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Nude is main theme at 33rd edition Netherlands Film Festival, Hoe Duur was de Suiker opening film

Paul Verhoeven, Dick Maas, Katja Schuurman, Monique van de Ven and Kim van Kooten are all special guests at the upcoming edition of the Dutch Film Festival. Nothing special, you might think, but if you see them on the festival posters you probably won't recognise them. After all, they are namesakes of well-known film personalities who this year act as an eye-catcher. With this nod to stardom, the festival also wants to make it clear that it is aiming at a wide audience. Everyone can feel like a special guest.

Similarly, the opening film How expensive was the sugar by Jean van de Velde will premiere on 25 September not only in Utrecht, but simultaneously in (at least) 21 other cities.

At the press conference this afternoon, the festival programme was announced, including the competitions for the Golden Calfs and the annual review.

The main theme this year is 'Nude'. This too contains a nod, namely to one of the most persistent clichés, and perhaps misunderstandings, about Dutch cinema. Incidentally, this theme will have to be taken mainly figuratively. It is also about vulnerability, beauty and shamelessness. How revealing can you be, how close can a filmmaker get to his subject, how much does he dare to show of himself. Fifteen films, including therefore not only Splashes (Paul Verhoeven, 1980), as well as the penetrating documentary Now do you understand why I cry (1969) by Louis van Gasteren about a former concentration camp inmate and New boobs (2013), in which filmmaker Sacha Polak struggles with the question of whether, like Angelina Jolie, she should have her breasts preemptively amputated.

The first Golden Calf was announced this afternoon. The Golden Calf for the Cultuurprijs, for special merit for Dutch film culture, will be awarded to film publicist Monique van Schendelen on the opening night. For 27 years, she has been involved in publicity and promotion of countless films, festivals, film publications and other film activities. This has made her a household name in the film world and in the media that publish about it.

The nominations were also announced for the Film Prize of the City of Utrecht, the award for the best debut film of the festival. The nominees are Diaries of an elephant By Janina Pigaht, I stood by by Niels van Koevorden and Opera in the bush by René van 't Erve. Remarkably, they are three documentaries. The winner will be announced on the opening night.

Guest of the Year is director Paula van der Oest. For her directorial debut Coma (1994), she was already immediately awarded a Golden Calf. In the past two years, she won Golden Calfs for Black Butterflies and The Domino Effect. She is currently working on Lucia de B., about one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in the Netherlands. During the festival, Van der Oest, who is a team player par excellence, will also highlight her regular crew members.

The festival will also pay attention to the 25th anniversary of the endangered Media Fund, by showing which important productions have already been made thanks to its support.

And yes, filmmaker Paul Verhoeven will also be in attendance. Following his thriller created through audience participation Sting game he engages with the audience on the pros and cons of this approach.


Leo Bankersen

Leo Bankersen has been writing about film since Chinatown and Night of the Living Dead. Reviewed as a freelance film journalist for the GPD for a long time. Is now, among other things, one of the regular contributors to De Filmkrant. Likes to break a lance for children's films, documentaries and films from non-Western countries. Other specialities: digital issues and film education.View Author posts

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