Good movies are not easy to find. The team behind online movie platform Cinetree is working hard to make sure you always have a collection of great films at your disposal! Striving to find out more about Cinetree, AmsterDO talked to its founder, Hanna Verboom.
Date of birth: 11 May 1983
Favourite movie of 2016: Captain Fantastic
Guilty pleasure movie: The Thomas Crown Affair
Favourite quote: “A story has no worth nor will it last unless it’s true and true of us.” – John Steinbeck
Role models: Richard Branson, Meryl Streep, my grandmother, best friends – each in their own unique ways
Favourite places in Amsterdam: Morgan & Mees, Gartine, Foam Museum, Conservatorium Hotel Lobby
What is Cinetree? How does it work?
Cinetree is a community of film lovers that select the best movies for you. Basically, for just 5 euros, you get a hand-picked selection of 10 films each month. Films that will inspire, educate and move you. Because that is exactly what we believe movies are there for – it’s much more than entertaining! What we do is just making it easier to find them.
How did you get the idea?
I always loved watching a good movie. How it lingers in your mind and helps to look at life and other people in a whole new perspective. Great stories connect us, which is so crucial. Plus, we are overwhelmed by content, we want a place where we know the curators care about the stories and not about making money.
How do you select movies for Cinetree and where do you find them?
We work with curators: filmmakers, journalists, writers, actors… Basically, just wonderful people that love movies with a good story, just like we do. We’re like a film club. We give filmtips and tell why we think a particular story has to be told. We write articles to give a more in-depth context of the movies and send juicy newsletters with some great must-sees.
We can imagine that being an entrepreneur is a lot different from being an actress. Was this change difficult for you?
Oh, it was such an adventure! Everything was new for me and I completely reinvented myself. Besides, the whole video-on-demand industry is rather new itself, evolving every minute. It has been challenging but also hugely rewarding. There is something so special about working with a team and creating a business from scratch. It’s not easy, but definitely worth it. I am quite blessed to do something I believe in and for that I am very grateful.
What do you enjoy the most about having your own company?
The team. Creating something you believe in. The freedom and creativity.
How does a typical working day look like for you?
Our team consists mostly of freelancers. So I work alone for half of the week and we work together the other days. We have an office in the Jordaan, which is wonderful. I do a lot of meetings, both with the team and potential partners. We have creative meetings with the content team and I work closely with our technical team on improving the streaming service. As it works for most start-ups, I guess, I wear many hats and every day tends to be a bit different.
What are your goals with Cinetree for the future?
Right now we focus on establishing and growing in The Netherlands and I am also talking to investors to expand to different territories. Besides, this year we will be organizing a couple of great film events, like our ‘Night at the museum” film festival last year. Very exciting!
What advice would you give to those who want to start their own business?
If you believe in it, feel it in your gut, don’t give up. Embrace the failures, they are merely stepping stones. And relax, most problems solve themselves anyway. Be very clear about your course, serve your team and enjoy the ride!