Jansenâ€™s Above Us All in Berlin Submarine takes on pirates in Last Hijack EYE talks exhibition strategy
Marwan Kenzari â€“
Berlin Shooting Star
Berlinale turns to Dutch
A publication by the Netherlands Film Fund and EYE International
Issue #14 February 2014 Berlinale/IFFR Download the free app for iPad and Android 1
View from The Edge Colophon
2 View from the Edge
many excellent child and adult actors. In addition, to make excellent family films you need money, and successive Dutch governments have been very supportive of the genre. They have constantly studied what governments are doing elsewhere (such as in Scandinavia) in order to invest public funds more wisely, as well as nurture and expand their national cinema.
Xiaojuan Zhou, president of Montrealbased Attraction Distribution
4-5 Lighting Up
Tamar van den Dop talks about her Supernova, in Berlin Generation
6-7 Haunting Melody
Frans Weisz is in Berlin Generation with his first film made for a family audience.
8-9 Orphan Rights
EYE’s Professor Giovanna Fossati talks about the upcoming EYE-based symposium about orphan films
10-12 Lights, Action... Cut
Four of the Netherlands’ leading editors talk to See NL about their craft
13 Shooting Star
Marwan Kenzari, star of Wolf, talks ahead of the extravaganza in Berlin
14-15 Remote Pirate
The Last Hijack, about a Somali pirate, is selected for Berlin Panorama. The directors talk to See NL
16-17 Cover feature
Eugenie Jansen talks about her 3D Above Us All, in Berlin Generation
18-19 Dark Side of the Moon
Filmmaker Dick Tuinder on Farewell to the Moon, selected for IFFR Tiger Comp
20-21 Lilet Travels the World
Jacco Groen on his film tackling child prostitution that has racked up numerous int’l awards over the last year
22-23 Pitching Frenzy
Three Dutch projects are looking for co-pro cash at CineMart 2014
24-25 Christmas with a Twist Lourens Blok’s family film A Christmoose Story hits Berlinale K Plus
26-27 Short Cuts
News from the Dutch film industry
28-29 Exhibit A
EYE’s Jaap Guldemond talks about his successful installation/exhibition strategy
Xiaojuan Zhou, president of Montreal-based sales Attraction Distribution
My favourite film in our catalogue has to be Minoes, the story of the cat that turns into a woman who helps a journalist expose corruption in his town. It was made in 2001 but even now it is still selling. In 2011 it even received a late theatrical release in the US, and the same Japanese distributor has recently renewed the contract after its expiry. I was also happy to supervise its dubbing into French for both France (Disney, M6) and for a theatrical release in Quebec.
My love for family films from the Netherlands began in the late 1990s when the company I was then working for, Mediamax/Les Productions la Fête, picked up Penknife, the first film from Bos Bros. Back then, Burny Bos had the vision to source intelligent films for kids, content that was grounded in reality and with a lot of international appeal. He was one of the founding fathers of the genre, and is one of the reasons why Dutch family films enjoy such strong appeal now, both at home and internationally.
Winky’s Horse (Mischa Kamp, 2005), The Horror Bus (Pieter Kuijpers, 2005) and Fuchsia the Mini-Witch (Johan Nijenhuis, 2010) have also been very popular internationally, including distribution in North America. And Boudewijn Koole’s Kauwboy (2012) – what a surprise! This children/arthouse piece has now sold to more than 20 countries including a theatrical run in France, Spain and probably soon in Argentina! Good family films can be addictive and evergreen.
Burny and many other likeminded Dutch producers championed the genre from the very start. They looked at their own home-grown literature, isolated the best children’s books and made them into movies. They saw the importance of creating magic for family audiences and they embraced multiculturalism, so that the stories had as much resonance internationally as at home.
31 Minority Report
Dutch minority co-pros at Berlinale 2014
32 Back Cover
Star Profile Gaite Jansen, star of Tamar van den Dop’s Supernova
Editors in chief: Claudia Landsberger (EYE), Jonathan Mees (Netherlands Film Fund) Executive editor: Nick Cunningham Contributors: Geoffrey Macnab, Melanie Goodfellow and Xiaojuan Zhou Concept & Design: Lava.nl, Amsterdam Layout: def., Amsterdam Printing: Roto Smeets Grafiservices Printed on FSC paper Circulation: 1700 copies © All rights reserved: The Netherlands Film Fund and EYE International 2014
With A Christmoose Story, pets + kids’ is what we do. When you have a giant pet who works for Santa, who is not quite a reindeer and who is careless, and who talks like a big shot, what else do you need? I certainly found people who would agree with me as the film was presold to Germany (as a Dutch remake of a German novel/film!) and France long before it was finished...
Contact Sandra den Hamer CEO EYE E email@example.com
In conclusion, our addiction to Dutch family cinema is long-term and works on a mutually beneficial basis. With my China connections (the world’s second largest film market) and our sister production company Attraction Image (which is a leader in French Canada) as well as with numerous associate producers, it is my wish to help Dutch producers cross their borders and produce even bigger family films. The sky is the limit! We’ll find our ‘Nemo’, as I like to say.
Claudia Landsberger Head of EYE international E firstname.lastname@example.org EYE International PO BOX 74782 1070 BT Amsterdam The Netherlands T +31 20 589 1400 W www.eyefilm.nl Doreen Boonekamp CEO Netherlands Film Fund E email@example.com Frank Peijnenburg Head of Screen NL Netherlands Film Fund E firstname.lastname@example.org Dany Delvoie International Affairs Netherlands Film Fund E email@example.com Jonathan Mees Head of Communications Netherlands Film Fund E firstname.lastname@example.org Netherlands Film Fund Pijnackerstraat 5 1072 JS Amsterdam The Netherlands T +31 20 570 7676 W www.filmfonds.nl
In Berlin we have two films in Generation, Finn by Frans Weisz and Lourens Blok’s A Christmoose Story. For me, Finn was blind love. I didn’t know much about it when I committed to it but I have been working with the producers for over 10 years and have full confidence in them. I love the story of a boy who loves music, like Billy Elliott who loves dance.
30 Rotterdam Awaits...
Dutch features and minority coproductions selected for IFFR 2014
See NL is published four times per year by EYE International and The Netherlands Film Fund and is distributed to international film professionals.
It’s not that often you see music depicted in good family movies, so I was intrigued right away. And I have always admired the films of Frans.
What’s more, the Netherlands has a constant supply of emerging filmmakers who believe in the genre and its continually widening scope, quality and appeal – talents like Mischa Kamp, Boudewijn Koole and (Flemish!) Vincent Bal, and so
Cover still and above: Above Us All Director: Eugenie Jansen Script: Kim Nieker, Patrick Minks, Eugenie Jansen Production: De Productie (NL) in coproduction with Minds Meet (BE)
Lighting up Berlin It has taken Tamar van den Dop a small eternity finally to make her second feature Supernova, and now it is world-premiering in Berlinale Generation 14plus. Geoffrey Macnab reports.
Tamar van den Dop Dutch director, actress (and former Berlin Festival “Shooting Star”) Tamar van den Dop began writing her Supernova project (adapted from a novel by Do van Ranst) almost a decade ago. But she put it to one side while she worked on her debut feature Blind (2007) - and then came back to it. “It took a really long time to get all the finance because it is a hard time in Holland to get films funded - and even more so if the film is arthouse rather than mainstream. It is a harsh environment now,” Van den Dop sighs. German fund Nordmedia was an early backer as was the Netherlands Film Fund. Broadcasters, though, were reluctant to support the film. At one stage, Van den Dop feared that she would have to “give the money” back to the Film Fund. This was the point she decided to turn to crowd funding through EU1. The director couldn’t help but notice the irony. At a time when Dutch politicians were heaping scorn on artists and filmmakers, “there was this
public wanting to see the film and cheering it on.”
In an earlier version of the screenplay, Meis was supposed to be a 15 year-old. Van den Dop wanted to cast young Dutch heartthrob Gaite Jansen in the role. “She was still in school. I had to wait and wait because the finance was not there. Then, I heard she was in drama school and I thought she would be too old.” The director therefore began to look for another, younger girl to play the part. “But I couldn’t find her!”
The Netherlands Film Fund and Belgian backers supported the film (produced by Raymond van der Kaaij of Amsterdam-based Revolution and co-produced by IJswater Films, Belgian outfit Epidemic and the German Coin Film) and, “all of a sudden,” the project was ready to shoot. “It was a miracle. Everything popped into place in this short time.” The budget was smaller than had originally been envisaged but German co-producer Herbert Schwering of Coin Film helped Van den Dop put together a top notch crew.
With a tight schedule, Van den Dop wanted an actress who would be professional and reliable. She therefore went back to Jansen (see back cover). The actress is now in her early 20s but looks younger. “What is so amazing about her is that she could transform (herself) from being a girl on the verge of being grown up into being grown up. She can pull a switch. She has this nature-given beauty and youth.”
Shooting on a nature reserve in a remote part of Germany, the filmmakers worked very long hours. Van den Dop pays particular tribute to her line producer José Van Doorn who made sure the film was completed on schedule. (“She worked miracles!”) At the end of shooting, Van den Dop presented her with a toy Oscar in gratitude.
By changing the script to accommodate the actress, van der Dop feels she added extra layers of emotional complexity. Supernova sets out to be completely natural in its approach to sexuality. As an actress herself and a female filmmaker, the director was able to be utterly frank with her lead actress about what she wanted. “Sometimes, she (Jansen) laughed out loud and said ‘you can only ask me that because you’re a woman. If it was a man, I would shout at you and be really annoyed with you.”
‘At 17, her sexuality is more serious’ Supernova’s main character is a 17 year-old girl living with her parents in a rundown house in a remote backwater beside a half completed bridge. “Nothing happens here,” laments Meis. “We live in a place where everything stops.”
