Dutch films with an EYE for children and young audiences
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
14/02/2012 - Three features and three shorts selected for the Generation Kplus and 14plus programmes of the Berlin International Film Festival reflect a new freshness in the Dutch production of films for children and young audiences, according to Claudia Landsberger (pictured), head of EYE International responsible for foreign promotion at Amsterdam’s EYE Film Institute Netherlands.
”During the past couple of years, the quality has improved considerably, and recently some first and second-time directors show a real audacity dealing with difficult subjects, such as death of parents, drugs in the family, intercultural relationships in their films,” Landsberger explained.
The Dutch Generation package includes Nicole van Kilsdonk’s Taking Chances [trailer], about a girl who worries about her father working in a war zone. Lemming Film production screening in Generation Kplus is sold at the European Film Market by Delphis Films. Another contender for the Crystal Bear section is Boudewijn Koole’s Kauwboy [trailer], the story of a 10-year-old boy who is caught between his love for a jackdaw and his loyalty to his father. Also handled by Delphis Films, Koole’s feature debut was produced by Waterland Film & TV.
An entry in Generation 14plus, and another Lemming Film production, Meral Uslu’s Snackbar is set in a suburb of Amsterdam, the refuge for a local Moroccan youth, and the snack bar's owner Abi is like his old and trustworthy Turkish 'uncle'.
Sacha Polak’s Hemel [trailer], about a young woman’s efforts to define the difference between sex and love, and Klaartje Quirijn’s documentary Anton Corbijn Inside Out, a Berlinale Special, round off the Duth presence in the official progamme.
The Netherlands is currently producing around 30 features annually, adding 15 feature-length documentaries and 80 shorts, and they travel well – 600 titles are every year screening at various events worldwide.