Investigation journalist and documentary maker Geertjan Lassche (1976) works for the NPO (Netherlands Public Broadcasting).
In 1996, Lassche begins to work as a writing journalist for the Zwolle city newspaper (De Stentor), later for the Nieuwe Revu, and incidentally for monthly magazines Kijk and Voetbal International. He specialises into doing research and telling backgroundstories. After studying Journalism and via the radio (RTV Oost, Radio 1), he winds up with the television news magazines TweeVandaag (EenVandaag) and Netwerk.
Until 2008, he particularly develops his skills in research journalism and human interest reports. The ‘digging and delving’ results in revelations on the Moluccan actions in the seventies, the past of Jorge Zorreguieta, the fall of Srebrenica, the battle of Arnhem, the asylum policy with respect to Congo (winner Golden Tape 2005), the deportation of asylum seekers, and swindling within the world of adoption. His permanent cameraman is the cineast Menno Mennes (deceased December 2012).
At times, reports turn out too comprehensive, and they are broadcasted outside the regular news magazines, in the shape of TV documentaries. Such as God Bless Montgomery (2004), about the forgotten Polish part in the battle of Arnhem, including the last journalistic TV interview with HRH Prince Bernhard. For this film Lassche is awarded one of Poland’s most prestigious national decorations.
For his stories, Lassche worked in Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil (Amazon), Cambodia, Canada, China, Congo, Dominican Republic, France, Haiti, India, Indonesia (Aceh, Java, the Moluccas, Papua, Sulawesi, Sumatra, Timor), Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lesotho, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Panama, the Palestinian Territories, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United States. He also reported on the Moluccan war (1999-2003), the tsunami in Aceh (2004), the earthquakes in Yogyakarta (2006) and in Haiti (2010).
From 2008, when his first actual author documentary De Boer Die Zou Gaan Emigreren… (‘The Farmer Who Wanted To Emigrate…’) is selected for the IDFA, Lassche consciously chooses the creative (author) documentary. A journalistic fact is still to be the starting point for every choice of subject and execution. For example, in Nooit Meer Laf (‘Never A Coward Again’) (2009), a combination of research journalism and author documentary, a missing person case is solved after 60 years.
Since 2010, Geertjan Lassche has been working together with artistic producer Suzanne van Voorst, and advised by coach Mart Dominicus, who is a teacher at the Netherlands Film Academy. In 2011, his documentary Mannenbroeders van Kootjebroek (‘Brethren’) (2011) is selected for the Golden Calf competition during the Netherlands Film Festival. One year later, in 2012, this film wins The Gouden Greep. In 2012, Vreemdelingen en Bijwoners (‘Strangers and Foreigners’) (2011) is awarded both the jury and audience prize ofDe Tegel, the annual journalists’ professional award.
The documentaries Lassche makes can roughly be distributed into two styles: the essayist documentary and the so-called ‘direct cinema’. When using the latter, guerilla-style filming method, he operates alone or in very small teams, wanting to make the viewer feel part of a process. He does that by following the characters close-to-the-skin. This is how his documentary Niemand Kent Mij (‘Nobody Knows Me’) (2011) about the fallen cycling hero Thomas Dekker was created, as well as the IDFA film De Uitverkorenen (‘The Chosen Ones’) (2012) about the selection system within the training phase of the Korps Mariniers. With this documentary, he was selected for the Golden Calf competition during the Netherlands Film Festival of 2013. For his documentary Killer Slope, selected for IDFA 2014, he received, from an international jury, a nomination for Best Dutch Documentary.
He took individual workshops from film makers John Appel and Gert de Graaff. In 2010, Lassche participated in the IDFA/Mediafonds workshop by director Coco Schrijber. In 2013, he took the Sandberg/Mediafonds masterclass ‘Liquid Journalism’.
Lassche is also involved with the foundation Sous les Arbres, which deals with the visual representation of the local culture of the province of Overijssel.