Universiteit Leiden


At the world stage, countries like the US and China compete with big marketing campaigns to recruit the best international science students. How could the Leiden University in the Netherlands compete against such superpowers? The answer was simple. To stay honest and modest. Because our insight showed that international students are not easily fooled. They make their decisions on a trust base.

In a close collaboration with the staff and students, 13 short documentary films were produced. Each film focussed on specific study-tracks, highlighting the lives and the leisures of the students. We interviewed the students, but this time we only used an audio-recorder. Because without the fuzz of a camera, it was much easier for students to open up, and tell their stories in a relaxed and natural way. Also: who liked talking heads anyway?

In total 24 students were filmed, over a course of 12 days. To make the project even more challenging, it was decided to shoot on vintage anamorphic lenses. The combination of the documentary style, which is usually done with a fast ready-set-go approach, and the care and precision that are required by shooting on anamorphic lenses, made this project a very unique and lasting one.