Dutch Golden Calves for Paradise Now and Guernsey
by Boyd van Hoeij
The Dutch Film Festival ended Friday with the awards ceremony of the Golden Calves, the Dutch national film prizes. The most prestigious category, that of best film was won by the Arabic-language film Paradise now [+see also:
film profile], producer by Bero Beyer for Dutch production shingle Augustus Film. The film is the official foreign language entry for the Palestinian territories this year and also won the category best editing for its editor Sander Vos.
The second film from Nanouk Leopold, Guernsey [+see also:
film profile], won its helmer the best director prize and was also awarded the best actress statue for its protagonist Maria Kraakman. The film, which had its world premiere at the Director's Fortnight in Cannes this year, also won the prize of the Dutch film critics. It has been a modest success in Dutch arthouses where it was released six weeks ago.
Thijs Römer was laureled best actor for his work in 06/05 [+see also:
film profile], the last film from the late Theo van Gogh, who was posthumously awarded a special Jury Prize for his complete works, as was the director Willem van de Sande Bakhuyzen, who died the day before his last film, Leef! (Live!) opened the festival. Leef! also won the Audience Prize at the festival as well as the Golden Calf for best supporting actress for Sophie van Winden. Another film from Van de Sande Bakhuyzen, the family film Lepel won the best production design category.
The best supporting actor statue went to the male cast of the crowd-pleasing comedy Het Schnitzelparadijs [+see also:
interview: Martin Khoolhoven
interview: Mimoun Oaïssa
film profile], which is currently in its fourth week of release and is still the most visited film of the Netherlands, attesting to the good health of the industry this year. Rogier Kappers won the best documentary Golden Calf for his Lomax the Songhunter, an intimate portrait of the late ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax. Despite its 25th anniversary, this year's Dutch Film Festival was a more sombre edition because of the recent deaths of Van de Sande Bakhuyzen and Van Gogh. The jury was praised for rewarding the more artistic endeavours rather than the commercial successes, with both Paradise now and Guernsey going home with two awards. The awards ceremony was presented by Matthijs van Nieuwkerk, while winners of the past 24 editions were on hand to announce the winners of this year's prizes.
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