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CANNES 2011 Atelier/Netherlands

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David Verbeek’s Full Contact in Cannes

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The Atelier of the Cinéfondation of the Cannes Film Festival has been extremely generous to Dutch filmmakers in recent years. Code Blue [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
from Dutch-Polish director Urszula Antoniak was developed at the Atelier last year. Perhaps not coincidentally, it was in the same year that director David Verbeek’s R U There [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: David Verbeek, director of …
film profile
]
screened in the festival’s Un Certain Regard section.

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This year, Verbeek’s latest feature project, Full Contact [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, is part of the Atelier lineup, while Antoniak’s finished film is part of the festival in the Directors' Fortnight section.

Full Contact has a quarter of its €2m budget already in place, and hopes to find co-producers in Cannes. Frans van Gestel of Dutch outfit IDTV Film and Natascha DeVillers from Les Petites Lumières in Paris are already onboard.

Verbeek describes the film as a road movie through the subconscious of a US soldier who remotely operated a plane that accidentally bombed a school in Pakistan, and who feels guilty for something he committed in a country he’s never visited.

“This film explores something that comes back in all of my films: the remoteness of our modern lives. Through multimedia and distance-operated equipment, it becomes increasingly hard to stay in touch with reality and have absolute certainties,” Verbeek explained to Cineuropa.

“The human brain has a tendency to turn things into fiction. We’re in love with the idea of who we want the other person to be; things like Facebook amplify the remoteness of real contact. This is what fascinates me.”

As for casting, Verbeek explained that he is “looking to cast someone who has proven to have the charisma needed to draw in an audience. This will be biggest character piece I have done so far”.

Verbeek’s Shanghai-set Club Zeus, which premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival, will be released in the Netherlands on June 9.

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