BoostNL selection 2021–22

20 January 2022

Film still: Flat Girls


BoostNL selection 2021–22

20 January 2022

BoostNL continues its successful streak of project development for its sixth edition. The tailor-made professional programme is a collaboration between the Netherlands Film Festival’s Holland Film Meeting and IFFR Pro.

The seven projects selected are from the Netherlands, Bolivia, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Thailand. Their five-month programme focuses particularly on script and story development in the most varied ways, and develop festival, sales and marketing ideas for optimal market exposure at both the HFM and CineMart during IFFR Pro Days in 2022.
Bolivian filmmaker Kiro Russo won the NFF Script Development Award during the HFM days for his latest miner-focussed project Lost Songs From Distant Realms. The coming-of-age story of loss, corruption and queerness, Flat Girls by Thai direcor Jirassaya Wongsutin won two awards at the HFM: the Cam-a-Lot & Filmmore Emerging Cinema Award and the HFM Market Potential Award. Ibrahim Karatay and Janneke Pol offer a highly personal exploration of the relationship between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in A Chronicle from Nagorno-Karabakh, and Joost van Hezik brings a story with a dark comedic tone that plays around the character's conflict between truth and fiction – Becoming Dubois.

Selection 2021 – 2022

Becoming Dubois (The Netherlands)
Over-qualified au-pair Elena (23) and B-list actor Ben (59) fight over a bottle of wine in a night shop when Ben is mistaken for the world-famous financial expert Charles Dubois. In an attempt to escape their miserable lives, Elena convinces him to play along and poses as his assistant. They slowly lose themselves in a fictional adventure in the world of the financial elite. But how far are they willing to go?

  • Director: Joost van Hezik
  • Screenwriters: Joost van Hezik, Willem Bosch
  • Producers: Layla Meijman, Maarten van der Ven (Studio Ruba)

A Chronicle From Nagorno-Karabakh (The Netherlands/Turkey)
We will chronicle the lives of two girls, Armenian Galina (12) and Azerbaijani Ahram (13), and their displaced families from Nagorno- Karabakh/Artsakh: their memories and struggles, but especially their hopes and dreams in the shadow of another tide of nationalism, displacement, and conflicting family dynamics.

  • Directors and screenwriters: Ibrahim Karatay, Janneke Pol
  • Producers: Ibrahim Karatay (Alchemic Film), Ilja Roomans (Docmakers)
  • Co-producer: Soner Alper (Nar Film, TR)

Flat Girls (Thailand/Singapore)

Jane has lived in the same block of police flats since birth. As their moving date approaches, Jane reflects on a youth spent within the confines of the police flats. Memories surface from her past as a chubby-cheeked high school student still questioning her sexuality.

  • Director and screenwriter: Jirassaya Wongsutin
  • Producers: Pom Bunsermvicha, Noorahaya Lahtee (Vertical Films)

Lost Songs From Distant Realms (Canciones perdidas de reinos distantes, Bolivia/France)

Five mining stories and ten songs: of the devil, the capital and a reconciliation around a miner father, his teenage daughter and a ghost.

  • Director and screenwriter: Kiro Russo
  • Producers: Kiro Russo (Socavón) and Alexa Rivero (Altamar Films)

Nightsong (Canção da Noite, Brazil/France)

7-year-old Helena lives with her parents on a large soy farm in southern Brazil. She is afflicted with sleepwalking and ever since her mother was diagnosed with cancer, she becomes friends with a Guarani indigenous old woman who lives nearby. When an unknown and pesticide-resistant plant begins to sprout in the fields, workers wonder where it has come from. But none of their speculations correspond to what Helena sees in her late-night walks.

  • Director and screenwriter: Maya Da-Rin
  • Producers: Maya Da-Rin, Sabrina Garcia (Tamanduá Vermelho, BR) and Juliette Lepoutre (Still Moving, FR)

The Right Answer (The Netherlands) 

Ambitious architect Tania (32) works hard to deliver a public pool while going through the naturalisation process in Amsterdam. This takes her back to her youth in Ukraine when she participated in a TV quiz for super-smart kids. Striving to win on all fronts, Tania has to fight pressure both from outside and within herself.

  • Director: Mariia Ponomarova
  • Screenwriters: Mariia Ponomarova, Jessie Tiemeijer
  • Producer: Noortje Wilschut (Family Affair Films)

A Winner Is Seen At The Start (Kazakhstan, France)

While staying in a sanatorium with her unstable mother and her younger sister, Mila (17) joins the new experimental swimming school. The accidental death of one of the girls alters the course of events and reveals corruption schemes, doping and controversial relationships.

  • Director and screenwriter: Zhannat Alshanova
  • Producer: Yevgeniya Moreva (Accidental Films,)
  • Co-producer: Jean-Laurent Csinidis (Films de Force Majeure, FR)

The Holland Film Meeting

Within the framework of the Netherlands Film Festival (21 – 30 September 2022), the annual Holland Film Meeting builds and expands bridges between the Dutch and international worlds of film, TV, and digital storytelling. The event now offers a multiple-week development programme to the project teams in selection, the scope of which reaches from Dutch projects to different focus countries every year, and includes experts from all over the globe. Project submissions for 2022-2023 will open around March via NFF (for any inquiries please contact [email protected]) or IFFR for international projects with Hubert Bals Fund support.

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