Karen Joan Spanjer

actress | model | producer


Karen starring as ‘Willemijn’ in Christmas Commercial Lidl 2018




Trailer of Award Winning Short Film ‘Patch’ starring Karen in main role

Karen is an experienced actress with a broad experience in corporate business (as a headhunter, manager, coach). Her acting style is resourceful and natural, which she draws from her great sensibility. In 2017 she won a Best Actress Award at the Madrid International Film Festival.

Juries comment on her acting style : “a convincing and compelling performance by Karen Spanjer as feeble and depressed Tessa.” (Jury report Best Shorts Competition, San Diego)

Since 2014 she runs film/TV production company DutchCheez Productions. Her debut movie ‘Patch’ (2016), a short black comedy, has won four awards at the Best Shorts Festival (La Jolla/San Diego); two Awards of Excellence and two Awards of Merit with Special Mention. The film was also selected for the prestigious LA Shorts Fest, where ‘Patch’ had its premiere. It has also recently won The Award of Merit at the LA Global Shorts Festival. In this film Karen is starring in a main role. Currently, DutchCheez is developing a comedy series in which Karen will star in a main role.

Karen has featured in various commercials, TV programs and short films. She is a frequently asked corporate actress and model. She is mother of three, married, fluent in French and English. She is living in Haarlem and well connected in the Amsterdam film making industry.




Karen works as an actress and producer. She independently produced an international short film called Patch that was shot in Guernsey/UK in which she starred in a main role. This film is purchased by international TV channel Shorts TV and is broadcast worldwide. 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 can also be seen in commercials like Lidl (as Willemijn with Beau van Erven Dorens), in Nuon and in NCOI campaigns. She appeared in commercials as Ikea, Belastingdienst, Caiway and Holland Casino and in several short films.
Directors she has worked with: Kristjan Knigge (The Right Juice, Patch), Arno Dierickx (Overspel), Bram van Erkel (Het Twentsch Paradijs, Het Wassende Water) and Josja Hamann (drama coach GTST / Halina Reijn). She appeared in television shows (Beschuldigd, Lachen met Arne with Arne Toonen, De Nationale Soap Acteerwedstrijd with Jimmy Geduld and Antonie Kamerling). She also works as a corporate actress for various companies and multi nationals and she has a musical background.

She was trained at the Camera Acting School Videcom Teledrama (Hilversum, The Netherlands) and at the School for Theatre and Television (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) by Josja Haman (former drama coach of GTST and Halina Reijn). Karen is frequently in London for acting training (at The Actors Centre and the Michael Checkov Studio), she joined Acting Masterclasses in Hollywood, London (Checkov, Meisner, Weston technique) and acting  and improvisation classes in Amsterdam at De Toneelmeester (Herman Bolten/Hugo Konings) and acting coaching (Sytske van der Ster).



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


Comedy Series – director Kristjan Knigge (2018/2019 – in production with Revolver/DutchCheez) (main role/Producer)

Short Film Sector 9S, sci fi thriller 48hr Nijmegen 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)

Short film Patch, DutchCheez Productions & Mac Gyver- director Kristjan Knigge (Distribution Shorts TV) (The Netherlands/Guernsey UK) 2016 (mail 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

Short Film Schoon Genoeg 48hr Rotterdam 2017 (detective)

Short Film Like Rabbits, LonelyFilm, (Netherlands) 2016 (mother) – director Samira Damato

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

Starring TV series Accused 2013 (main role Lucy)

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


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 2015-2018 (photography, brand face print and online)

Computrain IT Training 201-2015, photography, print and online, brand face Training Guide)

NCOI Corporate Training and Education 2012 (photography, brand face print and online)


Togglehead, lead singer /songwriter, Haarlem 2007-2010
Collaboration projects Karen & Joey Retro (The Mutations) 2011
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 has a master degree in French Literature and lived 1,5 years in France, she also studied English as second language and frequently visited her father in the USA). Born (Twente) and raised in the province (Drente), she can manage well with a Drenthe/Twente accent.

She is also good with children and groups of young people (through experience in education and training); she loves their fantasy world and their honest way of thinking.





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