Country Focus: Belgium
Nine projects cross first hurdle
by Boyd van Hoeij
13/03/2009 - The Dutch Film Fund, local broadcaster VPRO and the Mediafonds have selected nine new projects for “treatment development” in the context of the De Oversteek III (“The Crossing III”) series of films.
De Oversteek is a joint initiative of VPRO and the film fund, currently in its fifth edition. The Mediafonds has been part of the initiative since last year. Each of the selected projects will receive €8,000 in the first round to develop their initial treatments, and a further six projects will receive a grant for screenplay development in a few months time.
Of these projects, three will be awarded support for production in December, and the selected films will be shot and finished in 2010 and debut in theatres in 2011. VPRO will broadcast the films after their theatrical premieres.
This year’s projects include two screenplays by Rogier de Blok (one to be directed by Ivan Lopez Nunez, the other by Margien Rogaar), as well as new work by writer-directors Froukje Tan (Links), Jan Willem den Bok, Joost van Ginkel and Marco Knijnenburg.
Pascale Simons should direct a new screenplay by Philip Delmaar; Sacha Polak is attached to a future script from Helena van der Meulen and Jorien van Nes will direct a screenplay by Lotje Ijzermans.
De Oversteek has been one of the biggest success stories in local filmmaking and -funding, with directors such as Martin Koolhoven (local blockbuster Winter in Wartime [trailer]), Paula van der Oest (Oscar-nominated Hotel Paraiso), Nanouk Leopold (Cannes title Guernsey [trailer]; Berlin’s Wolfsbergen) and Karim Traïda (IFFR Tiger Award and Golden Calf for The Polish Bride) making their debut features with De Oversteek projects.