Country Focus: Belgium
A battle for good movies
by Birgit Heidsiek
- At the Holland Film Meeting in Utrecht more than 200 producers, distributors, world sales agents, TV buyers and film funding representatives are looking for new Dutch films and projects with a potential for international coproductions. “We are trying to find a good mix of people that are great for the projects,” says Signe Zeilich-Jensen, Head of Holland Film Meeting. “The hard core stays the same.“
One of the Utrecht veterans is Sasha Wieser, CEO of the EastWest Filmdistribution, who is looking for films and projects for his Austrian world sales company. “It is always a battle for good movies,” states Sasha Wieser. Therefore he also looks for projects in at early stage where it is still possible to give an input. “The projects which are presented here have a bigger commercial potential than the ones some years ago,” underlines the sales agent. “Nowadays the whole industry is more under pressure to generate an audience for a film. This approach is also reflected in the story of the projects.”
“The presented projects have a high quality,” states Jochen Coldewey, Head of Funding at Nordmedia in Germany, which is involved in four recent coproductions with the Netherlands such as Supernova by Tarmar van den Dop or Surprise [+see also:
film profile] by Mike van Diem.“Coproductions are about much more than spending money because they require involving the aspects of both countries.” Among his favoured projects in Utrecht are the historical youth adventure The Witch of the Fens by Thijs Schreuder and the road movie Monk by Ties Schenk. This tragicomedy about a disintegrating family on the verge of a nervous breakdown won scriptwriter Roosmarijn Roos Rosa de Carvalho the Binger Award and also got the Cam-a-lot & Filmmore Cinema Emerging Talent Prize which is valued at €10,000 for post production at the Filmmore studios.
TV buyers such as Simon Ofenloch, Commissioning Editor at ZDF Filmredaktion Arte, or Matjaz Zajec, Film Programmer at TV Slovenija, are also looking for finished Dutch features with a witty story. “At the Holland Film Meeting I always find four, five interesting Dutch films for our national broadcasting programme,” concludes Matjaz Zajec who has titles such as De Marathon [+see also:
film profile] by Diederick Koopal and Mike Says Goodbye! by Maria Peters on his shopping list.