When Van den Dop was first adapting Do van Ranst’s novel, she made it clear she wasn’t interested in making a children’s film. Van Ranst accepted her ideas and “cheered her on.” He wasn’t protective about his material and encouraged her to
Meis yearns for love and adventure. She has a fantasy about a driver called “Brad” roaring up to the house, taking care of her, maybe seducing her.
do whatever she needed to make the story work on screen. Her interest was in the characters and the way they were stuck in limbo, waiting and waiting. “In this waiting, you can feel (them asking) questions about life. ‘Why are we waiting? What are we doing here?’ That’s what I recollect from my own puberty.” After speaking to an astronomer friend, Van den Dop came up with the title. “A supernova is also a kind of nothing. There is nothing and then it explodes. From nothingness, a new star emerges.” Van den Dop remains a busy stage and screen actress as well as a filmmaker. She is currently appearing on stage in a produc tion of Tracy Letts’ Bug. As a movie director, her approach on set is strongly influenced by her own experiences in front of the camera in such films as the Oscar winning Character by Mike van Diem or the festival favourite Wolfsbergen (Nanouk Leopold). “Directing actors is a great joy. I know it from the inside and so I feel really secure about that side of the directing,” she declares. “I know their secrets and fears!” Thanks to her directing experiences, Van den Dop believes she is more generous in her approach to acting. She knows the difficulties that all filmmakers face in getting their projects on screen and doesn’t want to create problems for them. On the one hand, acting is a necessity. “Sadly, in Holland, I couldn’t live off just directing. I’ve made this career in acting and I can pay the rent with it.” On the other, her work on both stage and screen remains a passion. “It makes me sane, it makes me whole.”
Supernova Director:Tamar van den Dop Script: Tamar van den Dop Production: Revolver (NL) in co-production with IJswater Films (NL), Coin Film (DE), Epidemic (BE)
Haunting Melody Director Frans Weisz’s Finn is his first children’s film in a career spanning nearly 50 years. He talks to Melanie Goodfellow about the experience.
Frans Weisz Frans Weisz’s latest film Finn, a child-friendly psychological drama with a supernatural twist, revolves around a young boy whose mother died in childbirth. A loner and a dreamer, who is ostracised by most of his class mates, Finn’s life changes when a mysterious, violin-playing stranger takes up residence in an abandoned farm near his home. A melody the man plays on his violin inexplicably conjures up an image of Finn’s mother before the boy’s eyes. Finn is hooked and demands lessons. He too wants to create that sound but his father forbids him from visiting the farm. He does so nonetheless. On Christmas Eve and the day of Finn’s 10th birthday, the music and melody help unlock the mystery surrounding his mother’s death but suddenly the stranger is nowhere to be found... Weisz first heard about the project by chance while at the offices of Dutch production powerhouse Eyeworks working on his film Happy End. Writer Janneke van der Pal was also visiting the offices
at the same time. “She came up to me and asked me if I would take a look at the synopsis,” recalls Weisz. “When I read it I was really intrigued. Initially, I saw it as a sort of Billy Elliot meets The Sixth Sense but while I was working on the script my wife, who is a psychoanalyst, happened to be reading a book about how foetuses in the womb are influenced by what’s going on around them... from whether parents are arguing to their choice of music... this can all have an impact on the unborn baby.” “It slowly dawned on me that the story was not so much about a boy who wants to become a famous violinist, like Billy Elliot who wants to become a famous dancer, but rather about a boy who believes that if he plays a certain melody he will get his mother back,” continues Weisz. Pinning down this leitmotiv and finding the right child actor to play Finn were key to the project, says the director. Nine year-old Mels van der Hoeven – who is mesmerising on the big screen – walked into a final casting session just two weeks before the film was due to start rolling. “I spent a year-and-a-half looking for the right boy. I had a couple of candidates in reserve but was not convinced and then Mels turned up quite by chance. I had mentioned in a television interview that I was looking for a boy for the role and his grandfather had sent a photo but he sent it to the wrong address, so it got to us late. On the very last casting day, I was about to cast another boy when Mels walked in and sat down and I was dumbstruck... which is rare for me because I like to talk,” recalls Weisz.
The film was produced by Flinck Film, with the support of the Netherlands Film Fund, and shot over just 28 shooting days, starting in April 2013. “I’d never worked with a child before. It was a new experience. I didn’t let him read the script. I told him scene by scene what the film was about. Right up until the very end, he kept asking me ‘Will I see my mother? Will I see my mother?’ And I was like you’ll have to wait and see,” says Weisz.
‘When actor Mels walked in to casting I was dumbstruck’
and Derek Jacobi in the cast. Prior to Charlotte, Weisz, who studied at the Dutch Film Academy and Italy’s Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, alongside the likes of Italian director Marco Bellocchio, debuted with the 1966 experimental film Gangstergirl before moving on to make a number of commercial pictures including The Burglar. He is currently working on an adaptation of the Remco Campert’s 1960s classic Het Leven is Vurrukkulluk, which translates as Life is Delicious. The novel captures the Netherlands at the end of the 1950s and beginning of 1960s as life started to get easier after the era of post-war austerity.
“Since Shirley Temple I don’t think there has been a child actor who has seduced a whole crew and cast in quite the same way. He was a find. I’ve heard from his father that he has already been invited to do two other movies since,” adds the director. Van der Hoeven is joined on screen by prolific Belgian actor Jan Decleir as the mysterious violinist and popular Dutch Daan Schuurmans as the father. Finn marks a departure in terms of subject matter for Weisz. Most of his films over the last 30 years have dealt with stories connected to his Jewish roots. These works range from the 1981 biopic Charlotte, about tragic painter Charlotte Salomon, who was gassed with her unborn child at Auschwitz in 1943, to the recent trilogy revolving around a Jewish Dutch family, still dealing with the implications of their Holocaust heritage. “Charlotte was a turning point in my life... for me my life is before and after Charlotte,” says Weisz of the film that featured Birgit Doll
Finn Director: Frans Weisz Script: Janneke van der Pal Production: Flinck Film (NL) in coproduction with Eyeworks (BE), Caviar (BE) Sales: Attraction Distribution 6
Orphan Rights In March 2014, EYE will host the 9th Orphan Symposium assessing the status of films whose ownership is unknown or disputed. EYE chief curator Professor Giovanna Fossati puts explains all to Nick Cunningham.
Giovanna Fossati Photo: UvA, Jeroen Oerlemans
Within a cinematic context ‘orphan’ can mean one of two things. The strict definition is copyright-related, when it is impossible to determine who is the film’s rights holder. When you do not know who this is, then you cannot pay anybody a copyright fee. Which on the face of it sounds pretty favorable - but it isn’t. Nobody is going to show such a film for fear of being sued by the as-yet unknown rights holder. “It is a hostage situation,” laments EYE’s Giovanna Fossati. “You have a film but nobody wants to do anything with it. It can happen with features but it is actually very often the case with commissioned films or advertising films, all those kinds of ephemeral productions that never had a clear copyright structure. For film heritage institutions and for scholars this is a very sensitive question as there are films that give a clear historical context to film and audiovisual history.” A broader definition of ‘orphan’ film is one that “just doesn’t fit
in”, according to Fossati, even if there is no copyright issue attached. “Nobody wants to care for them, such as short films or films that don’t fit into a 90-min screening slot, but which are becoming more and more interesting now with all the online possibilities such as YouTube, as there is much more interest for unexpected formats and films and content.”
present his upcoming IBM 1401, A User’s Manual.” This is a hymn to the antiquated IBM computer model, made in collaboration with Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The University of Amsterdam’s own Thomas Elsaesser, guru to thousands of film students for many decades, will address the main theme of the 2014 symposium, that of obsolescence. “The whole idea of obsolescence is very much related to film heritage in general because of the film formats, such as the natural obsolescence of celluloid as we move to digital,” Fossati adds. “But it is also inherent within the digitation process as digital formats become obsolete much quicker than analogue formats. You must remember that the 35mm film print was a standard for over 120 years whereas digital formats change every two or three years. That is why we chose this as a theme.”
The 9th Orphan Symposium, the first held outside the US, will address the questions and concerns of filmmakers, funders and archivists alike, about this grey area of silver screen activity. But with 300 attendees and a raft of industry experts and panelists, it promises to be more than an exercise in navel gazing and contemplation. Rather, the symposium will explore themes such as the use of found footage and heritage fragments by filmmakers and installation artists, using numerous and various examples plundered from international archives.
‘Nobody is going to show an orphan film’
Nevertheless, given the sym posium’s brief, attendees will attempt to (in part) reconcile the issues of orphan status during a panel about FORWARD, a European project dedicated to creating a European database to facilitate the use of orphan films, following up the EU Directive for an Audiovisual Orphan Works Registry.
Since 2003, EYE (or the Filmmuseum as it was then) has partnered with the University of Amsterdam on an International Masters programme entitled Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image. In late 2013 a Chair on Film Heritage was established – and filled by Professor Fossati.
One of the highly lauded participants at the event will be Bill Morrison, who made Decasia (2002). “This film was made very much with film fragments especially from the silent era that betrayed the signs of chemical decay within them,” Fossati points out. “In Amsterdam he will present a new project made up of home movies, and will also
“It is quite exceptional to have a curator who can bridge the activities of the university and the museum, and the whole idea of bridging theory and practice is very much behind my work as a
scholar,” she comments. “I truly believe in this - it is a time of new possibilities given by digital to get more and more students passionate about re-discovering film heritage, so this is for me the big challenge. But of course there are a lot of the other academic activities that we already do, such as the Orphan Symposium, that are becoming more structural parts of our activities at EYE, rather than an exception as in the past.” An alumnus of Bologna University who was determined to immerse herself within the hands-on process of film restoration, how does Professor Fossati assess the Netherlands as a hub for film archive practice and theory? “I think that the Netherlands, and now I am talking as an Italian who can see both the advantages and disadvantages, has such a dynamic and proactive attitude towards archival practice and working with heritage that makes it an ideal place to have this discussion,” she underlines. “There is a very Dutch, very proactive approach towards the use of archives, and to changing legislation making it possible to make archives live and breathe. The Dutch are very innovative in their approach to archives, making them dynamic and alive in so many ways.”
