WOW!

Dutch Caribbean Islands
as you have never
seen them before

A film about the nature of the Caribbean Islands of the 
Kingdom of the Netherlands from the makers of The New Wilderness

A film about the nature of the Caribbean Islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from the makers of The New Wilderness

Team Bio

Bianca Peters - Co-producer

Bianca Peters is a serial entrepreneur and one of the founding partners of 360º of Innovation, Island Impact and ÜINI. She has a deep passion for innovation and sustainable development and a background in Strategic Management, Occupational Psychology and Facility Management. This helped her to oversee the consequences of big choices towards sustainability, to further understand how people can make a transition to a sustainable life style and how to put ideas into action. She traveled to all kinds of places on earth to learn more about cultures, people, nature, sustainable values and sustainable development.

She worked in both public and private sector on many islands across the world. She was for seven years the senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Aruba on innovation and sustainable development. She loves to run, travel, read and make early morning beach walks alone, with friends or colleagues. 

With 360º of Innovation, Island Impact and ÜINI she works on the intersection of social, technical and economic innovation in all fields and levels of society. With a hands-on mentality she guides people and organizations through transformational processes and projects and implements real change. 

During her presentations, workshops, strategy sessions and projects worldwide, she takes you on a journey of innovation and sustainable development and let you understand how innovation is a catalyst for every change you want to make.

Her motto: “Dream Dare Do Share”

Ignas van Schaick - Co-producer

Ignas van Schaick started his career as a publisher at Staatsuitgeverij and has been active in the media world for more than 30 years. He has extensive experience in the development of cross-media concepts and e-commerce. In the Netherlands he was responsible for the home entertainment exploitation of brands such as the BBC and Discovery Channel for a number of years and later as a publisher at National Geographic and the science magazine Quest. After his debut as a filmmaker with ‘De Nieuwe Wildernis’, he has produced several successful films about Dutch nature that have reached a worldwide audience. From EMS FILMS, in collaboration with director Mark Verkerk, he makes film productions that fascinate and stimulate and that are made with respect, quality and care. Those films will survive appearances in the media world because the story begins on the power of the story. In 2020 he started the M&N Media Group together with Jeffrey de Graaff and Gerben Kuipers in order to be able to manage concepts from idea to exploitation in addition to production and marketing.

Filmography: 

  • De Wilde Noordzee
  • Onder het Maaiveld
  • Wild Port of Europe
  • De Schooltuin
  • De Wilde Stad
  • This is Holland
  • Holland, natuur in de delta
  • De Nieuwe Wildernis
His motto: Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you

Elton Arends - Co-producer

The Experimenter & co-founder

Basically raised in his father’s offset printing company,

from a young age Elton was exposed to creative works. Creativity is his second nature and it is no wonder he graduated in the US with a degree in Advertising Design.

Elton has over 20 years of experience in the advertising and design field. After working for and owning his own agencies in Aruba, he went back to study Communications in The Netherlands and worked as a creative & art director for an agency in Rotterdam and Baarn.

Returning to Aruba, he was hired as a communication specialist by the Aruban Government to be part of their ‘think tank’ team, which later became the Bureau of Innovation. He is an entrepreneur an inventor director at canal 90FM and he has chaired boards of TEDx Aruba and co-founded 360 Degrees of Innovation Foundation.

His motto: “Design changes everything”

Jeffrey de Graaff - Co-producer

Jeffrey de Graaff is an entrepreneur and one of the co-founders of M&N Media Group; a production-, marketing- and film distribution company based In the Netherlands.

He has a proven track record in various senior marketing and management positions within the film, publishing, and music industry. In the past, he worked for Entertainment One Benelux, Warner Music, de Volkskrant, Sony Music, and AT Bookings to name a few. He is creative, driven, down-to-earth, and passionate about film and music. Jeff will handle film distribution of Wow! to cinemas, VOD-platforms and TV stations. He’s also responsible for the marketing- and publicity strategy of Wow!

His motto: “Driven by nature”

Mark Verkerk - Director

Mark Verkerk has more than 30 years of experience in directing, camera, editing and scripts. His passion for documentary films has always been great over the years.

