Danielle Guirguis started her career as an Assistant Producer on Paul Verhoeven’s Zwartboek, was involved in Komt een Vrouw bij de Dokter by Reinout Oerlemans and De Gelukkige Huisvrouw by Antoinette Beumer as an Executive Producer and produced the teenage box office hits Spijt and Razend by Dave Schram.
Then it was about time to set up her own film production company Smarthouse Films. After (too) many short films, many service productions (Netflix, Canal +, you name it) and way too many commercials (one must pay the rent!), the first feature film La Holandesa hit the festival circuit with a world premiere in Toronto at TIFF. It also got nominated for Best Film and Best Actress in Holland so that fired up her spirit. Her next production was the fashion documentary Puck & Hans – Made in Holland. After a ravishing premiere at the Dutch film festival, hosted by our drag queen girlfriends of the House of Hopelezz, this film turned out to be a national hit – well, for documentary standards – in cinema and on tv. But hey, we did get the highest ratings of that year of AVROTROS documentary slot CloseUP! She is over the moon with winning a Gouden Kalf (Dutch film award) for Best Short Film for the magic realistic story La Ultima Ascensión by visual artist Kevin Osepa and super proud that the film will be part of the Unpacking Boijmans exhibition at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.
And now we are gearing up for the release of a one-of-a-kind experimental art film Nummer achttien – The Breath of Life by video and performance artist Guido van der Werve. And keep an eye on the films we have in postproduction; the docs about drag queen Jennifer Hopelezz and the worlds’ first sustainable couturier Ronald van der Kemp.
Last year, Danielle rebranded Smarthouse from production company into a creative impact studio. The pandemic gave her time to reflect and made her realise that even though commercials were paying the bills, working for brands that are about more, not better wasn’t the way. So today, Smarthouse only works with purpose drive filmmakers and brands, and everything we do evolves around making impact on people and planet.
Besides all this, Danielle is a guest lecturer at the Netherlands Film Academy, a speaker/juror on festivals like Eurobest, Dubai Lynx, Buma Awards, Gerety Awards, ADCN and Go Short Int. Film Festival, a mentor in impact branding for the sustainability program of Startup Bootcamp, co-founder of ADGreenNL (to promote sustainability in the advertising industry) and the treasurer to the executive board of ACE Producers.