Lights, Action... Cut It takes a particular mindset to be a film editor. You need artistry, intuition and huge reserves of patience. These are qualities that leading Dutch practitioners in the field all possess. Speak to a handful of them and it quickly becomes clear that they are absolute perfectionists.
pleasure he experienced cutting together 8mm films and “creating” reality. “That’s still what I enjoy the most. You have something shot one week in one specific place and something shot another week somewhere else you cut them together and it feels like it’s done at the same moment!” There is an obvious camaraderie between Dutch editors too. Almost all belong to the Netherlands Association of Cinema Editors (NCE), cofounded by Peter Alderliesten and Job ter Burg. The association, which now has over 70 members, provides a forum for Dutch editors while giving newcomers the chance to network with more experienced practitioners. The aim behind the group (Alderliesten suggests) is for editors to “inspire” each other while offering practical assistance when they can.
“Maybe there are more expectations with fiction. With documentary, I sense a little more freedom,” she says. Alderliesten’s career underlines just how versatile editors need to be. His feature film credits range from kids’ movies like Vincent Bal’s The Zigzag Kid (2012) to several comedies with Joran Lürsen and Marco van Geffen’s brooding family drama Among Us (2011). He has also cut trailers, advertisements, short films and pop promos. He sees his collaboration with Bal as one of his most rewarding. The two worked together on Minoes (2001) and reunited for The Zigzag Kid, a yarn about a Walter Mitty-like boy with a very vivid imagination. In cutting the film, Alderliesten’s task was to make clear where the reality ended and the fantasy began. It helped that Bal was “very precise” and knew exactly how he wanted the film to be shaped.
“I like sitting down in a room and figuring how to put stuff together,” is how Job ter Burg (a Golden Calf winner for Tirza – the leading Dutch film prize) sums up the appeal of editing. For Katarina Türler (who recently cut Tamar van den Dop’s Berlinale entry Supernova), editing is a way of telling stories and solving problems at the same time. “I was always good at puzzles,” she jokes. “That’s the passion - to be able to make something out of little pieces which are nothing without the mind that puts them together.” Türler also cut the 2012 multi award-winning Matthew’s Laws by Marc Schmidt and Mischa Kamp’s upcoming Boys. Renowned industry veteran Sander Vos talks of the childhood
‘Editors need to be very versatile...’ “It does feel that people have respect for each other’s work and help each other out without being in a competitive situation,” Ter Burg says of the solidarity that now exists. For Türler, one pleasure in editing is the independence it gives her. She is her “own boss.” Her editing studio is on one floor of her house. “After film school, I invested in (my own) equipment because I never wanted to be at a company.” Her starting point is always the material. She works on documentary as well as fiction film. Documentary makers, she observes, tend to shoot more material. That gives the editor the chance to “discover” the film in the process of cutting it together.
Job ter Burg, meanwhile, speaks highly of legendary director Paul Verhoeven whose big budget, Second World War epic Black Book (2006) he edited. Ter Burg “auditioned” to get the job by cutting together a sequence. Once he was hired, he relished working on a film of such scope
and ambition. “There were so many options to choose from to shape the scene”, he says. Verhoeven was “very open” to his ideas and gave him the room to express himself.
‘It is not possible to work 9 to 5...’ Equally rewarding was his collaboration with Alex van Warmerdam, the maverick art house director whose recent Borgman (2013) was the first Dutch film in competition in Cannes in over three decades. Like Verhoeven, Van Warmerdam trusted Ter Burg. The editor talks of “eliminating the baroque curls” in the movie - that’s to say, footage van Warmerdam had shot that was stylish in itself but wasn’t tied in to the rest of the film. Even after the film had been submitted to Cannes, the editor and the director continued to tinker with it. “Van Warmerdam never quits until he is satisfied with all the details. That, to me, is very inspiring.” One problem that has dogged editors of feature films is the financing landscape in the Netherlands. The Dutch haven’t had their own soft money/tax incentive scheme for many years. This has meant that Dutch and international movies have increasingly gone elsewhere (for example, to Belgium with its tax shelter) to do their postproduction. Ask Dutch editors about figures in their field they admire and several cite Thelma Schoonmaker (best known for her work on Scorsese’s films.) What they like about her is her refusal (as Alderliesten puts it) to take the
Photo: Anouck Wolf / Pupkin Film
Geoffrey Macnab is illumi nated by the leading lights of the Dutch editing sector.
Mischa Kamp’s Boys, produced by Pupkin Film, edited by Katarina Türler
Lights, Action... Cut “easy option” and make films too flat and predictable. Like many of his colleagues, Alderliesten didn’t start his career wanting to be an editor. In fact, he was a physics student. During university, he took a short course in video filmmaking. That was what inspired him to apply for film school. He decided at that point how he wanted to specialise. Nevertheless his background as a scientist was helpful. “I really want to find out how things work... what I do in editing is try to see the whole film and dig very deep into all the options we have to make the film as strong as possible. So it has similarities with science.”
re-mixing and re-cutting music tracks.” Soon, he was editing professionally. “I never lost the love for the process,” he enthuses. “I sometimes say it is like the best video game ever where every day you get new levels of footage. You never get the same level of footage. It is always changing!” Most editors enjoy taking on a variety of assignments. “No job is typical. Every film needs its own new recipe,” says Türler. Ter Burg likewise has moved between genres, doing everything from kids’ movies (Fuchsia The Mini-Witch) to wartime epics and contemporary drama such as Tirza. Early in his career, he was determined not to be pigeon holed. It helped that he was interested “in many different genres and styles.” Every film, he suggests, has its “own challenges” which force him to reflect on what he does. When editors are on deadline, they invariably have to work punishing hours. “It is not possible to work 9 to 5!” comments Türler.
Alderliesten. “To me, it doesn’t help to have a harsh deadline. I don’t get better.” As a point of principle, he tries to have assistants with him during the editing process so that he is never completely alone. Their presence helps him concentrate and gives him the chance to test out and discuss new ideas.
‘Like the best video game ever’ Sander Vos moonlights as a singer. He has his own band, De Waterlanders. Hany Abu-Assad recruited him to edit the Oscar nominated Paradise Now after hearing him perform. That’s the most unlikely way in which he has been hired for a job. Editors may be unsung heroes by comparison with directors, actors and even cinematographers but their influence on how movies are put together is huge. “You have all the tools to form the movie,” Alderliesten muses. “When I was on the set as an assistant, I didn’t know what the film was going to be. But when I am the editor, I am the one shaping the exact form and feel of the movie.”
Vos waxes nostalgic about the “tactile” sensation of feeling the celluloid in the old days before “digital,” when films were still edited on Steenbecks and Moviolas. He doesn’t like the sense that editors now worked in what looked like ordinary offices rather than with “all those wonderful” old machines. However, the consensus among Dutch editors is that digital allows more creative freedom. Ter Burg recalls that even as a kid, he was messing around with “quarter inch tape, sound,
Brightest Star Hague-born actor Marwan Kenzari is the Netherlands’ Shooting Star at Berlinale 2014. He talks to Nick Cunningham. Since his screen debut in 2009 Marwan Kenzari’s star has been in the ascendant, having been signed up by some of the Netherlands’ directorial luminaries. He worked with Alex van Warmerdam on that year’s critically-acclaimed The Last Days of Emma Blank and with Antoinette Beumer on the box-office hit Loft (2011). Thereafter Kenzari commenced a working relationship with fellow Dutchman Jim Taihuttu that has spawned two award-winning films, Rabat in 2011 and Wolf (2013). The latter won the Youth Jury Award at San Sebastian and the best actor Golden Calf for Kenzari at the Netherlands Film Festival. They are currently collaborating on Ratu Adil about the unconventional methods deployed by a captain who sets out to liberate the Dutch Indies from independent rebels. In the meantime he starred in two acclaimed Dutch tv series, Van God Los and Penoza. The latter was picked up by the US network ABC for remake in 2012. Kenzari is noteworthy for the intense muscularity he brings to each role. For Wolf he learned to kick-box and is utterly convincing as he triumphs in each bout. “Together with the director I try to create something that we think is interesting to look at,” he comments. “Of course as an actor I think you always put some of yourself into the part since you’re the one playing it. I just look at it this way. Sometimes a character in a strange way can be a different version of myself with some other ingredients added to it.”
Job ter Burg
“I mainly choose the projects that I can work on in a normal way - so that I can also sleep a little bit and see my family!” says
While Kenzari is slated to play in many significant upcoming projects, including Paula van der Oest’s Lucia de B, his work is majorly informed by the collaboration with director Taihuttu. “Jim and I have known each other for almost seven years now. He is one of my closest friends and I think of him as family,” he stresses.
