A perfect storm of titles previously delayed by the pandemic combined with features set to launch on the back of the Netherlands Film Festival later this month means that a bumper harvest of home-grown films is set for release in Dutch theaters this autumn.
Anticipated titles include Alex van Warmerdam’s latest feature “No. 10,” which tells the story of an actor who cannot recall his past but who is strong-armed into his future by a group of strangers.
“Goldie” director Sam de Jong also looks set to return with his third film, “Met Mes,” a satire about the media focusing on a TV personality who exaggerates the theft of a new camera, which leads to unforeseen consequences.
Other films creating buzz include “My Father Is an Aeroplane,” directed by Antoinette Beumer (“Jackie”), which is set to open the Netherlands Film Festival.
Based on Beumer’s 2018 novel it tells the story of young woman who discovers that her father, whom she thought had passed away, is alive and living in a mental facility, propelling her own fears around mental health.
Elsewhere, “Splendid Isolation” is an arthouse title directed by Urszula Antoniak (“Magic Mountains”) involving two women who self-isolate on a lonely island until their lives are disrupted by a stranger.
Films with strong performances from their main leads include Joost van Ginkel’s “Bo,” a melancholy Georgian-set road movie, “Sea of Time,” directed by Theu Boermans, about a young couple torn apart by a sailing accident who meet up 35 years later.
One feature film with a documentary feel that promises to bring its audience inside the criminal underworld is “The Last Ride of the Wolves” – directed by Alberto de Michele, who depicts the final heist of his own father.
Shariff Korver’s “Do Not Hesitate” — which had its world premiere at Tribeca earlier this year — is now set to thrill domestic audiences with a tense story that centers around a group of heat-weary young soldiers who have to guard military vehicle in the desert.
Kepplefilm –whose Dutch East Indies-set film “Bulado” was selected as the Dutch entry in the Academy Awards – is back with “Pink Moon.” The debut feature of Floor van der Meulen is a comedy about a young woman who decides to kidnap her suicidal father.
The Netherlands Film Fund is doing as much as it can to ensure there is room for these smaller, domestically produced films.
Last month it launched a €1.5 million ($1.7 million) Full Circle scheme in collaboration with the Dutch Exhibitors Association (NVBF), enabling cinemas to qualify for €1 per paying theatergoer in 2021. The scheme also offers distributors of majority Dutch productions supported by the film fund an additional support contribution for distribution.
One fly-in-the ointment may prove to be the capacity limitations still imposed on Dutch theaters: since June admissions have been limited to 50 people with a distance of 1.5 meter per person.
Although it’s impossible to remain certain of much during the pandemic, there nevertheless remains a sense of optimism that restrictions may ease by the end of September, once national vaccination rates have increased.