Skip to content

Cilia van Dijk (1941-2023), passionate animation producer who had nothing to do with Disney

She belonged to a select company - that of Dutch Oscar winners. On 24 March 1986, Cilia van Dijk (1941-2023) was allowed to take to the stage in Hollywood as producer of Børge Ring's Anna & Bella to receive the Oscar for best short animation. In this context, the name Van Dijk naturally brings to mind Gerrit van Dijk (1938-2012), the headstrong artist who had emerged as an energetic representative of a new generation of animation filmmakers in the 1970s.

Indeed, in 1963, Cilia van Lieshout was married to Gerrit van Dijk, a marriage that also meant a lot artistically. After all, a director/artist may usually be more in the spotlight than the producer behind it, but they couldn't do without each other. In an interview in the memorial book of the same name (2020) dedicated to freebooter Gerrit van Dijk, she talks about the twosome they formed. Together, but also each going their own way. In the aforementioned book you can read, among other things, that she had little love for Harry Potter or Disney.

Warm heart for culture

She emerged as a film producer (and distributor) when artist Gerrit van Dijk started making animation films. This joined a wide range of other activities she was involved in, even before that. Cilia van Dijk co-founded Release, founded modelling agency People and a crèche, was a member of Dolle Mina and in 1978 started the distribution company Animated People. The latter was the forerunner of the Netherlands Institute for Animation. She was a board member of the Holland Animation Association and sat on many advisory committees and juries. And, as mentioned, was a producer of short, artistically idiosyncratic animation films, mostly by her husband.

In Haarlem, she and Gerrit were heavily involved in local cultural life, providing her services to the Toneelschuur and theatre company Het Volk, among others.

Animation knows no boundaries

I move, therefore I exist

Gerrit van Dijk's films she produced have received multiple awards. Including the Golden Bear in Berlin for both Pas à deux (1988) as I move, therefore I exist (1998). In 2015, she produced Animation Has No Borders, a compilation film to the music of The Internationale, made by 36 animators from 36 countries. Actually quite fitting for its rich network and its many activities in support of independent animation film.

Cilia van Dijk was appointed Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau and was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She died after a short illness on 26 April 2023.

Appreciate this article!

If you appreciate this article and want to show your appreciation with a small contribution: you can! This is how you help keep independent journalism alive. Show your appreciation with a small donation!


Why donate?

We are convinced that good investigative journalism and expert background information are essential for a healthy cultural sector. There is not always space and time for that. Culture Press does want to provide that space and time, and keep it accessible to everyone for FREE! Whether you are rich, or poor. Thanks to donations From readers like you, we can continue to exist. This is how Culture Press has existed since 2009!

You can also become a member, then turn your one-off donation into lasting support!

Leo Bankersen

Leo Bankersen has been writing about film since Chinatown and Night of the Living Dead. Reviewed as a freelance film journalist for the GPD for a long time. Is now, among other things, one of the regular contributors to De Filmkrant. Likes to break a lance for children's films, documentaries and films from non-Western countries. Other specialities: digital issues and film education.View Author posts

Private Membership (month)
5 / Maand
For natural persons and self-employed persons.
No annoying banners
A special newsletter
Own mastodon account
Access to our archives
Small Membership (month)
18 / Maand
For cultural institutions with a turnover/subsidy of less than €250,000 per year
No annoying banners
A premium newsletter
All our podcasts
Your own Mastodon account
Access to archives
Posting press releases yourself
Extra attention in news coverage
Large Membership (month)
36 / Maand
For cultural institutions with a turnover/subsidy of more than €250,000 per year.
No annoying banners
A special newsletter
Your own Mastodon account
Access to archives
Share press releases with our audience
Extra attention in news coverage
Premium Newsletter (substack)
5 trial subscriptions
All our podcasts

Payments are made via iDeal, Paypal, Credit Card, Bancontact or Direct Debit. If you prefer to pay manually, based on an invoice in advance, we charge a 10€ administration fee

*Only for annual membership or after 12 monthly payments

en_GBEnglish (UK)