‘A character can be a different version of myself’ “He has a lot of influence on what I do as an actor. He is the creator of two of the most important characters I’ve played so far (Rabat and Wolf). We discuss a lot and have very similar taste. I truly hope we will continue this interesting journey of film making in the future for a very long time.” The Shooting Star programme is organised by European Film Promotion to introduce leading European acting talent to prestigious international producers and agents. Previous Dutch Shooting Stars include Sylvia Hoeks, Lotte Verbeek, Halina Reijn and Fedja van Huêt, while former non-Dutch Shooting Stars include the now worldfamous Carey Mulligan, Daniel Craig, Franka Potente, Rachel Weisz and Daniel Brühl. “I would love to do international productions in the future,” Kenzari concludes. “There are these very strong directors in Europe and US that I would love to work with some day. Hopefully this will result in my participation in strong projects.“
Short film Greifensee by Sonja Wyss, edited by Katarina Türler
Remote Pirate Last Hijack (a world premiere in Berlinale Panorama) is a film about a young Somali pirate, but Captain Phillips it is not, reports Geoffrey Macnab. Directed by Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting, it’s a documentary that uses animation as well as intimate real-life footage of the pirate, his family and associates. Early in the film, produced by Dutch production house Submarine with the support of the Netherlands Film Fund, we see Mohamed and his friends discussing what might be Mohamed’s last mission as they sit on the rocks in the desert. They make an inventory of what they need - flak jackets, AK47 ammunition, the GPS and the First Aid kit. He is planning to get married...again. (He already has several children from his previous marriages.) His fiancée, parents and relatives, meanwhile, put him under huge pressure to quit piracy. “We had been reading the news reports about piracy and we became rather fascinated by the subject,” co-director Wolting recalls of what drew the directors to the subject.
self-consciously lyrical and intended to suggest Mohamed’s dreams, desires and fears. “It is really all through his lens,” Pallotta says. There are interviews with Mohamed’s closest relatives who talk about their fears for him once he joined the pirates. Huge ransoms could be won. For an impoverished and failing country, it was easy to see the attraction of piracy. As Mohamed’s father puts it, “the ocean turned into a pool full of cash.”
journalist who worked for Channel 4 as a writing journalist but had no experience of documentaries, and a Somali DOP who studied at art academy in the Netherlands. They went together.” Wolting and Pallotta worked for weeks with the team in Amsterdam planning scenes, shotlists and interviews with their collaborators, and shot scenes in Amsterdam experimenting with the style of the film. Then they went so Somalia and kept in touch continually via cellphone. Every two days the material that was shot was sent by Fedex to the directors.
It took the directors a year and a half to find Mohamed and to persuade him to appear in the doc. “He doesn’t have any ambition to leave Somalia and so he was very open and honest about his experience,” says Wolting. “His father was very happy he took part in the film because he thought it would be a first step for him maybe to get out of piracy. That’s why his father was very collaborative and also his mum. They really gave us great access to their family life and their kids. They saw it as a way of helping Mohamed.”
“What kind of conditions would you have to be in that it would make you go out on a small fishing boat and try to take over a huge cargo ship? We were trying to imagine what that really must be like and how desperate you must be,” Pallotta adds. “We were searching for the universal story of what you would do to survive and what is the collateral damage of the decisions that you make.”
The directors realised it would be almost impossible to make a traditional documentary. For a start, Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. It wasn’t as if they could simply travel there and start filming. “The only way we could shoot there was if we hired a private army of about fifteen soldiers and a couple of bulletproof SUVs!” Wolting states. “We considered it, but thought we never would have been able to get close to our main characters.” Instead, they directed it remotely, using Skype and cellphones.
The animation is vivid and dramatic, and is intended to show “the subjective reality” of Mohamed’s world. But it is also
“We did something really experimental. For the documentary part, we worked with a young and smart Somali
‘The ocean turned into a pool of cash...’ Last Hijack is being sold by Match Factory. It will be launched to distributors as a feature film. However, the doc is also accompanied by an interactive installation. With Pallotta and Wolting sharing the directorial credit, who did what and where were the creative lines drawn? “We divided it (the work) a little but we’re both control freaks and so, I think, in the end, we did everything together,” Wolting suggests. “We were both very affectionate...and very stubborn!” “The end result isn’t something that would have come from either one of us,” Pallotta says of the collaboration.
Greengrass film. Although Greengrass attempted to provide some background context, she still felt that the pirates were portrayed as drug-crazed aggressors. By contrast, Last Hijack attempts to give the pirates’ perspective. “We wanted to show a more human side.” Another important difference is that the opposition against the pirates in Last Hijack isn’t led by western politicians and business people. It’s the pirates’ own relatives who are trying to change their behaviour. No, Mohamed won’t be in Berlin for the film’s premiere. He would almost certainly be arrested if he tried to come to the west. “It’s impossible for him to leave the country. He is one of the most experienced pirates. He has done many hijacks...it would be very unsafe for him to travel.” In his absence, Pallotta and Wolting will be representing the film. Last Hijack already has one influential supporter. Pallotta showed it to his friend and collaborator, Richard Linklater, who was hugely impressed by the animation techniques. Linklater is now getting Pallotta and Wolting to work on his big budget Hollywood movie The Incredible Mr Limpet which is half liveaction and half animation. “Each project feels like it’s an extension of the last one,” Pallotta states. “I am a firm believer that animation doesn’t have just to be for children which is the way that it is typically viewed here (in the US.) It’s a really great device to use for storytelling.”
Wolting has seen Captain Phillips but Pallotta hasn’t. “It’s a rollercoaster thriller movie,” Wolting says of the Paul
Last Hijack Director: Tommy Pallotta, Femke Wolting Script: Tommy Pallotta, Femke Wolting Production: Submarine (NL) in co-production with Still Films (IE), Razor Film (DE), Savage Film (BE) Sales: The Match Factory
Full Circle Boundary-pushing director Eugenie Jansen talks to Melanie Goodfellow about the challenges of making her 3D film Above Us All, selected for Berlin Generation 14plus.
Eugenie Janssen A decade after competing in the Berlinale with her short film Fear of Flying, innovative director Eugenie Jansen returns to the festival in 2014 with her ground breaking 3D work Above Us all. The film revolves around Shay, an 11-year-old girl of mixed Australian indigenous and European parentage coming to terms with the death of her mother, and the sudden move to Belgium from a remote observatory in the Australian outback where her astronomer father worked. Having observed the stars with her father, she wonders if her mother is to be found in the firmament up above or is rotting underground. In a bid to overcome his loss, Shay’s father moves the family back to Europe. Caught between two cultures, Shay has a tough time adapting. “It’s an autobiographical story written by Kim Niekerk,” explains Jansen. “She grew up in the West Indies and came to Europe with her father following her mother’s
“The 360 Degree shots show everything that is going on. There is no hierarchy in the importance of what is shown. The chair is as important as the person... the viewer has to filter the story from all these details.” The film was completed by delegate producer Digna Sinke of SNG Film who took over from René Goosens of Rotterdambased De Productie, and was supported by the Netherlands Film Fund. “What attracts me is the use of 3D not as a commercial selling point, but as a part of the cinematographic language, almost in a philosophical way,” she comments. “I like those kind of complex, essayistic films, with different layers, connecting different places and times... It is an adventure, not only techni cally, but also on how the film will touch an audience.” Filming and editing the film was a challenge, admits Jansen. The work was shot over 30 days in 2011. Jansen and her crew worked on a schedule of three circular scenes a day. “Each shot runs roughly two minutes... so if we managed to shoot three shots a day that was fine for us,” reveals the director. Award-winning Belgian cinematographer and stereo grapher Kommer Kleijn advised on the 3D alongside director of photography Adri Schrover, a prolific documentary cinematographer and long-time Jansen collaborator, who worked on her 2002 Rotterdam Tigerwinning Sleeping Rough and Calimucho (2008). “The lighting was incredibly complicated. In the end, we learned that natural light was the best – we tried to use as little artificial lighting as possible,” says Jansen.
death. It’s about mourning and dealing with loss in a new environment.” Jansen worked with filmmaker and writer Patrick Minks on the final version of the screenplay. They decided to transplant the story to Australia and set its European part in the Belgian city of Ypres, famous for its role in World War One and today the site of the Menin Gate War Memorial, featuring the names of 54,896 Commonwealth soldiers who were killed during the conflict and whose graves are unknown. In the film, the family moves in with an aunt and uncle who run a small hotel in the town. “I was looking for the right setting for the film and for me Ypres made sense... it’s a city of remembrance. The film is about the stories we tell ourselves to get a grip on - big things like losing the one dearest to us. On the one hand, you have this girl dealing with her personal loss and on the other there is this collective dealing with trauma at Ypres.” The story unfolds through a series of self-contained, 360 Degree, 3D shots spanning roughly two minutes. Jansen says her decision to shoot the film in 3D stemmed from a desire to “tell a story without telling the story”. “It’s something I tried to do before but with different levels of success, to make a film where the story is not the dominant thing. I am always trying to do something new in my films, to test and push myself and explore new ways of storytelling,” explains Jansen. “The film is very conceptual and strict in its form but inside the frame, it has a looser, documentary feel. Things look very coincidental.”
At the post-production stage, the director brought in Belgian editor Nico Leunen, as well as one of the Netherlands top composers and sound designers Michel Schöpping, who both recently worked on Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown. “When it came to the sound, a lot of things happen outside the frame, we had to figure out whether to use sounds in shot or outside what is showing on screen.” As in her 2008 film Calimucho, set against the backdrop of a touring, family circus, Above Us All features a mainly nonprofessional cast whom Jansen co-directs with colleague Rosa Fontein.
‘The 360 Degree shots show everything that is going on... ’
It is the first big screen appearance for Shayleah Sands, the young actress who plays Shay. “The cast didn’t see the script until the day of the shoot. The script was important as a plan, to create structure and show where we were going day to day, but when I work with nonprofessional actors, it’s more a case of getting them to react, than act... I draw on their real skills, experiences and characters -- with a different set of people it would have been a different film... even if we had shot on a different day, it would have been a different film, ” says Jansen.
Above Us All Director: Eugenie Jansen Script: Kim Nieker, Patrick Minks, Eugenie Jansen Production: De Productie (NL) in co-production with Minds Meet (BE) 16
IFFR Tiger Competition
Dark Side of the Moon
Dick Tuinder Director, artist and writer Dick Tuinder draws on the landscape of his 1970s childhood for his second feature-length film Farewell to the Moon, set in 1972, the year of the United States’ final Apollo 17 moon landing. The picture revolves around Duch, a boy on the cusp of adolescence, obsessed with space as well as his neighbour, the beautiful, bored, pill-popping housewife Mary. In the forefront, the marriage of Duch’s parents unravels after his father Bob leaves his mother Piet to move in with bohemian neighbour Loes. Duch and his sister Esther look on helplessly as their parents rip themselves and one another apart. In the opening scene, NASA images of the final lunar-walk play out on the big screen to the lyrics of late Belgian singer Jacques Brel’s Litanies Pour Un Retour, in which a man rejoices over the return of a lost lover. “I’ve always wanted to do something about the moon missions but in a different way.
