Films competing for the VPRO Big Screen Award 2017 include: Chez nous, the highly current election drama by Lucas Belvaux (38 Témoins), as well as the intelligent, poignant Marjorie Prime by Tiger Award jury member Michael Almereyda. A film with glittering performances by Lois Smith, John Hamm, Geena Davis and Tim Robbins. All eight nominated films are world, international or European premieres.
In the Big Screen Competition, an audience jury determines the winner of the VPRO Big Screen Award worth €30,000. The award consists of a cash prize for the filmmaker as well a guaranteed release in Dutch cinemas and a purchase by Dutch public broadcaster NPO to be shown on the VPRO channel.
A Hustlers Diary
Ivica Zubak, Sweden, 2017 (world premiere)
The actions of the criminal Metin – just like the disconsolate Swedish settings in which his life unfolds – are veiled in shades of grey. He has grand dreams about becoming famous, and unfortunately reality keeps getting in the way and hitting him in the face. A layered portrait, both raw and funny.
Lucas Belvaux, Belgium/France, 2017 (world premiere)
In Northern France, a beloved and devoted nurse is offered the candidacy for mayorship by a far-right party. The political campaign will test her will and personal life. A timely and sharp study on how populist ideology can quietly but surely contaminate “good” people.
Chico Pereira, Spanje/Duitsland/GB, 2017 (world premiere)
Manolo wants to walk the Trail of Tears, the route used during the forced removal of Cherokee Indians to Oklahoma. But the 73-year-old Andalusian has chronic arthritis, speaks no English and more importantly: how will he get his trusty donkey into the US – and cure its fear of water? An ode to intransigence and friendship.
Janicza Bravo, USA, 2017 (international premiere)
Isaac Lachmann is forty. His acting career is bogged down, he is a major disappointment for his family and, to add insult to injury, his blind girlfriend leaves him. A striking first feature, full of creativity and humour with a wonderful cast (comedian Brett Gelman, Michael Cera, Judy Greer, Nia Long). Opening film IFFR 2017. Lemon is the opening film for IFFR 2017.
Michael Almereyda, USA, 2016 (international premiere)
What would we remember and what would we forget if we could choose? In a near future, 86-year-old Marjorie has conversations with a hologram that resembles her dead husband. He’s programmed to share Marjorie’s past with her. A fascinating film about identity and memory, love and loss, played by great actors.
Kirsten Tan, Singapore, 2017 (European premiere)
A disillusioned architect rediscovers Pop Aye, the elephant from his childhood, in the streets of Bangkok. Together they set off on a journey to the village where they grew up. Occasionally funny, occasionally moving road movie about two uprooted souls who meet the most colourful figures on their journey home.
The Last Painting
Chen Hung-i, Taiwan, 2017 (world premiere)
A student and political activist becomes the new housemate of a solitary painter. He is brusque and disillusioned, she is filled with hope. Outside, Taiwan is heading towards new presidential elections. Contemporary Asian cinema at its best, in which it's all about timing and rhythm. A visually impressive, layered thriller about politics, art and murder.
Alicia Scherson/Cristián Jiménez, Chile, 2017 (European premiere)
To impress a single mother, lonely house-sitter Martín acts as if the home and the family photos are his. He’s good at lying, but what if it’s true love? Great acting in Chilean cinema veteran’s comedy that sheds new light on family relations – and Nutella.
Jury Big Screen Competition 2017
The audience jury consists of:
- Michael Middelkoop (30, Amsterdam)
- Ruud Bakker (52, Tienhoven)
- Brecht Hermans (31, Rotterdam)
- Margot Heijnsbroek (69, Den Haag)
- Sarina Trejic (21, Nijmegen)