Play, no matter what!

Play, no matter what!

What happens to the lives of the kids when a couple of clowns come and live in their Romanian town? A film about the power of play and music.
out of €7.500
Project is closed.

About the project


Kim van Haaster


Kim van Haaster








119 supporters

Ask the filmmaker a question
Play is the highest form of research
- Albert Einstein

Play, no matter what!

The story begins when Ash and Jolien, a clown and a dancer, return to Rachitoasa, a town in Eastern Romania. Earlier this year they've turned an old school into a colorful community centre full of toys and a big garden. At the centre the kids can learn circus tricks, play music together, dance or just play. The theatre group brings a lot of life to the quiet town where most people live of agriculture and beekeeping. We go on an adventure with Ash and Jolien and get to know a couple of the kids along the way. As they play together the kids picture their life and fantasize about their future. Nonni, a boy who lives just across the street from the centre, has taken a trumpet home because he loves to play and he is good at it too. He practices in his room in the evenings. He is also a born actor and he and Ash have their own visual way of communicating. Alexandra is a girl who lives with her brother and grandfather, her mother abandoned them a long time ago. At the centre she can forget this and be a child. Jolien is a friend to her and someone to talk to while they make handicrafts. When winter comes, unfortunately it is time for Ash and Jolien to leave. But before they go they have planned one last event.

The power of play

This film is about the power of play. The children let go during Ash and Joliens theatre- and dance workshops and shows. Playing is freedom. Through play and music the kids can express themselves and start a journey of self-discovery. A child can change because he simply makes his voice heard or because he discovers he can play an instrument really well. But the children also learn how handle each other.

Ash and Jolien know very well where the sensitivities in the group of kids are and of every child in particular. They are really conscious when it comes to teaching the children values. Therefore, the centre is much more than a place where the children learn things about themselves, it is a school of life.

They follow their heart

And these magical processes the children go through happen because Ash and Jolien put their heart and soul in their work. I find this very beautiful and moving. They give a lot of attention to the children and they do this naturally. Ash and Jolien don’t really feel they are at work, it is their lifestyle. Another might think that what they do is hard, but that is not the way they see it, because they follow their heart.

I think people should pay real attention to, and look after each other for the other to grow and shine. Everyone needs to be taken care of, and listened to. The Romanian kids often lack these opportunities because they grow up without their parents. And this is why the work of Ash and Jolien is so life changing for these kids.

For me it is really important to make a positive film about the power and the empowerment of people. And more importantly, I want people to watch this film and make them think about the importance of the care for others in life. And how they can free themselves by following their hearts.


The money we make here will be spent on the shoot in Romania. We need money for transport, equipment and crew.
Have a look on our facebook page


Cast and crew

Regie - Kim van Haaster

Kim is an ambitious new film maker: “As a maker I want to show the power of people and create an admosphere that’s fits them. I love people and I see a lot of beauty in their peculiarities and vulnerability. I am good at recognizing peoples talents and my admiration is visible in my work. I want to make the audience love people. I focus on small stories to address bigger themes.” Because of her background in Cultural Antropology she interested in how people from different cultures interact. Play, no matter what! is her debut.

Camera - Ernst Herstel

Ernst likes to focus on documentaries with a deeper social layer and feels this project suits him perfectly. The project has the potential to make people reflect and to mobilize them to give children better chances to development: “For this reason and the connection I have with the maker I gladly offer all my effort and skills to make this project happen.”

Before Ernst started his study cinematography at the Netherlands Film Academy he studied Theatre-, Film and TV at the University of Utrecht. During his study at the Netherlands Film Academy Ernst did the camera work for Lieve Anne-Marieke (2010) and Als Ik Jou Niet Had(2011) directed by Anne-Marieke Graafmans. Both prizewinning productions were screened at several (international) festivals. Also he did camera for documentaries Delfts Blauw Meets Hijab (2010) and Dagboeken van een Olifant (2012), directed by Janina Pigaht and produced by VPRO & Selfmade Films, (world premiere at IDFA 2012).

Sound - Richard Wilder

The subject of this documentary appeals to me because of the change in the life of the villagers caused by the arrival of the circus performers. By music and entertainment we will get to see more than the daily average emotions we encounter in the working environment of the the villagers what seems to me a fascinating experience!

As a freelance sound engineer Richard Wilder enjoyed the education Sound Design at the Dutch Film Academy in Amsterdam. He worked on several productions; commercials, series ('t Schaep in Mokum of Danni Lowinksi) short and feature films (Order and Suskind)
Besides that I shot also documentaries such as Als ik jou niet had. Cuurently he is working on the Kids and Docs Project Lydia Blijft.

Research and direction advice - Andreea Dumitriu




De crowdfunding zit er bijna op! Op het moment van schrijven hebben we nog 21 uur te gaan voor het project sluit en we het doelbedrag binnen moeten hebben. Ik nodig jullie daarom uit om mij te vergezellen bij de eindsprint! Je kunt meerennen of anderen aanmoedigen en hen toejuichen terwijl zij een laatste duit in het zakje doen!


Om tot de 90% te komen hebben we afgelopen week nog van alles ondernomen.

Afgelopen dinsdag hebben we in het Westerpark een ontzettend leuke workshop gedaan onder leiding van Marius Weerts. Acro-yoga zorgt dat je de boel eens van een andere kant bekijkt en dat is heel verfrissend voor je hoofd en ledenmaten!

Lelies verkocht

Ook heb ik ongeveer 300 lelies verkocht in mijn geboortedorp. Play, no matter what! wordt inmiddels ook mede mogelijk gemaakt door De Zilk!


9 August 2013 15:57
Door Kim
Alleen maar goed nieuws

Romanian Filmnight was een succes!


In een bloedhete zaal hebben we op dinsdag 23 juli twee Roemeense films vertoond, nieuwe Roemeense vrienden gemaakt en zodoende ons netwerk weer iets uitgebreid. Ireny Comaroschi, Ambassadeur van de Ambassade van Roemenie in Den Haag was aanwezig en was erg enthousiast over de films en ons project. We gaan verder met Comaroschi in gesprek met als doel Play, no matter what! op de kaart te zetten op internationaal niveau. Daar zijn we natuurlijk heel blij mee en het geeft ons veel vertrouwen.

Met de opbrengst van de filmavond en een flinke donatie van Stichting Op naar het Bos staat de teller in een keer op 46% en dat is fantastisch. Bedankt iedereen die hier een bijdrage aan heeft geleverd!


Richard Wilder zal het geluid voor Play, no matter what! verzorgen. Hij heeft al vaak met cameraman Ernst Herstel samen gewerkt en kan niet wachten om mee te gaan op avontuur naar Roemenie. Kijk voor meer info over Richard en zijn werk op zijn website.

24 July 2013 15:50
Door Kim
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