Developing a format for VARA


For Dutch public broadcaster VARA, VERTOV’s creative director Martijn Winkler was involved in developing the format for a prime time television show titled ‘Zestien Miljoen Rechters‘ (Sixteen Million Judges), featuring a studio talkshow and dramatic enactments of infamous Dutch crimes. He also directed 10 episodes of the first season (the show ran for three seasons, from 2006-2008).
The show featured a structure that disclosed the facts of a case in a specific order. After each episode part, the audience was act to offer their opinion as a judge: guilty or not guilty? Then the next part was shown, offering a different view on the same situation (for instance the perspective of another character, or events that happened before or after the criminal act), that could very well alter the judgement of the audience. In doing so, the show highlighted the complexity of crimes and of real life, and advocated thorough investigating before passing any judgement – in court or in public opinion for that matter. At the same time, the show was thrilling to watch, with exciting events and high quality drama with great casting.

Above is a clip from the episode ‘Noodweer’ (Self-Defense), portraying the attack on a young woman near her home and her ensuing response.

Below a clip from the episode ‘Eerwraak’ (Revenge), portraying a family’s decision to kill their daughter after a dishonouring love affair.

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Client:   VARA
Concept & Production:   VARA/ VERTOV
Director: Martijn Winkler
Social Media:   VERTOV