I remember watching them as a kid and I was hugely disappointed when they stopped,” says 49-year-old Tuinder. “But when I looked back at the programme, I came to the realisation that it was a purely symbolic undertaking, which was very sexual, very Freudian... almost like an act of making love.” At first, the director considered basing the film in 1969, at the time of the first man on the moon, and then he decided that the event of the last man on the moon was actually more dramatic. “It dawned on me that 1972 was a turning point in Western history. Three years before that you have pop music, plastic, optimism and the first man on the moon, and then three years after that it’s the oil crisis, defeat in the Vietnam War and ‘no future’... the mood had changed completely,” explains Tuinder. “And this turning point was perfectly symbolised by the last man leaving the moon. Giving up. Returning home.”
The period was also a transitional time for society, comments Tuinder, during which traditional family and social structures came under pressure. “It’s more-or-less autobiographical although my youth was not as plot-driven as that of Duch. I never got to kiss my neighbour,” explains Tuinder, with a laugh. “As with the space mission programme, sometimes it takes time to figure out what something really means and that also goes for my youth. As a child I experienced things but it sort of happened outside of me... when your parents divorce as a child, you have to choose sides, one of the parents inevitably gets demonised - as the bad guy, or bad woman... I was trying to humanise my memories... especially those of my father. The film’s partly tragic but I also wanted it to be funny - it’s a comedy of weaknesses.” The film unfolds within an already crumbling, late 1960s apartment block. The action takes place inside three adjacent domiciles situated along the same walkway. The director decided to transpose the block’s original city setting to the countryside, juxtaposing a sense of claustrophobia inside the apartments with the wide vistas outside. For the purposes of the shoot, he and his crew recon structed the apartments in the studio. “It’s a very claustrophobic stage but at the same time it’s very spacious because of the views to the horizon,” says Tuinder. “When you live in a building like that, your floor is your world, you know everyone on your floor but no-one in the rest of the building... also because you’re very high up, you’re completely
‘I never got to kiss my neighbour...’ “In his 1962 speech announcing America’s space programme President Kennedy said, ‘We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things’ but no-one ever really worked out what the ‘other things’ were... there was really nothing to do there,” continues Tuinder. “The space programme turned out to be a perfect symbol for the changes in the lives of the characters in the film and their longings to get something outside of themselves which they can’t get.”
disconnected from the rest of the world. I remember as a kid sitting on the balcony and there was nothing but wind and air.” “It’s not necessarily obvious but for the different apartments we used different styles of filming. For Mary and her apartment, for example, the range of focus is very small, so the foreground and background are out of focus, so it seems like she is always in a haze,” he adds. The film, produced by Column Film and supported by the Netherlands Film Fund, features a strong ensemble cast. Popular actor Marcel Hensema plays Bob opposite Pauline Greidanus as Loes and Lotte Proot as Piet. Elise Schaap is the vacuous Mary. Farewell to the Moon marks Tuinder’s second feature-length film after the fantastical 2009 Winterland. Dubbed “a true story that never happened” the complex work was a film-withina-film revolving around an actress whose story becomes muddled with characters and plots from Tuinder’s other previous short stories and drawings. Alongside making films, Tuinder also writes, paints and illustrates books and magazines. “I always work on a lot of things at the same time. So sometimes I have periods when nothing comes to fruition and then suddenly four or five things come together at the same time,” says the filmmaker.
Photo: Aryan Ka-
Filmmaker Dick Tuinder takes inspiration from the 1970s US space programme for his latest film Farewell to the Moon, in IFFR Tiger Competition. He talks to Melanie Goodfellow.
Farewell to the Moon Director: Dick Tuinder Script: Dick Tuinder Production: Column Film Sales: Media Luna New Films
Lilet travels the world A low-budget Dutch feature, tackling child prostitution in the Philippines, has been racking up awards across the world over the last 12 months. Melanie Goodfellow reports.
Jacco Groen Dutch filmmaker Jacco Groen battled against the odds to make his picture Lilet Never Happened, about a young girl sold into prostitution by her mother in the Philippine capital of Manila. “People told me that nobody would want to watch a film about child prostitution so what was the point of making it,” recounts Groen, who shot the feature over a three-year period from 2009 to 2011, piecing the €600,000 budget together as he went along. The film was produced by Spring Film with the support of the Netherlands Film Fund. The film revolves around a young street prostitute called Lilet, nicknamed Snow White because of her mixed Philippine and US parentage, struggling to survive on the streets of Manila. Philippine child star Sandy Talag plays Lilet opposite Dutch actress Johanna ter Steege, as a social worker who tries to get the girl off the streets. Groen, who specialises in hardhitting social documentaries and fiction works, had the project on the backburner for the best part
of two decades. He was first confronted with child prostitution in the Philippines in the late 1980s, while working on the US-Belgian production Cruel Horizon, which was shot on location in the country in 1987. There are no precise figures available but between 60,000 to 100,000 children are believed to work as underage prostitutes in the Philippines.
but I’ve tried to keep it light, to make the film more accessible to audiences,” says Groen. The filmmaker kicked off shooting in 2009, partly spurred on by statistics showing how child prostitution had increased in Asia amid the global financial crisis of 2008. “I remember reading articles about how more people were selling their children... and thinking I had to get the film off the ground,” he recalls. Using a local crew, Groen shot the film periodically over the coming three years, whenever finances permitted. His determination to explore the issue on the big screen has paid off.
“The night I arrived in the Philippines, I went to a bar with the rest of the crew where I was approached by someone asking me if I wanted to look at some photos... I naively accepted and I was shocked to see they were of children,” recalls the director.
‘Groen explores the issue of child prostitution through a fiction feature...’
Having at first contemplated making a documentary on the issue, the director rejected the idea when he learned that previous non-fiction works on the subject had unwittingly informed paedophiles where to go in search of underage prostitutes. He decided instead to explore the issue through a fiction feature. The film’s central character of Lilet is inspired, however, by a real-life, child prostitute Groen interviewed in a mental asylum in 1998.
Over the last 18 months, Lilet Never Happened has screened at more than 20 festivals across the world, after premiering domestically at the Netherlands Film Festival in September 2012 and then internationally at the Warsaw Film Festival in November 2012.
“She was recovering from a suicide attempt,” explains the filmmaker. “By that point I had met several victims of sexual abuse and child prostitution but I was struck by her strength and spirit of survival.”
It has won a slew of prizes along the way including Best Youth Film at the Buster Copenhagen International Film Festival for Children and Youth and the Audience Award at the Sydneybased Auburn Film Festival for Children and Young Adults, both taking place in September 2013. More recently, the cast and director picked up prizes at the International Film Festival Manhattan, where it was the closing film.
Groen lost track of the real-life Lilet after she was discharged from hospital but her story stuck in his mind. “I wanted to show what these children go through but I knew the film couldn’t be too heavy otherwise people wouldn’t want to watch it. It went through a number of versions. It’s not exactly Slumdog Millionaire
The feature also screened in the Philippines in December 2013 as part of a European Union-backed initiative to mark International Human Rights Day, garnering a mainly favourable response. “The Philippine cast and crew had been pestering me to screen it there for months but I decided to wait a bit. I was a bit scared that the press in the Philippines would be like ‘why is this white guy making a film about this subject?’ I didn’t want to be accused of sexploitation or poverty porn... I was cautious,” said Groen. “I think it was good it had won a few prizes before showing there.” “Awareness of the issue in the Philippines has improved dramatically in recent years,” he adds. “I couldn’t have made this film 10 years ago. Even back in 2009, when we were first shooting, permits would suddenly be withdrawn at the last moment when local officials discovered what the film was about.” Meanwhile, the real-life Lilet has yet to re-materialise. “After she disappeared, the only contact I had was the night club where she worked but nobody there knows her whereabouts. Some journalists also tried to help me track her down but we never found her,” says Groen. “She was 13 years old when I met her so she would be in her early 30s now,” says the filmmaker. “I have often wondered whether she ended up in America... I was secretly hoping that when the film was shown there, she would come forward.”
Lilet Never Happened Director: Jacco Groen Script: Jacco Groen, Roy Iglesias Production: Spring Film in co-production with 24Fps features (NL), Jaja productions (NL), Witsenburg Film Productions (NL), F&ME Film & Music (UK)
Pitching Frenzy For many Dutch producers on the hunt for finance and co-production partners, Rotterdam’s CineMart is one of the crucial events in the film year, reports Geoffrey Macnab.
Marleen Slot (Viking Film) Marleen Slot, owner of Viking Film, is upbeat about what CineMart, the oldest of the many co-production markets at film festivals worldwide, has to offer. She will be in attendance at this year’s event with her latest project Monk. “I think CineMart has a very good reputation,” she states. “For me, it is kind of a quality label for your film. It really means something. I am very proud that we are there. I was really happy and excited to be selected.” “I think Monk is a project that really sits at CineMart because of the content and because of the partners we are looking for. It is a good place to meet co-producers and start talking with sales agents,” she adds. The film, which has a budget of €1,200,000, is directed by newcomer Ties Schenk who came on board the project largely thanks to an earlier pitching event. The director, best known for her award-winning shorts and TV series, was attending the event two years ago when she heard Monk being presented by the writer, Roosmarijn Roos Rosa de Carvalho. “I knew her (Schenk)
because I worked at Lemming Film for many years. That’s how I got to know her and her work,” Slot recalls. “She heard the pitch and was like, ‘wow, I really want this film to be my feature debut.’”
