Stories

BoostNL: When We Lost to the Germans

Leading Dutch producer Floor Onrust of Family Affair Films, whose audacious Bloody Marie (directed by Guido van Driel and Lennert Hillege) world premieres in IFFR Limelight, updated IFFR Pro Daily about her BoostNL project When We Lost to the Germans (also by Van Driel). The major shift since it was rolled out at NFF for Professionals (Utrecht) in September 2018 is its drastic re-orientation towards an older audience, she stressed.

Set in the Summer of 1974, after The Netherlands have lost the World Cup final to Germany, the film focusses on two young boys whose female classmate has disappeared. Van Driel's BoostNL statement underlines the seriousness of his work and hints at why most professionals in Utrecht suggested they position the film for older audiences. As van Driel remembers a school photo from 1971, he fails to recall any of the names, apart from one. "The fact that I still remember Heleentje’s name is because she was strangled by a pedophile serial killer three years after the photograph was taken," he relates.

Producer Onrust comments how the Utrecht feedback, especially from France, was both clarifying and liberating for her director and he subsequently re-wrote his script. "I think now we have a special film for the adult audience, and I am happy about that. Now we're focussed. And Guido could develop it a bit more poetically, and it is closer to his [sense of aesthetic], so it is good."

Onrust nevertheless stresses how hers was a childhood shaped by sometimes difficult film and televisual content. "I remember these films that were a bit more complicated but still you loved to watch them as a child. Maybe in that sense, the children's audience, or maybe the parents, have changed a bit. I remember the [kids'] film I made called Life According to Nino, and especially mothers thought it was too emotionally hard for their children because they cried in the cinema. But I hoped they would cry because it is important for them to experience a strong emotion… Violence seems to be ok, but sadly not."

CineMart & BoostNL

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