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Greek debutant and Polish veteran open International Film Festival Rotterdam (XL edition)

There are great skateboarding scenes in the Greek Wasted Youth with which the Rotterdam Film Festival opened its 40th edition tonight. Lyrical, but with that hearty dose of raw nervousness that suits this attempt to capture the sense of life of a city or perhaps an entire country in crisis. Wasted Youth, selected for the Tiger Competition for budding filmmakers, is the ostensible... 

Dutch cinemas notice nothing of the crisis - 2010 was a top year

Avatar was the best-attended film in 2010, with over 1.2 million visitors. In fifth place is New Kids: Turbo, the Dutch surprise hit. A total of 28.1 million cinema tickets were sold last year, the highest number ever in the past 30 years. The breakthrough of 3D plays an important role in this. 1 in... 

Un Prophète, Toy Story 3 and Twilight best films of 2010

According to the Dutch film press, the French prison drama Un Prophète and the Pixar animated film Toy Story 3 were the best films shown in Dutch cinemas this year. Dutch winner is Hanro Smitsman's grim teen drama Schemer, the Kring van Nederlandse Filmjournalisten announced. This result is the result of a survey of 54 film journalists who each... 

IDFA 2010 - State of the Stars double winner

Leonard Retel Helmrich's Stand of the Stars is a two-time winner of the Amsterdam documentary festival IDFA. At the awards ceremony at the Tuschinski theatre, it was announced that this dynamic and poetic portrait of a poor Indonesian family not only won the VPRO IDFA Award for best feature-length documentary, but was also chosen (by another jury) as the best of the... 

IDFA 2010 - The documentary Utopia in Four Movements as a live experience

The latest in documentary screening has nothing to do with websites or other new media. On the contrary, the presentation of the 'live documentary' Utopia in Four Movements, which IDFA had the European premiere of, in fact harks back to the primal form of cinema, when films were shown with live music and a so-called explicateur. Those... 

IDFA 2010 - George Sluizer wants to give Palestinians dignity with Homeland

After the opening film Stand of the Stars, the second major premiere of a Dutch documentary at IDFA was that of Homeland. The screening at the Tuschinski Theatre, incidentally, was not just about the Palestinian cause, as it was also, of course, a celebration in honour of 78-year-old director George Sluizer (Spoorloos), arguably our most internationally oriented filmmaker.... 

23rd IDFA opens with yellow ribbons and documentary State of the Stars

If you see someone wearing a yellow ribbon one of these days, it is in protest against the cuts to arts and culture. As might be expected, Ally Derks, director of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, in her speech at the opening of the 23rd edition of the film event, took a hard line against the impending attack on the arts.... 

Cinekid Awards 2010 - Everyone loves Foeksia

Johan Nijenhuis' Foeksia de miniheks has become the big audience favourite of Cinekid, the festival for film, television and new media for young people. Friday evening, it was announced at the awards ceremony that Foeksia had won both the general audience award (Z@pp Cinekid Lion) and the audience award for best Dutch children's film. Foeksia the Mini-Witch, based on the book of the same name by Paul van Z... 

State of the Stars opens IDFA documentary festival

Leonard Retel Helmrich's Dutch documentary Stand of the Stars will open the 23rd edition of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) on 17 November, it was announced yesterday. The film is also in the competition for best feature-length documentary. State of the Stars is the third part of a triptych in which Retel Helmrich follows the fortunes of... 

Dutch Film Festival - Joy best film, now audiences to watch

The Golden Calf for the best Dutch feature film was awarded on the closing night of the Netherlands Film Festival to Joy, a modest arthouse film that, according to René Mioch, was seen by no more than 2,000 people. Joy was also the front-runner for the nominations, so in that respect the jury's decision was in line with expectations, although it had... 

Netherlands Film Festival - Joy leads nominations for Golden Calfs

Joy, directed by Mijke de Jong to a screenplay by Helena van der Meulen, has become the leader in the battle for the Golden Calfs at the Netherlands Film Festival. With seven nominations, suddenly, deservedly, all attention is focused on a small but intensely filmed and acted drama that until now had remained somewhat in the shadows. This... 