“To get financing for a film from a first time director in the Netherlands has become a lot more difficult.” Like Monk, Porcelain (due to shoot in early autumn this year) is partly set in Spain and has some scenes in France and Belgium (all countries the producers have identified as potential coproduction partners.) This is a story about a family slowly disintegrating. Paul and Anna are a couple who seem to have everything but their world turns out to be as fragile as the porcelain that Anna restores. When their son Thomas develops a mysterious illness, their world begins to crumble. “A place like CineMart is perfect,” Verdonk enthuses of the access the filmmakers will have to coproducers and sales agents.
Monk is billed as a Little Miss Sunshine-style road movie/ tragi-comedy, done in a European way. Its main character is Monk, a 13-year-old hypochondriac who has to accompany his family on a journey to Spain to say goodbye to a dying relative. His family is close to emotional disintegration. His father is depressed. His fiery Spanish mother is also at a low ebb, stuck in a deadbeat domestic routine that is squeezing out all her joie de vivre. His 16 year-old sister is obsessed with losing her virginity. “What is very important is that it is not caricatures you are looking at but real people with real problems,” Slot suggests. “We want to present them in as realistic a way as possible. From the situation and dialogue, there is also humour in the film.” The aim is to shoot in the summer of 2015. The family’s journey in the film takes them from the Netherlands through Belgium and France to Spain. Slot is therefore looking for partners from all these regions. Belgian co-producer A Private View is already aboard the project and the Netherlands Film Fund has supported its development.
Jenneke Boeijink Rotterdam will mark the first time the Porcelain producers have “really gone out” with the project after a lengthy process of development. “It’s the kind of film that fits very much in the Rotterdam profile. It’s a very artistic film and a very auteurdriven film,” Verdonk says. He also points out that CineMart falls in a “good” moment in January, “at the start of the financing season in Europe.”
Her enthusiasm about the event is shared by fellow producer Sander Verdonk of CTM who will be presenting family drama Porcelain. “CineMart is very important,” Verdonk says. He points out that Porcelain will mark the feature debut of director Jenneke Boeijink (who has several TV drama credits to her name).
Verdonk and his team have around €340,000 in place. They’re looking for a further €650,000. He
Page from Rene Eller’s script for Bij Wij Eindig Ik (We Start Where I End)
will be working alongside “creative producer” Thomas den Drijver and director Boeijink. “I would say that Porcelain is a story that deals with the biggest fears that people can have,” the producer suggests. “One of them is that your child becomes sick and might die. There are the insecurities of trying to live a life which might be more expected by society than what you really want yourself.” And how did Verdonk find the director for Porcelain? “I was her first AD during film school,” he explains. “I’ve known her for years already. She has a very strong personal signature. What I like very much about what she does is that she dares to bring her own fears and anxieties into the story.” Another Dutch producer attending Rotterdam is Julius Ponten of Habbekrats (the outfit behind last year’s hit thriller Wolf). He will be presenting Bij Wij Eindig Ik by Rene Eller. The €1.5 million project isn’t formally selected for the co-production market but the producers will be given the chance to pitch informally to potential backers. Ponten is producing together with Jaap Hermans. A Belgian partner (Potemkino) is already aboard and the Netherlands Film Fund is also providing backing. Ponten describes the film as “raw and confrontational...a story with a strong social appeal but with a thriller element.”
Christmas with a twist
Lourens Blok Photo: Samuel van Leeuwen
Lourens Blok’s comic A Christmoose Story is a festive film with a twist, revolving around a talking moose, a dishevelled Santa Claus, and a young boy mourning the departure of his father from the family home. The feature, supported by the Netherlands Film Fund, is an adaptation of German Andreas Steinhöfel’s popular children’s book An Elk Dropped In. When a talking moose crashes through the roof of Max’s home, he can’t believe his eyes, or his ears. The moose was pulling Father Christmas’ sledge on a test run when they had an accident. Now he needs to find Santa quickly otherwise no children will get their presents. So the race is on but meanwhile Max’s neighbour, a keen hunter, sets his sights on the moose’s antlers. “The original book has got an edgy feel to it that I really liked,” says Blok. “It’s a black comedy in the vein of a Roald Dahl work, with this Father Christmas who is a bit of a grumpy, old man and a
moose who tries to impress the kids with the fact he is the one who pulls the sledge. I thought there was potential for it to be very funny.” The Dutch, big screen adaptation was the brainchild of Amsterdambased Lemming Film co-CEO Leontine Petit who met writer Steinhöfel when they both served on the international jury for the Berlinale’s youth-focused Generation section in 2007. “Andreas gave the book to Leontine and when she read it she immediately thought it would make a great Dutch Christmas film... she had already been thinking of doing a Christmas film for a while,” says Lemming producer Eva Eisenloeffel. Lemming brought Blok on board early on in the project. He had directed the ambitious Africa-set debut feature The Seven of Daran: Battle of Pareo Rock about a young European expat caught up in a tribal war who is befriended by a talking giraffe. At that stage, director and Lemming associate Marco Van Geffen had written the first draft of the script. Daan Bakker was then brought in to write the final version and polish the dialogue. “Marco built the structure and then Daan came in and worked on the black humour,” comments Blok. One of the biggest challenges for the production was how to portray the moose. “We were, like, what shall we do with the moose? Are we going to fully animate it or are we going to build it,” says Eisenloeffel. “In the end we plumped for an animatronic. Lourens really wanted it to look as real as possible, to have that E.T. feeling where the kids would be able to
touch the moose and not just be in front of the green screen.” Stockholm-based make-up, creature and animatronic effects company EffektStudion, which previously worked on features such as War Horse, created the moose. They modelled it on a real life animal called Arthur, living on a farm in northern Sweden. “In The Seven of Daran, the giraffe was created with CGI effects which was difficult because it was not really there, in a way working with an animatronic was easier because it was,” says Blok. The picture is a co-production with Swedish Svensk Filmindustri (SE) and Davaj Film and Belgian Anchorage Entertainment, and was shot in the studio in Belgium and on location in Sweden’s northernmost province. Blok says he loves shooting internationally although conditions can sometimes be challenging: “In Africa we were shooting in temperatures approaching 50 degrees and in Sweden we were working in minus 30 conditions... I like crossing borders, meeting new cultures and experiencing new places.” Released in the Netherlands on November 28, the picture had sold some 215,000 tickets by mid-January with box-office returns north of €1.5 million. It has also sold to Germany, France, French-speaking Belgium and several Eastern European countries, where it is expected to be released Christmas 2014. Xiaojuan Zhou of Attraction Distribution is handling international sales.
describes as like The Bourne Identity for teenagers. “It’s a teenage thriller about a boy who wakes up in the subway with only a backpack and has no idea who he is or how he got there. He has to backtrack his own movements to work out who he is, only to discover that’s a real problem,” says Eisenloeffel. The film, co-produced with Budapestbased Proton Films, is due to start shooting end February, beginning March. On the fact that most of his films to date have revolved around children or youngsters, Blok says: “It’s not a deliberate move, it just happened that way. I love making films for youngsters because you can make a real impression on a young audience. For me E.T. remains one of my favourite films to this day.” He reveals, however, that he is also developing “a more personal, darker project revolving around relationships” aimed an older audience. Lemming, in the meantime, is also at the Berlinale as a minority co-producer on Eskil Vogt’s Blind, which will premiere at Sundance and then screen in Berlin’s Panorama section. Other upcoming productions include David Verbeek’s timely Full Contact, about a US drone operator who drops a bomb on a school, which was presented at the Cannes Atelier in 2011. The film is due to shoot in Croatia in April.
Photo: Nyk Dekeyser
Having drawn strong audiences in the Netherlands over the festive period, Lourens Blok’s family film A Christmoose Story hits the Berlinale’s Kplus section this February. Melanie Goodfellow reports.
Lemming and Blok are now collaborating on a second feature, an adaptation of another children’s book, Mirjam Mous’ Boy 7, which Eisenloeffel
A Christmoose Story Director: Lourens Blok Script: Daan Bakker, Marco van Geffen Production: Lemming FIlm (NL) in co-production with Svensk Filmindustri (SE), Davaj Film (SE), Anchorage Entertainment (BE) Sales: Attraction Distribution 24
Dutch Industry News
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Still: The New Wilderness
At the end of 2013 EYE released approximately 150 complete archive films from its own collection onto the Open Beelden (Open Image) website (eye.openbeelden.nl). These films are accessible by public and professionals alike and are available for exploitation within creative works or on search engines such as Wikipedia.
Nine highly talented film professionals from the Netherlands have been invited to attend the prestigious Berlinale Talents programme (formerly Berlin Talent Campus) of the 2014 Berlinale. The Dutch delegation consists of directors Joey Boink, Nienke Eijsink, Jack Faber, Aaron Douglas Johnston and Juan Sebastian Lopez Maas, producer Janneke Doolaard, editor Anne Medema, cinematographer Diederik Evers and sound designer Martijn Helle.
“The platform offers audiovisual heritage for re-use,” explains EYE’s Head of Digital Presentations Irene Haan. The items can also be used for creative re-mix, as evidenced by past Celluloid Remix contest entries (2009 and 2012) which are also available for viewing on the website (celluloidremix.openbeelden.nl).
The Berlinale Talents programme offers emerging talent unrivalled access to the great and the good of the international film scene and arranges a vast range of masterclases and interactive panel discussions designed to answer every question, and address every need, of each participant. Under the motto “Ready to Play? Breaking the Rules” the event will this year encourage its 300 budding filmmakers to experiment with new and unusual ways of bringing their stories and characters to life on screen. With the focus on storytelling and successful script writing, Berlinale Talents will assist the filmmakers in playfully approaching character development. “We aim to invite people who have been noticed both at home and abroad, and for whom we feel it is the right time to link up to an international network of other film professionals at the same stage of their careers,” comments programme manager Matthijs Wouter Knol. “(For the Dutch participants) we want to inspire them and send them back to the Netherlands with brand new access to at least 299 easily reachable talented professionals around the planet. It will help the Dutch creative talent spread their work far beyond the Netherlands.”
