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PRODUCTION Netherlands

Martin Koolhoven trades in Schnitzels for Asparagus


Dutch director Martin Koolhoven (South) transformed himself last year from an arthouse director into a veritable commercial canon when he directed the cross-cultural romantic comedy Schnitzel Paradise [+see also:
film review
interview: Martin Khoolhoven
interview: Mimoun Oaïssa
film profile
(see Focus), which grossed more in its first week of release than all of his previous outings combined.

The proverb dictates to "never change a winning team" and Koolhoven has now announced that he will reunite with the same team that made Schnitzel a hit for a new film called The President, an adaptation of the novel by Khalid Boudou, who also wrote the original work on which Schnitzel was based. Returning faces include producers Leontine Petit and Joost de Vries of Lemming Film and screenwriter Marco Geffen.

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The President, billed as a comedy and political satire, is a Dutch riff on the Jerzy Kosinski novel Being There and tells the story of Joesoef , an illegal immigrant who starts out in Zapland as an asparagus picker only to end up as its president. Once in the saddle, he invites his illegal ex-co-workers to form the cabinet with him, so that they can enjoy the high life of Champaign and caviar together. But Joesoef starts to worry when he realises that the country he governs is going down the drain; if the people blame this on him, they might want him out of office!

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