Dutch Film Festival

Oktober 1996

The Dutch Film Festival (previously known as the Dutch Film Days - yes, with a ys -) has breezed through the city of Utrecht once again, this time celebrating itself at a brand new location, De Winkel van Sinkel (or "Sinkel's Shoppe"). Among the prizes handed out were Golden Calves (the Dutch version of the Oscars) for Best Director to Theo van Gogh for Blind Date.

Chairman of the jury, Ronnie Gerschtanowitz said that "they had esteem for the fact that the film arose from 'nothing' and that the director and actors were able to bring it to realization within a limited amount of time." She went on to add, "Theo van Gogh has not only made an extremely forceful film, but has allowed the actors freedom to scale unknown heights." Theo's acceptance speech was a wonder to behold and, in his inimical style, he didn't miss a chance to comment on a particular renowned cigar-smoking producer sitting among the crowd at the award dinner when, cutting through the smoke, van Gogh remarked upon the man's "distribution" of funds. According to Theo, once the other producer's fee is paid on these high budget projects, the films still have sufficient remaining finance to be classified as low budget projects. Van Gogh's two stars, Renee Fokker and Peer Mascini, also won awards for, respectively, Best Actress and Best Actor. Best Dutch Film of the Year went to EsmeÀ Lammers' children's film Leve De Koningin (Long Live The Queen). What more can I say?

Digna Sinke's Belle van Zuylen has finally made it to the television as a 3 part mini-series. The images are striking and the locations breathtaking. At last a larger audience will be able to enjoy the film than were able to at the cinemas. The story revolves around an 18th century Dutch female writer who achieved fame in France and has finally become discovered in Holland during the past 15 years. Some things take time.

Michael Collins is coming. Let's hope that it does before things get worse in the world. A little bit of historical perspective wouldn't hurt anybody.

It still remains to be seen if Planet Hollywood Amsterdam achieves it October opening date.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett