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FESTIVALS Netherlands

Waiter attends to Netherlands Film Festival opening

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The 2006 edition of the Netherlands Film Festival will start tonight with the gala premiere of the new Alex van Warmerdam film Waiter (Ober), a surreal comedy in which a fictive waiter knocks on the door of his creator to complain about the miserable life that he is made to lead.

Set in central Utrecht, the festival offers an overview of the annual local production and also hosts the ceremony of the Golden Calves, the Dutch Oscar equivalent.

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The Golden Calf Competition titles include Waiter (a Graniet Film and La Parti production, sold internationally by Fortissimo); the Dutch Oscar submission Black Book [+see also:
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film profile
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by Paul Verhoeven (see news); the drama Northern Light [+see also:
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interview: David Lammers
interview: Jeroen Beker
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(see Focus); and a host of other features, documentaries and shorts.

Dana Nechushtan’s Amsterdam taxi-war drama Night Run (Nachtrit) will also premiere in Competition (production and sales: Waterland Films).

Nechushtan previously made her mark with the TV thriller De Belager, starring Johanna Ter Steege, who is the guest of honour at this year’s festival. The star of Garrel’s J’entends plus la guitare will personally present several of her films, including last year’s Best Director Golden Calf winner Guernsey [+see also:
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film profile
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, István Szabó’s Dear Emma, Sweet Böbe and Heddy Honigmann’s Au revoir (Tot ziens), for which Ter Steege won the Best Actress Award at Locarno in 1995.

The festival also has a separate competition for first films, a panorama section that gives an overview of this year’s cinematic output from the Low Lands and, for the first time, an online film festival component that can be watched and judged by the audience on the web.

A special section called Nederhorror will spotlight horror films from the Netherlands and will start on Friday with the world premiere of Slaughternight (Sl8n8). The Lagestee/BE Films production – sold internationally by High Point Films – is directed by newcomers Frank van Geloven and Edwin Visser and is also competing in the first films category. The festival runs through October 6, when the Golden Calf winners will be announced.

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