Karen Joan Spanjer

actress | model | producer



Multi Lingual showreel 2024Karen Joan Spanjer

Karen works as an actress, writer and producer. She independently produced a short film called Patch that was shot in Guernsey/UK in which she starred in a main role. This film is broadcast on Shorts TV worldwide. For this film she received a Best Actress Award at the Madrid international Film Festival 2017.  Patch was selected for the prestigious LA Shorts Fest and has won the Award of Excellence at the Best Shorts Festival (La Jolla/San Diego) and the Award of Merit at the LA Global Shorts Festival. Karen writes series with suspense, humor and drama. Often about the extremes of the human spirit.

Karen starred in several short films and Dutch tv shows (Für Elise, Sector 9S, Beschuldigd, Lachen met Arne/Buya with Arne Toonen. During Covid19 she produced and starred in a children’s program about changed society, Het Anderhalve Meter Journaal, with actress/director Systke van der Ster. Karen also works as a corporate actress for various companies and multi nationals. She also starred in commercials like Univé, Lidl (as Willemijn with Beau van Erven Dorens), in Nuon and in NCOI campaigns. She appeared in commercials like Ikea, Belastingdienst, Caiway and Holland Casino.


Sector 9S – Short Sci-Fi Thriller
Christmas Commercial Lidl 2018



Aileen – Short film (in development) 

Für Elise directed by Diederik van Straten 2023

Hou Mij Vast short film directed by Nina Zandvliet 2023 – 2nd prize Kunstbende Amsterdam

Liefs, Mama short film directed by Nina Zandvliet 2022

Culpa short film directed by Sytske van der Ster 2022

Het Anderhalve Meter Journaal – children’s program – director Sytske van der Ster (actress/producer) 2019

Sector 9S, short sci fi thriller april 2018 – Best Special Effects, Nominations Best Camera and Best Film Poster, top 3 audience choice, Twents Festival van de Korte Film – Silver Award Best Film, nominations Film Fest The Hague, Film Fest Middelburg (Mrs de Bie/Producer/Writer)

Patch, short black comedy, DutchCheez Productions & McMedia- director Kristjan Knigge (Distribution Shorts TV) (The Netherlands/Guernsey UK) 2016 (main role Tessa/Producer )

Official Selection LA Shorts Fest september 2016 – Award Best Supporting Actress Madrid International Film Festival 2017- Award of Excellence (Short Film and Humor)/ Award of Merit (Script and Audience Impact) Best of Shorts Festival (La Jolla/San Diego) december 2016 – Award of Merit LA Global Shorts Festival november 2016 – Official Selection ShortToThePoint Film Fest Bucharest 2016

Drama for Social Change, short films by RNWMedia, 2016 (various roles)

Accused 2013, TV series  1 episode (main role Lucy)

Short films, examination films, theatre plays, television pilots, kids programs (e.i. Lachen met Arne – Buya)


Commercial Univé 2023

Commercial Lidl ‘Delicieux, Ga voor Goud!’ 2018

Commercial Nuon ‘Sustainability’ 2015

Commercial Ikea ‘Christmas’ 2014

Commercial Dutch Tax Office 2013

Commercial Caiway Internet and Telecom 2011

Corporate Acting

MKB Nederland
M&S Mode
Hogeschool van Amsterdam


NCOI Corporate Training and Education – Computrain IT Training, State Police Force Studio43 – SanneNadineHes – Maaike van Haaster  


singer /songwriter, Haarlem 2007-2010 (Togglehead, Joey Retro (The Mutations, several coverbands)

Trained by: singing and performance coach Vicky van Zijl (Penelope, Pimpersticker), Mara Sophie Peelen (‘No Man’s Land’), Caroline van Bavel (Die Drei Groschen)


Karen speaks French and English fluently. She also has a fair command of Spanish and German. Karen has a master degree in French Literature and lived for 1,5 years in France, she also studied English as second language and speaks it fluently, also due to frequent visits to her father who lived in the USA. She easily adapts accents and speaks both British and American English. Born (Twente) and raised in the province (Drente), she can manage well with a Drenthe/Twente accent.

Acting Training

Karen was trained at Dutch Acting School De Trap, as well as at the Camera Acting School Videcom Teledrama (Hilversum, The Netherlands), at the School for Theatre and Television (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) by Josja Haman and at the Mulholland Academy (Camera Acting/Strassberg). She also took frequent acting training in London at The Actors Centre. She joined Acting Masterclasses in Los Angeles, London (Checkov, Meisner, Weston, comedy) and she was coached by actress Sytske van der Ster (Crossing Lines). Also took acting and improvisation classes in Amsterdam at De Toneelmeester (Herman Bolten/Hugo Konings) and at ACT (Dutch Actors Guild) of which she is a member.



Karen is an experienced actress, screenwriter and producer. Her acting style is resourceful and natural. In 2017 she won a Best Actress Award at the Madrid International Film Festival.

Since 2014 she runs film/TV production company DutchCheez Productions. Her debut movie ‘Patch’ (2016), a short black comedy, has won many international awards. The film was selected for the prestigious LA Shorts Fest, where ‘Patch’ had its premiere.

Karen has featured in various commercials, TV programs, short films, corporate films and campaigns. She is mother of three, married and fluent in French and English and also acts in German and Spanish.

Spanish monologue – Marriage Story

Karen starring as ‘Willemijn’ in Christmas Commercial Lidl 2018

Trailer of Award Winning Short Film ‘Patch’ starring





DUTCHCHEEZ is an independent INNOVATIVE film and media production company founded by Marinda van ’t Hoff and Karen Spanjer.

– Press Release 1/2/2017-


DutchCheez Productions

With our passion for acting and extensive business experience, DutchCheez wants to create a stage for film talent that is looking to explore new horizons. “With our creative skills and years of experience in the corporate world we are adept in connecting great ideas to the right people.”

The black comedy “Patch” is their first production that was shot on the island of Guernsey (Channel Islands), starring Marinda and Karen in leading roles. This short film is a co production by DutchCheez and McG Media Productions and is directed by Danish/British director Kristjan Knigge. ‘Patch’ just won two Awards of Excellence and two Awards of Merit with Special Mention at the Best Shorts Festival (La Jolla/San Diego) and the Award of Merit at the LA Global Shorts Fest and the film was selected for the prestigious LA Shorts Fest where the film premiered last September beside Denzel Washington’s film ‘Shame’.

Read more



Interview Madrid International Film Festival 2017

The film ‘Patch’ – which Karen produced and in which she plays a main role – won The Award of Excellence for Best Short Film and Humor and The Award of Merit with Special Mention for Script and Audience Impact. The film also received the Award of Merit at the LA Global Shorts Fest 2016. ‘Patch’ premiered at the prestigious Los Angeles Shorts Fest in September 2016.

Award of Excellence Best Shorts Festival

Filmposter Patch

Filmposter Patch




LA Shorts Fest - Premiere Patch

LA Shorts Fest – Premiere Patch





Guernsey press

Guernsey Press

Guernsey Press



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    Karen Joan Spanjer