EYE Frees Up Archive Collection The films within the EYE collection date from 1899 through to the 1950s. The collection includes films made by the Haghefilm company, one of the largest Dutch production companies from the early 20th century, which made, among others, cityscape films of Dutch cities for promotional purposes. Also included are approximately 60 early American films by the likes of DW Griffith and the Edison company, and westerns and comedies starring notable performers like Fatty Arbuckle and Mack Sennett. “By doing this we are opening up our archives and enabling them to have another life,” comments Haan.
Still: Rag doll romance
In Short ...
Good box-office for Dutch cinema in 2013 2013 was a very good year at the local boxoffice for the Dutch film industry. The market share for Dutch films was 20.5%, which compares very favourably with the 2012 figure of 14.18%. In total, more than 6.3 million people went to the theaters to watch Dutch films (in 2012 the figure was 4.3 million). Twenty-one Dutch films attracted in excess of 100,000 moviegoers in 2013. Four films - Madly in Love, De Club van Sinterklaas (The Saint Nicholas Club), Bros Before Ho’s and Daylight - each attracted over 200 thousand visitors. Mister Twister Goes Camping, Soof * and Men in the City* each drew over 300 thousand cinemagoers. The third ranked Dutch film was Regret! which pulled in over 417,857 visitors, beaten only by the documentary The New Wilderness (688,158) and the top spot Loving Ibiza which attracted an audience of 714,853. *
Not including 2014 box office figures
Two short films from the Netherlands have been selected for Berlinale 2014, Sam de Jong’s Marc Jacobs in Berlinale Shorts Competition and Mees Peijnenburg’s Even Cowboys Get to Cry for Generation 14plus Competition. Meanwhile at Clermont Ferrand the Dutch Short I Love Hooligans by Jan Dirk Bouw, has been selected for International Competition.
Alex van Warmerdam’s Cannes competition Borgman attracted more than 114,000 visitors. The total number of cinema attendees in 2013 was 30.8 million, a 0.8% increase on 2012. The film with the year’s highest attendance yield was Despicable Me 2. The film with the highest box office returns was The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug in 3D.
Marc Jacobs is about a young boy living in Amsterdam North who longs to go on holiday to Morocco with his father. “The story is based on the life of a friend of mine. We grew up in the same area though our lives were completely different. When he told me this story it changed my childhood in retrospect. It made a few things clear that I didn’t understand at the time,” comments de Jong.
Top ten most visited Dutch films in domestic cinemas 2013: 1. Loving Ibiza 714,853 2. The New Wilderness 688,158* 3. Regret! 417,857 4. Men in the City 376,038* 5. Soof 308,846* 6. Mister Twister Goes Camping 307,756* 7. Daylight 244,174 8. Bros Before Ho’s 237,717* 9. The Saint Nicholas Club 210,420 10. Madly in Love 204,422
In Even Cowboys Get to Cry teenager Gijs is beaten unconscious in a fight. All his friend Sven wants is for Gijs to come out of his coma and be how he always was. But when Gijs
Still: Marc Jacobs
regains consciousness, he is a completely different person. “A couple of years ago my stepbrother got beaten into a coma,” explains Peijnenburg. “The fear of losing my loved ones from that moment on has always stayed with me. This film, to me, is a story about that fear.” In Jan Dirk Bouw’s I Love Hooligans a gay soccer hooligan is willing to offer up his identity in a world that’s both dangerous and precious to him. Comments Bouw: “In a macho world there’s no place for openly gay hooligans. So (the character’s) sexual orientation and love life have been relegated to the margin since he was a teenager. You can imagine the impact on his life. That’s what triggered me to tell his story.”
Exhibit A EYE’s Jaap Guldemond talks to Nick Cunningham about his installation and exhibition strategy, and what will be on offer in 2014.
Jaap Guldemond For Jaap Guldemond, director of exhibitions at EYE, film is elastic in its many applications. It doesn’t have to be defined in terms of its (feature) length or its potential for commercial success. Nor does it have to be projected onto a single plane, or viewed from a fixed point. Linear narrative is certainly not a given, and a filmwork’s antecedents are quite often treated with as much consideration as the work itself. “Film is much broader and a lot more interesting than just features,” Guldemond contends of an exhibition policy that has been hailed for its dynamism by audiences and critics alike. “That is the main impact of our exhibitions so far. You can show films on six screens and you can have a non-narrative structure, and there are so many ways of making a film installation instead of merely showing a standard feature, ways that are much more connected to other disciplines, such as the visual arts and literature. At EYE, film has been opened up more for a lot of people. And that is exactly what we wanted.”
EYE’s 2013 exhibition slate was impressive, satisfyingly academic and shot through with an avant-garde aesthetic. A wealth of archive material - enormous projected film fragments, photographs, posters, objects, letters and personal ephemera – indicated the obsessions and motivations of Fellini, Oskar Fischinger and the Dutch maverick documentarian Johan van der Keuken. The Péter Forgács exhibition opened up his found footage oeuvre within an installation using 16 screens and numerous dramatic soundscapes. “I think for a lot of people that was an eye-opener,” Guldemond expresses.
angles and windows look out onto the restaurant, the river or the wasteland behind the building. But for all this Guldemond is thankful, because if an exhibition can survive these architectural limitations then it will inevitably be enhanced by them. “It is not just a good exhibition,” he points out. “It becomes an extraordinary exhibition because of the difficult, but beautiful, architecture of the space.”
‘Film is more than just features’ “Yes, it is difficult and it can cost a lot of money to get it how you want it but if the space is used in a creative way then it can be amazingly interesting,” he continues. “What I also like, and what I hear from a lot of people, is that they constantly do not recognize the space. It feels like somewhere else because we are working with the space in a new architectural way.”
The year ended with the eagerly awaited Quay Brothers’ Universum exhibition that will run to March 2014. The event visits their artistic influences and inspirations, artists and thinkers mainly located in Central Europe at the turn of the 20th Century – Franz Kafka, Bruno Schulz, Janácek and Stravinsky – as well 1960s animators such as Ladislas Starevich, Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Lenica. “The Quays are, for me, the artists’ artists, but within the broader film world few people know them,” stresses Guldemond. “I thought it would be interesting to feature them as we have had, over the past 10 years, so much commercial animation, like Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, Tim Burton. I wanted to show how the animation world is much broader and much more experimental.”
Spring 2014 will herald in the EYE Cinema Remake exhibition. This is one that Guldemond is especially relishing as it will assess remake potential from a more conceptual and experimental perspective. “Of course, in the feature film industry remakes are a common thing to do, from all kinds of commercial perspectives. But there are a lot of filmmakers and visual artists who are using the idea of remakes to produce very interesting installation art, based on particular films. In some ways it is a follow-up to our 2012 found footage exhibition in that there are many different and interesting ways to transform and transcend already existing feature films into other works of art or film installations.”
As a home for exhibitions the EYE building is far from standard. It is modernist and angular and refuses to offer the ‘white cube’ experience offered by other artistic institutions. Ceiling heights shift throughout the building, the walls hang over the floor at strange
An exhibit from the Quay Brothers’ Universum
Guldemond will this year also present an exhibition of works by British structuralist filmmaker Anthony McCall, currently living in New York. “Anthony was not interested so much in the image as in the projector, and specifically the light through the projector,” Guldemond explains. “With this very simple starting point he created a body of work that is amazingly well developed, projecting these strange but beautiful cones of light. For me this is really like presenting part of the history of the avant garde, like what I did last year with Oskar Fischinger. We will present some of Anthony’s older works from the 60s and 70s but also some later ones. It is very self-referential and questions what is the essence of film, but is also beautiful and interactive. As an audience you are walking through these cones. It is an amazing body of work.”
Dutch Films at Berlin and IFFR 2014 Berlinale 2014
Five Dutch minority coproductions have been selected for Berlinale 2014, writes Nick Cunningham, including The Third Side Of The River in competition. The Third Side Of The River is a co-production between Rommel Film (Germany), Tresmilmundos (Argentina), the Dutch Waterland Film and the US film luminary Martin Scorsese. Finance was secured by Waterland’s Jan van der Zanden from the Hubert Bals Fund and the Netherlands Film Fund. The film tells the complex story of a 16 year-old boy whose father, a doctor, lives parallel lives with two families on either side of the tracks. While this situation is an open secret in the town it is also a ticking time-bomb ready to explode. “Selection for compe tition is fantastic!” comments van der Zanden. “A Golden Bear would be totally awesome for the Dutch release. And, also important for the future, the contact with Scorsese is very cordial.” A Dutch minority co-pro has been selected for Forum, the Flemish documentary N by Peter Krüger for Inti Films. The Dutch co-producer is noted documentarian Jos de Putter of production house DiepteScherpte. Comments de Putter: “I think filmmakers should engage in ‘crazy’ projects. The media as we know them play it safe. So does the movie industry, which, with globalization, tends to use more and more uniform ways (even ‘laws’) of storytelling. We need filmmakers who are both reckless and sensitive: reckless because they need to explore unknown territories, sensitive because they need to do so with intelligence and taste.”
Also in Forum is Saodat Ismailova’s 40 Days of Silence for which Denis Vaslin of Rotterdambased Volya Films is majority/ delegate producer. He raised production finance from the Netherlands Film Fund/Hubert Bals Fund Plus as well as other funds including the Rotterdam Media Fund. Fellow producers are Petit Film (France) and Rohfilm (Germany). In the film a young woman living in an isolated village of Central Asia, unaware of her future and struggling with the present, decides to take a vow of silence.
death of Jonas, one of their friends. The film is produced by Belgian production outfit Minds Meet and co-produced with Artemis Productions (France) and the Dutch Phanta Film. “What I find very interesting about Minds Meet is that they are very focused on creative talent and on the festival circuit, and they make very artistic films,” stresses Phanta Film chief Petra Goedings whose Between 10 and 12, produced by the company’s Keren Cogan, is co-produced by Minds Meet. “Tomas (Leyers) picks his films quite precisely as he always gets them into the competitions of important festivals. He has a very good nose for very special, beautiful artistic projects and I think he is the perfect co-producer for Keren on Between 10 and12. In Minds Meet we have a very strong partner.”
