Dutch Treats – the two-day programme of films from the Netherlands selected by the IFFR, Holland Film and the Dutch Film Fund – continues this morning after Pieter Kuijpers’ Nothing to Lose opened proceedings last night. The next two days will see press and industry screenings of a further ten titles in the Cinerama.
‘Luckily, for many years now we have had many Dutch films in the main programme of the festival, so in a way our typical Dutch section is not as necessary as it used to be,’ comments Holland Film head Claudia Landsberger. ‘But we still like to show some of our highlights from the past year, as well as some new films, to our international colleagues who flock to Rotterdam to see all this good international cinema, but also the excellent films made in the Netherlands. There are films that have been to Toronto and Pusan. As not all the foreign guests have been to these festivals, we have given them a second chance to see these Dutch goodies.’
Highlights of the programme include Joram Lursen’s Love Is All, a homage to Richard Curtis’ 2003 rom-com Love Actually (UK, 2003). ‘This is a Dutch version of Curtis’ film, but not a remake,’ comments Landsberger. ‘The filmmakers wanted to try a similar thing and hoped it would be successful. Of course it was, because very shortly it took over one million admissions. For us, this is a test-case. Nobody from abroad has seen it yet, and we want to see if it can work across borders.’
Landsberger draws attention to Tamar van den Dop’s debut Blind, a CineMart project from 2003 that world premiered during Toronto 2007, and reserves comment on The Bird Can’t Fly by Threes Anna. ‘Anna has created a beautiful first feature. You can see that she knows how to stage a movie. She creates an absolutely mind-boggling landscape and tells a wonderful, exceptional, strange new story.’ The programme also includes the feature-length documentaries Faces (Gmax) and Niek Koppen’s Gold.
Landsberger expresses delight at the selection for the VPRO Tiger Awards competition of David Verbeek’s Shanghai Trance. ‘In 2004, Verbeek surprised everybody at Rotterdam with his film Beat, made when he was finishing film school. It was a very surprising debut. I am sure that Shanghai Trance will be a very interesting film from a fascinating and idiosyncratic director.’ NC