Netherlands Film Festival - nominations for Farewell and Bukowski

One of the most fascinating Dutch films to hit cinemas last year was Ditteke Mensink's Farewell. A romance in an airship flying around the world, and then constructed entirely from real archive footage. This miraculous and wonderful tour de force now has a chance of winning a Golden Calf for best feature-length documentary. This and other nominations for Golden Calfs were... 

Netherlands Film Festival: documentaries that make you look with new eyes

Bloody and hard to burn out of your memory are the police photographs Walter Stokman has incorporated into Scena del crimine about Naples and the mafia. What makes those images so unforgettable is not only the gruesomeness, but also the unreality that clings to them. Razor-sharp, brightly lit, as if it was all staged. As if that girl in that immaculate... 

Dutch Film Festival: the new generation awarded

Where were the producers? On Tomorrow's Maker's Day, the Netherlands Film Festival screened 48 graduation films from the Film Academy and other art schools. So the hall should have been full of film producers to scout all that new talent, but no, exactly today the Film Fund had organised a meeting with those Dutch producers. Not so convenient. What did those... 

'Vous êtes servis' gives household slaves a face, but subject deserved a more powerful film

At first glance, domestic help is not the most exciting subject for a triptych of film, theatre and performance. That is, of course, because the maid in the old-fashioned sense is virtually extinct with us in the West. But elsewhere, there is plenty of demand for submissive girls who work their asses off seven days a week until they threaten to... 

Netherlands Film Festival: Daan Bakker wins with Bukowski

It is now official: Daan Bakker is the new film talent to keep an eye on. Last night, it was announced at the opening of the Netherlands Film Festival that he is the winner of the Film Prize of the City of Utrecht for best debut. He received this award for his short film Bukowski, an engaging and brilliantly executed fantasy about... 

Tirza opens 30th edition Dutch Film Festival - actors in the spotlight

By Leo Bankersen

Film acting is in the special spotlight during the 30th edition of the Netherlands Film Festival. So that's convenient that the Festival opens tonight with Tirza, a story that is too gruesome to be true, but which, thanks to the acting of Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Sylvia Hoeks and Johanna ter Steege, among others, you have to believe anyway.

Rudolf van den Berg single-handedly reworked Arnon Grunberg's book, about Jörgen Hofmeester, his failed life and his adored daughter, into a haunting road movie, a journey to the end of the night. Scholten van Aschat, who had long been working towards the role, allows the contained bitterness and anger to slowly turn into despair. Hoeks plays her best role so far here and Ter Steege saw enough in this script to put aside her dislike of Grunberg. And don't forget nine-year-old Keitumetse Matlabo from South Africa, as Hofmeester's conscience and guardian angel. The result is a film that wrings and chafes, but also has the allure of a great and bitter tragedy. Tirza is now the Dutch entry for the Oscars.

30th Dutch Film Festival celebrates anniversary with Mirror of Holland

When the 30th edition of the Netherlands Film Festival kicks off on 22 September, the first Golden Calf will be awarded to Rolf Orthel. This was announced by festival director Willemien van Aalst at a press conference today.

Producer and director Orthel receives this award for his special merit for Dutch film culture. In 1975, he made a name for himself with the impressive documentary A semblance of doubt, about the prisoners and guards of Auschwitz and Westerbork. As a producer, he often committed to difficult projects by young makers. The documentary he produced Bastøy, about a Norwegian prison island, will premiere this festival.

Tirza is Dutch Oscar entry

Tirza by Rudolf van den Berg based on Arnon Grunberg's novel of the same name has been chosen as the film that will be sent to Los Angeles as the Dutch entry for the Oscars in the best foreign film category. Holland Film announced today. In this grim drama, Gijs Scholten van Aschat plays a man who, after a failed marriage,... 

Uncle Boonmee at festival World Cinema Amsterdam

By Leo Bankersen

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, this year's surprise Golden Palm winner, will get its first Dutch screening at the new festival World Cinema Amsterdam next weekend. The Cannes jury had caused some noise with this choice even among critics. After all, was this ghost story by the Thai filmmaker with the unpronounceable name now a dull and obscure film, or rather a cinematic masterpiece?

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