Ruben van Leer, who directed the mesmerizing film You Don’t Know Opera (for the National Opera in The Netherlands) and the space-opera film Symmetry (shot in CERN, the world’s biggest particle accelerator), has set himself for a commercial career. Smarthouse Films is proud to welcome him to their roster.

Ruben van Leer is an artist in film with a predilection for music, dance, science and technology. A combination that leads to a very own, intrusive style, that centralises the beauty of the moving image in communication. Constantly looking for innovation in a multidisciplinary approach. For the latest edition of the Holland Festival he created a VR-installation as part of the performance Sacred Environment in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

Guirguis: ‘Ruben’s work stands out. Not only because of its quality and intelligence, but foremost because his recklessness. When his autonomous spirit works within the boundaries of a client’s brand values, a ground-breaking film arises that stands out, like the campaign for the National Opera. He triggers my film heart by challenging boundaries of genres, styles and narrative forms. And for that same reason, he is featured by blogs as Nowness, Wired and Vice Creators.’

Van Leer responds: ‘As a director I try to raise questions with my work. Danielle complements my artistic questions with smart production insights. I’ve found a Dutch partner in her team, strong and open minded, ready to cross boundaries; from (sm)arthouse feature films to cross-media commercials and everything in between. I feel this new explorative energy vibrating at Smarthouse and look forward to a special collaboration.’


About Ruben

Ruben van Leer graduated from the Sandberg Art Institute and the Netherlands Film Academy and studied film at the Art Institute in San Francisco. He started his career working for visual production studio V Squared Labs in Los Angeles  (with clients like Coldplay, Jay-Z, Heineken and McAfee), directed music videos and collaborated as visual artist with the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Bas Bron (De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig) and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

Van Leer’s sci-fi dance-opera film Symmetry (shot inside CERN, the world’s largest particle accelerator in Switzerland) won ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Visual Effects’ at San Francisco Dance Film Festival, and 9 other international awards. The Boxer won ‘Best Documentary’ in the category Short Film at Sydney World Film Festival and premiered online on the Nowness channel. A short version of You Don’t Know Opera was used for the campaign of the National Opera in The Netherlands.


Check Out His work HERE