his love for the eggs and the quest to collect them that withstood the inconvenience and hardship brought about by the raging war.

9 NOVEMBER 2022: Documentary Stipend of the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund

[English below] Het Documentaire Stipendium van het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds is dit jaar aan mij toegekend! Ik ben bijzonder blij en erg dankbaar!!!
Uit het juryrapport: “De combinatie van intense archiefbeelden, de rust die de studie van 19.206 eieren van 3.839 vogelsoorten brengt en de unieke montagestijl biedt de kijker een weergaloze inkijk in de breekbaarheid van de menselijke geest in oorlogstijd. Het juryrapport benadrukt de kundigheid waarmee Zwier vanuit een microsituatie een breed tijdsbeeld schetst en daarmee een nieuw perspectief op de oorlogstijd biedt. Zij zien in het wegkijken voor het oorlogsleed zowel een universele als een uiterst actuele component.”
The Documentary Stipend of the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund was awarded to me this year! I am happy and very grateful!!!
From the jury rapport: “The combination of intense archive footage, the tranquillity brought by the study of 19,206 eggs of 3,839 bird species and the unique editing style offers the viewer an unparalleled insight into the fragility of the human spirit in wartime. The jury report emphasises the skill with which Zwier paints a broad time picture from a micro situation, offering a new perspective on wartime. They see in looking away from the suffering of war both a universal and a highly actual component.”


A day of (test) filming for the new project. I enjoyed working on the smallest details with a wonderful team of people. The research slowly comes to an end, a first draft of the script is ready, the accompanying texts are mostly written.

Actors: Kee Heijmans and Sieger Sloot
Camera: Aage Hollander
Sound: Menno Euwe
Costume: Ilse Oosterhoff
Produced by Moondocs 

29 JANUARY – 18 APRIL 2022: O part of the BEST OF IDFA ON TOUR

27 jan. – De Omval Dordrecht

29 jan. – Schuur Haarlem
29 jan. – De Lieve Vrouw Amersfoort
29 jan. – Concordia Enschede

30 jan. – Forum Groningen

1 feb. – Schuur Haarlem

4 feb. – De Lieve Vrouw Amersfoort
5 feb. – Schuur Haarlem
6 feb. – Gigant Apeldoorn
8 feb. – Schuur Haarlem
12 feb. – Schuur Haarlem
12 feb. – De nieuwe bibliotheek Almere
13 feb. – Fraterhuis Zwolle
16 feb. – De nieuwe bibliotheek Almere
19 feb. – Schuur Haarlem
19 feb. – Lumen Delft
19 feb. – Parkvilla Alphen a/d Rijn
20 feb. – t Hoogt Utrecht
20 feb. – Cinecitta Tilburg
20 feb. – Filmtheater Hilversum
20 feb. – Filmhuis Den Haag
26 feb. – Schuur Haarlem
26 feb. – Forum Groningen
27 feb. – Filmhuis Cameo Zoetemeer
27 feb. – Chassé Cinema Breda
27 feb. – Cinema Middelburg
27 feb. – Filmhuis De Spiegel Heerlen
27 feb. – Natlab Eindhoven
27 feb. – Gruitpoort Doetinchem
27 feb. – Rialto VU Amsterdam
28 feb. – Filmhuis De Spiegel Heerlen

5 mrt. – Rialto De Pijp Amsterdam
5 mrt. – LantarenVenster Rotterdam
5 mrt. – Schuur Haarlem
5 mrt. – De Fabriek Zaandam
6 mrt. – Filmhuis Hilversum
6 mrt. – Cinecity Vlissingen
6 mrt. – Parkvilla Alphen a/d Rijn
8 mrt. – LantarenVenster Rotterdam
8 mrt. – Schuur Haarlem
12 mrt. – Filmhuis Gouda
12 mrt. – Schuur Haarlem
12 mrt. – Cacaofabriek Helmond
12 mrt. – Verkadefabriek Den Bosch
13 mrt. – LantarenVenster Rotterdam
13 mrt. – Filmhuis Hilversum
13 mrt. – Lumière Cinema Maastricht
13 mrt. – Theater Aan De Slinger Houten
13 mrt. – Mimik Deventer
13 mrt. – Filmhuis Bussum
19 mrt. – Schuur Haarlem
19 mrt. – Filmhuis Lumen Delft
19 mrt. – Louis Hartlooper Complex Utrecht
20 mrt. – De Balie Amsterdam
20 mrt. – t Hoogt Utrecht
20 mrt. – Gigant Apeldoorn
20 mrt. – Filmhuis Alkmaar
20 mrt. – Lux Nijmegen
22 mrt. – Schuur Haarlem
25 mrt. – LantarenVenster Rotterdam
26 mrt. – Louis Hartlooper Complex Utrecht
26 mrt. – Cinema Oostereiland Hoorn
26 mrt. – Focus Filmtheater Arnhem
27 mrt. – Natlab Eindhoven
27 mrt. – Cinebergen Bergen
27 mrt. – De Domijnen Sittard
29 mrt. – LantarenVenster Rotterdam
30 mrt. – Lumiere Cinema Maastricht

2 apr. – LantarenVenster Rotterdam
3 apr. – ECI Cultuurfabriek Roermond
3 apr. – Focus Filmtheater Arnhem
3 apr. – Slieker Leeuwarden
3 apr. – De Nieuwe Scene Venlo
8 apr. – Focus Filmtheater Arnhem
9 apr. – Theater De Leest Waalwijk
10 apr. – Cinema Amstelveen
10 apr. – Filmhuis Oosterbeek
17 apr. – Filmtheater Velsen IJmuiden
18 apr. – Filmtheater Voorschoten
18 apr. – Focus Filmtheater Arnhem

25 NOVEMBER 2021: O won the Award for Best Directing in the Envision Competition at IDFA !!!

From the jury statement: “In this structurally surprising and well-crafted film, the fragility of eggshells becomes the metaphor for the vulnerability of the human spirit as it collides with the heaviness of war. It recognizes the passion of collectors going through harsh and tragic times, and research as an important element of documentary film.” I am so very very grateful!

1 NOVEMBER 2021: O has been selected for IDFA !!

From the translucent golden eggs of the Tibetan bearded vulture to those of the British guillemot with their Jackson Pollock-like splashes, German ornithologist Max Schönwetter (1874-1961) collected them all. He devoted his life to oology, the study of birds’ eggs. But while Schönwetter created order in his world of eggs, chaos broke out in the world around him on the eve of the Second World War.

Archive footage of turbulent outside events contrasts with re-enacted scenes from Schönwetter’s study. As Nazis march through the streets, he measures eastern subalpine warbler’s eggs. His correspondence with fellow scientists and collectors (heard in voiceover) evokes both the zeitgeist and the single-minded collecting urges of Schönwetter and his associates. A soldier on the Finnish-Russian front, for example, is delighted with the ptarmigan eggs he has found between battles.


22 November at 20.45, Munt 11
24 November at 16.15, Tuschinski 4
25 November at 17.00, Munt 3
26 November at 18.30, Eye 2
28 November at 10.00, Ketelhuis 1


21 FEBRUARY 2021: Filming in the Zoological collections in Halle

After two previous attempts that had to be cancelled due to changed pandemic-regulations, it was wonderful to film in the zoological collections in Halle (Saale).

Re-enacted scenes: Frank Steinheimer
Camera: Jaïr Mahazri
Sound: Christian Schunke

Set photos: Arila Perl/ZNS.

Produced by Moondocs


22 JANUARY 2020: (UN)MOVED at the Hermitage Amsterdam!!


The photos are hung, the texts glued to the wall, the lights are set: the exhibition is open!!