He was born in Nairobi in Kenya. Studied at the London International Film School and joined the Australian broadcaster ABC in Sydney in 1980 as a film editor. Two years later, he started working as a freelance film editor and director at EMS FILMS. Since then (1990) he has fulfilled the role of creative director of EMS FILMS. In recent years, he has written and directed a series of award-winning documentaries for international broadcasters such as National Geographic, Discovery, ARTE and ZDF for EMS FILMS. The film ‘Buddha’s Lost Children’ (2006) was his first theatrical film. This was nominated in 2007 as a Dutch entry for the famous Oscars.

As director of De Nieuwe Wildernis and mentor of a completely inexperienced group of employees, he has once again proven to be a master storyteller. He continued that line with Holland, nature in the delta and De Wilde Stad and subsequent projects.

His motto: “

Sam Reitsma - Nature filmer

From a young age, Sam already had a passion for nature and was into filmmaking and photography. While studying ‘Applied Biology’ he did an internship at EMS Films, where he was able to combine these passions perfectly. Since then he has continued to work at EMS, where he does film and editing work for nature documentaries. His goal is to show people through nature documentaries how beautiful and important nature can be and why it should therefore be preserved. That is why it is a great opportunity for Sam to be able to work on WOW!, where the nature of the six islands is brought to attention.

His motto: “The better we can see how beautiful our planet really is, the less taste we shall have for destruction”

Johan Stoppels - Marketing

Johan is the founder of Freeway Creative Agency. He came to Aruba right after he finished his study in visual communication, graphic design and advertising technologies. He started his first graphic design company in1989 and fell in love with ‘one happy island’. For more than 30 years he has been working in advertising for a wide range of clients in the Caribbean. Aside from marketing brands he has an extensive history in publishing and editing. He’s passionate about developing big campaigns to raise awareness for issues like Human Trafficking or Sustainable Development Goals. The WOW! project is a unique opportunity to make the rest of the world aware of the nature and culture of each individual island, and Johan is proud to be a part of the team.  

His motto: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

Nathalie Rietman - Project manager

Nathalie is very passioned when it comes to ‘change for the better’ and ‘making things happen’. As project manager for 360º of Innovation she managed different projects to make Aruba and other islands more sustainable.

During her study at Wageningen University and Research Centre she did her thesis in Colombia, and she came up with the idea of starting a foundation for street kids. In 2007 she started her own primary school in the slums of Cartagena. It was a very successful project; over a 100 students went to her school. After ten years she decided to leave the school. The school is still up and running with the help of the local community.

Her love for charity and the Caribbean region made her apply for a job at the Red Cross Aruba at the beginning of 2018. Here she worked with the Venezuelan refugees, did a project for the elderly, and assisted in the opening of the first hospice in Aruba.

Since the beginning of 2019 she works for 360º of Innovation and managed and assisted with different projects, like Happy to Give Back on Aruba, SMILE in Sint Maarten and various other projects of 360º of Innovation. Besides that, she supports the director where necessary.

She is a project manager in heart and soul. She likes to organize and switches quickly from one language to the other. Her fluent English, Spanish, Dutch and understanding of Papiamento helps her to communicate with all kinds of people and she knows how to build bridges.

Her motto is “I am a bold and powerful woman with authentic connecting magic!”

Darelyn Koolman - Web developer

Aruban native Darelyn has always been fascinated by the online world, which is why she graduated from Digital Business Concepts at Fontys Hogeschool in Tilburg. Her multiple talents allow her to carry out all kinds of tasks as a Digital Specialist at Freeway Creative Agency. She is active, positive, and a go-getter, truly a ray of Caribbean sunshine. Darelyn built the WOW! The Nature Film website and creates content for all its social media channels.

Her motto: “Feel the fear and do it anyway”

Virgginia Paragona - Content creator

Although Virgginia graduated from the University of Aruba with a Bachelor’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management, her background in Film Production and creative drive drove her to her work as an Account Manager at Freeway Creative Agency. She exploits her strengths in project management and communication as a copywriter and community manager for the WOW! The Nature Film social media channels.

 

Her motto: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”