Amsterdam, 5 november 1965 - Bangkok, 5 april 2009
Deeply saddened we confirm that Fortissimo's company founder and co-chairman Wouter Barendrecht suddenly died on Sunday April 5 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Wouter's passing has shocked his family, his friends and colleagues around the globe.
His passion for cinema, his vision, his energy and his witty humor will be extremely missed by all of us.
On this Memorial website you can share your thoughts and memories with us.
The Fortissimo Family
Wouter's life and work have touched so many. Such a tragic and untimely loss. My deepest condolences to all those who knew and loved him.
L’annonce de la disparition de Wouter Barendrecht, Wouter pour les professionnels et tous les amoureux du cinéma, a provoqué mondialement une forte stupeur et une immense émotion. C’est une perte pour ses proches, une perte pour la profession, une perte pour la création. Rarement la formule consacrée, on ne lui connaissait que des amis, a été aussi appropriée. Je l’estimais beaucoup et garderai toujours le souvenir de cet homme généreux, audacieux dans ses choix et ses prises de risques, grand connaisseur du cinéma international, particulièrement asiatique mais pas seulement, avec son large front, ses petits yeux adorablement ironiques derrière ses lunettes de professeur qui ne se prenait pas au sérieux, et finalement son grand flair de dénicheur de talents. Le cofondateur de Fortissimo s’en est allé comme un chêne qu’on abat beaucoup trop jeune, le festival de Cannes qui lui doit beaucoup s’incline avec respect devant sa mémoire et ne l’oubliera pas.
It is incomprehensible and unexceptable! You loved life so much and lived it to the fullest. You will always be with us and live through our memories. My heart is with your family and everybody at Fortissimo.
Wouter died, I will miss a kind person, I will miss his shy smile when he met me out of Fortissimo office, he always made me feel, first of all, like a human being. Wouter just died at 43, in Italy hundreds of people just died because of a terrible heartquake, what can we say in front of this, we should profit of life at best every moment we have the chance to live, I believe Wouter lived his life like that, we will miss him, rest in peace.
To the family, Sorry for the lost. I knew how difficult it is to accept the sudden death. I lost my younger brother when he was 20. The most important is that you should be so proud of yourselves. He is a good person and a good friend. To Wouter, Ni How Ma?
His passion for cinema, his ability to support Asian filmdirectors and his wonderful professionality and attitude have guided me during the years of my studies and while I was moving my first steps into the film industry. It's so sad we will never be able to thank you enough for all you've done!
Dearest Wouter – what a terrible shock to experience this unfair and very sad news that you are not with us anymore. You were really a special kind of guy –goodhearted, full of life, humour and intelligence. We will miss you a lot. Our deepest sympathy to your family and to all at Fortissimo!
Dear Wouter, thank you for your joie de vivre, your enthusiasm, your passion and dedication, we'll miss you deeply. In the Mood for Love and 2046 are two of the brightest, happiest moments of my work in the cinema and I'm deeply grateful that we shared these two treasures and that I had the luck of knowing you.
I just read about Wouter's untimely death. This is devastating news. There was a rare combination of talents at work here; a deep and wide and real passion for film which was coupled to an extraordinary and very practical ability to make commercial sense out of the dreams of talented film makers. Wouter will be mourned and he will be much missed.
Robert Beeson and Pam Engel
The news was a real shock - we've known Wouter from the very start of Fortissimo. He's brought so many new talents to the world. We'll miss his warmth and his total professionalism. Our thoughts are with everyone at Fortissimo.
Mark Vennis & Gary Phillips
One of the good guys has gone, way too early. The film world is a far less rich place without you...our deepest sympathy to Michael and all at Fortissimo.
Yann Kacou & Philippe Leroux
We are very shocked, deeply upset by this sad news. Our sincere condolences for his family and Fortissimo.
Dear Wouter, the impact you have had on our industry in unmeasureable. You have created a path for independent film that didnt exist before you entered this business. You have touched the heart and mind of countless people and you will be missed. Thanks for all the fun and all the great films
Many thanks to Wouter for enduring introductions made over 15 years ago at Rotterdam - when as a young festival first timer he took me around the room to meet 'the right people'. At every festival since however busy or engaged in conversation he'd be he'd catch your eye, shoot a smile at you and acknowledge your presence. To all at Fortissimo and his colleagues around the world my deepest condolences. His inspiring pioneering spirit and love of film will clearly live on.
It was always a great pleasure and honour to work with Wouter. The independent film world will miss his vision, drive and brilliance. My deepest sympathy to his family and the Fortissimo team.
The news came in to me as a thunderbolt. Even we met occasionally I kept good memories on the warm hello's and short interesting and angaged talks we had. He was an inspiring person. Wouter leaving us made me sad, quiet and brought up many thoughts about life and living. The new foundation will for sure be spirited by him. All the images of new filmmaking talent around the globe he gave to us and these the Foundation is going to support will bring Wouter always back to mind. My heartfelt condolences to Wouter's family and friends
Ralph & karin Dietrich
Wouter, you were one of the last of a rare breed - you were passionate about film and knew the business from top to bottom. You reminded us that ultimately, it shouldn't be about the money, the fame or the fortune - although some might not agree. It's about a passion and appreciation for the art of film - everything else is secondary. You were a role model for all of us, reminding us why we got into this chaotic business in the first place. A part of you will live in everyone of us whose lives you have touched, but none of us will ever be able to fill your shoes or the void your passing has left. You will be greatly missed. Ralph & Karin Dietrich
dearest Wouter, you will always stay in my heart. I will always keep in my mind your bright face, your unique personality. Love.
My deepest sympathy to Wouter's family, Michael and all at Fortissimo. What a sad loss for the independent film business.
Wouter, You explored every corner of this world so you have moved to another where you are shining your light... only the one you left behind is a lot dimmer. My thoughts are with your family, friends and colleagues.
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