Road to Paradise (an interview with Mees Peijnenburg)
Paradise Drifters is writer-director Mees Peijnenburg’s debut feature, writes Geoffrey Macnab, following on from the young Dutch director’s acclaimed shorts Even Cowboys Get To Cry (2013), A Hole In My Heart (2015) and
We Will Never Be Royals (2015).
In Paradise Drifters, supported by De Oversteek scheme and Production Incentive, three young people from different but equally tough backgrounds are thrown together. Lorenzo (Jonas Smulders), Yousef (Bilal Wahib) and Chloe (Tamar van
Waning) are outsiders on the margins of society, all “searching for connections, searching for love, but are continually confronted with violence and rejection.
Peijnenburg chose his actors very carefully. “I think the casting of each film is almost the most crucial part
of the process. I like to take time to find the right people.”
Jonas Smulders had appeared in Peijnenburg’s graduation short and is described by the director as “a natural fit” for his role as the charismatic Lorenzo. Tamar van Waning was discovered in less straightforward circumstances.
Peijnenburg hadn’t been able to find anyone to play Chloe when his girlfriend tipped him off about an actress she had seen on a Dutch NTR TV programme, Dream School, about youngsters from troubled backgrounds who are given the
chance to go back to school.
Text by Geoffrey Macnab
Still and trailer: Paradise Drifters, Mees Peijnenburg