Penelope Buitenhuis

Penelope Buitenhuis has worked as a filmmaker in Canada and Europe for the last 25 years. Penelope attended UBC, Le Sorbonne and graduated from the SFU film program in Vancouver with a BFA in 1984. Her documentary Tokyo Girls won two Gemini’s and two British Columbia Leo awards and screened at festivals around the world. Her feature film credits include Boulevard with Rae Dawn Chong, Lance Hendrikson and Lou Diamond Philips, the thriller Dangerous Attraction and Trouble, which she wrote and directed in Berlin receiving Best Film honors at the Montreal Women's Film Festival and the Magdeberg Film festival in Germany. In 2010, her feature film A Wake, funded with the help of Telefilm, won best film at the Female Eye Festival in Toronto and at the Carmel Arts and Film festival. The film will open in theatres in winter 2011. In television, Buitenhuis directed the Gemini nominated CBC MOW Giant Mine, which garnered critical acclaim and has directed 11 movies for television including the cult classic Killer Bees and Hard Ride to Hell, a horror film now out on DVD. She has also directed television episodic including - Cold Squad, Madison, Wind at my Back, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Lonesome Dove, Paradise Falls, Bliss and the improv series Train 48. Buitenhuis is also known as an underground film and video maker and has written and directed sixteen shorts and three documentaries that received numerous film festival awards in Europe and Canada. A retrospective of her shorts was held at MOMA in New York in 1989 followed by numerous publications about her work. She lived in Berlin for ten years making films and her personal diary Llaw was the first film about the fall of the wall to be screened at the Berlin Film festival following that historical event. She is presently developing feature film projects Punk Never Dies, Seduction and Midnight Climax but continues to make shorts and video work like Damn (2008) about her harrowing journey to get back in her house after being locked out.


What's Left?

1999, 16:32 minutes, colour, English

They Shoot Pigs Don't They?

1989, 15:00 minutes, colour, English


1987, 27:00 minutes, B&W, English


1986, 15:00 minutes, colour, English


1985, 29:00 minutes, B&W, English/German


1984, 10:50 minutes, colour, English/German

Drawing Attention

1984, 20:00 minutes, colour, English/German


1984, 14:40 minutes, colour, English

We Don't Want To Own It, We Just Want to Live Here

1984, 27:00 minutes, colour, English

Alternative Squatting

1983, 14:00 minutes, colour, English

Critical Writing

A Parade of Memorable Images
by Noah Cowan. EYE WEEKLY, Apr. 23, 1992, no. 98.
Dark Vision: Vancouver filmmaker finds herself taken more...
by Jeff Buttle. Vancouver Sun, Sept. 2, 1989.
Film From Canadian Penelope Buitenhuis
by Anke Sterneborg. Der Tages Spiegel, Mar. 23, 1988, no. 12918.
Transgressions: Experimental Works at the Fourth Short Film...
by Johannes Tritschler. Out of Depression, Feb. 1988.
Die Kanada-Connection
Tip, July 1988.
The Canada Connection: Cinema Eiszeit Presents the Unusual Films...
by A H. TIP Berlin Magazin, Mar. 1988, v. 7, no. 88.
Through Her Eyes
by Leila Marshy. Cinema Canada, Sept. 1987, no. 144.
Brandstifter und Feuerwehrmann
by Torsten Alisch. Die Tageszeitung, June 4, 1987.
La Vidéo canadienne et les procédés de l'ironie
by Jean Gagnon. 24 Images, Fall 1984, no. 22.
Video Canada
by Marc Paradis. Montreal International Film & Video Catalogue, 1984.
Why Exchange? Time To Change
by Sara Diamond. Video Guide, Apr. 1983, v. 5, no. 2.