Kilian Harkema, about young entrepreneurship and the importance of films

What started out as a solution to find a fitting internship program, quickly transformed Kilian Harkema into a young entrepreneur. In 2018, after completing his third year of studying Media and Entertainment Management at NHL Stenden in Leeuwarden, Kilian was faced with the decision to apply for an internship…

By: Marisa Greiner

“I wanted to do something where I can learn and grow. Most internships limit you in your tasks and I wanted to use the opportunity to find out where I want to go in life”. Inspired by these thoughts, Kilian decided to start his own production company, Clanstate Pictures and with that to become his own intern: “I used the creation of my own company as a ‘tool’ to develop to the person I wanted to become”.

Clanstate Picture is mainly concentrated on film and documentary production. The name Clanstate Pictures was inspired by an old building, the Clantstate Building, which was owned by Kilian’s family: “The name is a combination of my roots and heritage, my love to Friesland, as well as my passion to films. It connects the local but also the international aspect of the company”.

When asked about the nature of entrepreneurship Kilian points out the importance of networking, organization and passion: “When becoming an entrepreneur, you have to be passionate about your work”.
He goes on explaining the struggles that come with young entrepreneurship: “It definitely adds a lot of pressure. In the end, everything depends on you and your work. Especially during the first years, it is very hard, and you really need to be determined and driven to reach your goal”.

While he does enjoy the nature of filmmaking itself, the aim behind his productions is not to just ‘entertain’: “For me, it’s all about the message I want to convey”.
His goal is to address different complex topics by visualising them in film and documentary: “A wise man once said; ‘You cannot fix the world; you can only fix yourself. That way you can contribute to improving the world’. I want to use my capabilities and the power of my films to raise awareness and educate people”.  

Clanstate Pictures covers a variety of different topics and each film is orientated on a different issue: “while the messagealways depends on the topic of the film, overall, I believe that there’s no better medium to send a message than with films”.

Although, he didn’t always know that he will become an entrepreneur himself, for quite a while now, Kilian was sure that he wanted to use his experiences and knowledge from the media industry to have a positive impact on society and to raise awareness. During his study he spent one semester abroad studying political management in Bremen: “The semester was a great addition to my study program, and it helped me to realize that I want to combine my knowledge from my media study with the insight I received about global history and politics”.

Looking at the future of the company, even though Clanstate Pictures is still growing, Kilian is determined to work hard, to build a strong network and to works towards to producing films that reach a large international audience: “The goal behind my films to get people to think differently and to be open to new ideas. With the right support, the right people and the right enthusiasm, I believe that we, together, can create something awesome.”