Dutch filmmakers are out in force at the Toronto International Film Festival (10-20 September 2015) with four world premieres among the ten productions and co-productions in selection.
Full Contact by auteur David Verbeek leads the way with its world premiere in the new competition section Platform. The film, produced by Lemming Film, takes a journey into the mind of a drone pilot suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, "a road movie of the subconscious" as Verbeek puts it. Full Contact will go head to head with eleven other titles from leading international auteurs, all competing for the Best Film award to be handed out by a jury made up of Jia Zhang-ke, Claire Denis and Agnieszka Holland.
Joost van Ginkel's The Paradise Suite (screen writer / director, produced by PRPL and Bastide Films) world premieres in Toronto's Discovery section. In the film, the lives of six people, who seem to have nothing more in common than their faraway homelands, become inextricably linked in Amsterdam, the city they have chosen as their new home. The Paradise Suite is a profound and lyrical reflection on human resilience in the face of ongoing evil within 21st Century Europe.
(Otto), the latest animated short by Job, Joris & Marieke world premieres in the Short Cuts International competition line-up, and tells the story of a girl who loses her imaginary friend. The film comes hot on the heels of Job, Joris & Marieke's A Single Life which premiered at Toronto 2014 and was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Short category.
Alex van Warmerdam's Schneider Vs. Bax (Graniet Film) is presented in the Contemporary World Cinema-section. For nearly thirty years Van Warmerdam has been the irrepressible enfant terrible of Dutch cinema, a master of the absurd, his films sinister and shocking, but always very funny. His latest offering Schneider vs Bax offers the same and more, a black comedy in which a hitman is hired to fulfill the seemingly easy task of eliminating a writer. The film received excellent reviews after its international premiere in Locarno competition.
Flexing their collective international muscle, six minority Dutch co-productions have also been selected for Toronto. Neon Bull by Brazilian director Gabriel Mascaro (Dutch co-producer: Viking Film) is in Platform competition. Both The Lobster by Yorgos Lanthimos (NL co-producer: Lemming Film) and the world premiere of The Idol by Dutch-Palestine filmmaker Hany-Abu Assad (NL co-producer: KeyFilm) are included in Special Presentations. Alexander Sokurov's Francofonia (NL co-producer: N279 Entertainment) is presented in Masters, the documentary The Event by Sergei Loznitsa (NL co-producer: Atoms & Void) in Wavelengths and the Belgian-Dutch D'Ardennes by Robin Pront (NL co-producers: PRPL and Bastide Films) screens inDiscovery. All the above mentioned films have been supported by the Netherlands Film Fund.
There is also prominent Dutch participation at the TIFF platforms for filmmakers and producers. Creative producer Floor Onrust of Family Affair Films is selected for the Toronto Producers Lab, supported by European Film Promotion. Onrust produced Urszula Antoniak's controversial Code Blue (Directors' Fortnight 2011) and the upcoming arthouse tour de force, History's Future, by Fiona Tan.
And fledgling Ricky Rijneke, whose debut Silent Ones garnered numerous international festival awards, has been chosen to participate in the prestigious Talent Lab Toronto, the festival's artistic development programme. Rijneke will continue to develop her second feature The Hunter's Sonduring the lab.
In attendance alongside representatives of the films in selection will be Doreen Boonekamp, CEO of the Netherlands Film Fund, head of EYE International Marten Rabarts, Netherlands Film Commissioner Bas van der Ree and Marjan van der Haar, managing director of Film Producers Netherlands.
Download the latest issue of See NL magazine for interviews with the leading Dutch filmmakers and producers whose films are selected for TIFF, Venice and the upcoming Netherlands Film Festival.