BoostNL, the tailor-made professional programme which is a collaboration between NFF’s Holland Film Meeting and IFFR’s CineMart, will continue its successful streak of project development and exposure for its sixth edition. The 7 projects selected are from The Netherlands, Bolivia, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Thailand. Their five-month programme focuses in particular on script and story development in the most varied ways, and helps develop festival, sales and marketing ideas for optimal market exposure at both the HFM and CineMart during the IFFR Pro Days in 2022.
This year’s line-up includes a new film from director Ibrahim Karatay (in BoostNL 2020 as the producer of Arianne Hinz’s Marionettes) and Janneke Pol, a highly personal exploration of the relationship between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, A Chronicle from Nagorno-Kabarakh; a thrillingly cinematic tale of sleepwalking set in the world of indigenous Guarani Brazilians, Maya Da-Rin’s Nightsong; a darkly comedic and refreshingly frank take on expat life and society’s expectations in Ukrainian-Dutch Mariia Ponomarova’s The Right Answer; and Silver Leopard winner Zhannat Alshanova’s cautionary tale of blind ambition at an experimental swimming school in Kazakhstan, A Winner Is Seen At The Start.
Selection 2021 – 2022
Becoming Dubois (The Netherlands)
Au-pair Elena (21) and washed-up actor Ben (60) are fighting over a bottle of wine in a convenience store, when they are mistaken for the world-famous trendwatcher Dubois and his manager. In an attempt to escape their miserable lives, they gradually lose themselves in a fictitious adventure. But how far are they willing to take their roles?
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)
Two seemingly antagonist families from Nagorno-Karabakh share one tragedy. A film about memories, displacement and mourning, but also surviving and hope in the shadow of a vicious cycle of violence.
Directors and screenwriters: Ibrahim Karatay, Janneke Pol
Producer: Ibrahim Karatay (Alchemic Film), Ilja Roomans (Docmakers)
Co-producer: Soner Alper (Nar Film, TR)
Flat Girls (Thailand)
Jane is the daughter of a police sergeant. She has lived in the same block of police flats – subsidised government housing provided to policemen and their families – since birth. Following the death of her father, Jane and her mother must prepare to leave. As their moving date approaches, Jane reflects on a youth spent within the confines of the police flats. Memories surface from her past about a time when she was still a chubby-cheeked high school student and questioning her sexuality.
Director and screenwriter: Jirassaya Wongsutin
Producers: Pom Bunsermvicha, Noorahaya Lahtee (Vertical Films)
Lost Songs of Distant Realms (Canciones perdidas de reinos distantes, Bolivia)
Trying to hide his illness to keep his job and continue playing in his Black Metal band, Charque, a single father and a miner, neglects his teenage daughter Nina, who is bored of their town and experiencing intense changes. After meeting a strange girl at school, Nina decides to run away from home.
Director, screenwriter and producer: Kiro Russo (Socavón)
Nightsong (Canção da Noite, Brazil)
Helena (6) lives with her parents at a large soy farm in southern Brazil. She is afflicted with sleepwalking and ever since her mother was diagnosed with cancer she befriends a Guarani indigenous woman who lives in the vicinity. 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)
The Right Answer (The Netherlands)
A young hard-working architect, Tania, takes on a prestigious job while going through the naturalisation process. This brings her back to her youth in Ukraine when she participated in a TV-quiz for super-smart kids. Striving to win, 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)
MILA (17) enrolls in a new and experimental swimming school in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Soon after, a freak accident alters the course of events for Mila and the other girls in the school, revealing controversial relationships and corruption.
Director and screenwriter: Zhannat Alshanova
Producer: Yevgeniya Moreva (Accidental Films)
The Holland Film Meeting
The Holland Film Meeting will be back this fall (30 sep - 2 oct). Building on the online infrastructure created in the light of the pandemic, the HFM continues to expand its programme in the most sustainable way. The event now offers a multiple-week development programme to the project teams in selection, the scope of which reaches as far as Indonesia and South-Africa this year, and includes experts from all over the globe. The HFM online platform will open its doors to accredited professionals in early September.