“The very feminine subject of the film, the subtle way of telling a story with no borders made an impact on me and convinced me to work with Saodat,” says Vaslin. “On top of that, I had been in the 90s in Central Asia and fell in love with the people and the culture, secluded and not easy to read, but that was a challenge that I gladly took on.”
The Turkish/Dutch/German/ Greek coming-of-age drama The Blue Wave, by directors Merve Kayan and Zeynep Dadak, is selected for Generation 14plus. In the film, the worries of daily routine and making plans for the future, as well as the burdensome challenges of teenage years and adolescence, weigh heavily on Deniz and her school friends.
In Panorama is the Norwegian Blind, directed by Eskil Vogt. The Dutch co-producer is Lemming Film. The film, which received its world premiere in Sundance Competition before Berlinale, concerns Ingrid who retreats to the safety of her home after losing her sight. But Ingrid’s real problems lie within, not beyond the walls of her apartment, and her deepest fears and repressed fantasies soon take over. “What attracted us to the project is a beautiful script and director Eskil Vogt,” comments Lemming Film’s Leontine Petit. “He is a very talented and promising director with an unique an powerful visual language.”
"The tension between the characters in the script, the setting in the Turkish provincial town Balikesir in combination with Merve Kayan and Zeynep Dadak's strong and authentic vision, raised my interest for The Blue Wave,” points out Floor Onrust of Dutch co-producer Family Affair Films. “Their short film On The Coast (selected for Tiger competition 2010) matched the pace, humour and feeling of the script and convinced me even more to step into this special and delicate project."
In Bas Devos’ Violet, selected for Generation 14plus, a group of young BMX riders are confronted with the unexpected and violent
A Christmoose Story Generation Kplus
Director: Lourens Blok Script: Daan Bakker, Marco van Geffen Production: Lemming Film, co-producers: Svensk Filmindustri (SE), Davaj Film (SE) and Anchorage Entertainment (BE) Sales: Attraction Distribution Santa’s wise-cracking moose must find his lost boss or no chldren will receive their Christmas presents.
IFFR 2014 SHORT FILMS
Farewell to the Moon Tiger Competition
Marc Jacobs Official Shorts Competition
Director and script: Sam de Jong Production: 100% Halal Productions
Even Cowboys Get to Cry Generation 14plus
Director and script: Dick Tuinder Production: Column Film Sales: Media Luna New Films 1972. The last man on the moon. A boy’s first love affair.
Finn Generation Kplus
DUTCH MINORITY FILMS
Director: Digna Sinke Script: Henk Burger, Digna Sinke Production: SNG Film We hear voice-mail messages, recorded on the mobile phone of prize-winning Onno, but who is Onno?
The Third Side of the River Official Competition
Circus Time IFFR+
See also page 27
Eyeworks (BE), Caviar (BE)
Sales: Attraction Distribution A melody a man plays on his violin inexplicably conjures up an image of Finn’s mother before the boy’s eyes.
Above us all Generation Kplus (special screening)
Director: Eugenie Jansen Script: Kim Nieker, Patrick Minks, Eugenie Jansen Producer: De Productie, co-producer: Minds Meet (BE) A girl of mixed Australian indigenous and European parentage finds it difficult to come to terms with her mother’s death after relocating to Belgium.
Supernova Generation 14plus
Director and script: Tamar van den Dop Producer: Revolver Film, co-producers IJswater Films (NL) Coin Film (DE) and Epidemic (BE) A 17 year-old girl living with her parents in a rundown house in a remote backwater yearns for love and adventure.
Last Hijack Forum
Director(s) and script: Femke Wolting and Tommy Pallotta Producer: Submarine, co-producer: Still Films (IE), Razor Film (DE), Savage Film (BE) Sales: The Match Factory Somali Mohamed’s family depends on his income from piracy. Sensing the end of an era, he must decide if he should risk everything on one last hijack.
40 Days of Silence Forum
Director: Saodat Ismailova Script: Saodat Ismailova, Ulugbek Sadikov Production: Volya Films, co-producers Petit Film (France), Rohfilm (Germany) A young woman living in an isolated village of Central Asia, unaware of her future and struggling with the present, decides to take a vow of silence.
Happily Ever After Tiger Competition
Director: Tatjana Bozic Script: Alex Goekjan, Tatjana Bozic Production: JvdW in co-production with Factum (HR), Zelovic Productions (NL) A filmmaker’s mercilessly humorous selfportrait. In a desperate attempt to save her relationship, she visits her ex-boyfriends.
Costa dulce Spectrum
After the Tone Spectrum
Director and script: Mees Peijnenburg Production: Netherlands Film Academy
Director: Frans Weisz Script: Janneke van der Pal Producer: Flinck Film in co-pro with
DUTCH MINORITY FILMS
Director and script: René Hazekamp Production: VPRO Television A documentary about the circus school in Rotterdam where students from all corners of the world are working their guts out to realise their dreams.
Director and script: Celine Murga Production: Tresmilmundos Cine (AR), co-producers: Waterland Film (NL), Rommel Film (DE) and Martin Scorsese 16-year-old Nicolas’ father, a much respected local doctor, has fathered two families and lives two parallel lives, a situation set to explode.
Helium Bright Future
Director: Eché Janga Script: Sammy Reynaert, Eché Janga Production: Topkapi Films After a moment of revelation, criminal Frans Weeling realises he is but a mere link in the vast chain of the universe.
Director and script: Peter Krüger Producer: Inti Films (BE), Dutch co-producer: DiepteScherpte The story of Frenchman Raymond Borremans who devoted his life to the creation of the first encyclopaedia of this other world, dreaming of eternal recognition. He died, however, having only reached the letter N.
The Other Side of the Heart Is White IFFR+
Director and script: Leonardo Pansier Production: H-K Enterprise A film about the all or nothing love for a football club transcends social boundaries.
See No Evil Spectrum
Director and script: Eskil Vogt Prods: Motlys (NO) and Lemming Film (NL) A woman retreats to the safety of her home after losing her sight. But her real problems lie within.
Director and script: Jos de Putter Production: Dieptescherpte Co-production: Cobra Films (BE) Sales: Films Transit International. The daily lives of the three most famous senior chimpanzees in the world, now habitants of retirement homes.
Violet Generation 14plus
Director and script: Bas Devos Producer: Minds Meet (BE), Dutch co-producer: Phanta Film, in co-production with Artemis Productions (BE) A group of young BMX riders are confronted with the unexpected and violent death of Jonas, one of their friends.
Director: Enrique Collar Script: Enrique Collar /Juan Marin Production: AreachikaCine (PY) in co-production with ASFilm (NL) After the arrival of a mysterious device for the homeowner, a restless, irrepressible and ultimately threatening curiosity takes hold of hired hand David.
I’m the Same, I’m Another The State of Europe
Director and script: Caroline Strubbe Production: Minds Meet (BE), in co-pro with Artemis (BE), De Productie (NL) A man in his thirties is on the run with a young girl. As they take a ferry to the UK, traces of a common past come to light - a past filled with loss and sorrow...
Iranian Film Bright Future
Director and script: Yassine el Idrissi Production: NFTA A personal exploration of the relationship between cinema and society, and a homage to Iranian cinema.
Lack-Hell (Mancanza-Inferno) Spectrum
Director and script: Stefano Odoardi Production: O Film (NL), in co-production with Strike fp (IT) An Angel inspired by the Duino Poems by Rilke wanders through the ruins of a contemporary Hell.
Qissa Bright Future (Opening Film of IFFR)
Sexy Money The State of Europe
Director and script: Karin Junger Production: De Productie A growing group of illegal prostitutes from West Africa settle in the suburbs of major European cities, here to escape poverty.
The Blue Wave
Director(s) and script: Merve Kayan and Zaynep Dadak Producer: Bulut Film (TR), Dutch co-producer: Family Affair Films, co-producers: Riva Film (DE) and Two Thirty Five (GR) The burdensome challenges of teenage years and adolescence weigh heavily on Deniz and her school friends.
Director and script: Billy Pols Production: Hazazah Pictures Tim (23) is a misfit, a rebel without a cause, without an education, and without any social security or money. But he is a street icon in the purest form... a skateboarder.
Director: Anup Singh Script: Anup Singh, Madhuja Mukherjee Production: Heimat Film (DE) in co-pro with National Film Development Corporation (IN), Augustus Film (NL), Cine Sud (F) Sales: The Match Factory Set in post-colonial India, Qissa tells the story of Umber Singh, a Sikh, who is forced to flee his village due to ethnic cleansing at the time of partition in 1947.
Gaite Jansen Gaite Jansen is one of the most promising young talents of her generation. At the age of 16 she was awarded Best Actress at the 48 Hour Film Project in Amsterdam for her role in Luwte. Her performance as a troubled deaf teenager in the acclaimed arthouse film 170Hz earned her nominations for Best Actress at the Seattle Film Festival and the Netherlands Film Festival.
In 2012 Jansen starred in Tricked, an interactive project by maverick Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, and in 2013 she starred in the Netherlands Film Festival opener The Price of Sugar, playing the spoilt daughter of a plantation owner in 18th Century Suriname.
“Working with Tamar was amazing! She and I got along very well,” comments Jansen. “She knows what she wants and I really loved her taste and ideas about the film. I loved the coming of age story and Tamar and I had so much fun on the set.
Her latest film Supernova, directed by Tamar van den Dop (see pages 4-5) has been selected for Berlinale Generation.
“It’s hard to compare her to Paul Verhoeven, who was really great to work with as well! It was a unique opportunity to be able to work with
him on Tricked. He has made so many legendary films and is a visionary director. I felt like he’s so sure about everything he is doing. He inspired great confidence in me, and the film we made. It was an honour to work with both directors. I love them both, even though their films are so different.”
Photo: Janey van Ierland