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Beyond Sleep to open the 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam


- Boudewijn Koole’s adaptation of WF Hermans’ novel stars Reinout Scholten van Aschat as a geologist on an expedition that tests his survival skills

Beyond Sleep to open the 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam
Norwegian actor Pål Sverre Hagen and Dutch Shooting Star Reinout Scholten van Aschat in a scene from Beyond Sleep

Dutch director Boudewijn Koole’s new film, Beyond Sleep [+see also:
interview: Reinout Scholten van Aschat
film profile
, has been selected to open the 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) on 27 January. Meanwhile, Brady Corbet’s The Childhood of a Leader [+see also:
film review
film profile
, which was first unveiled in Venice last year, will wrap the gathering on 6 February.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Based on the iconic Dutch novel Nooit meer slapen by Willem Frederik Hermans, Beyond Sleep follows a young and ambitious geologist named Alfred Issendorf as he undertakes an expedition in the north of Norway in search of meteorites. Alfred is also trying to continue where his father left off when he died during a similar research trip of his own. But this expedition soon becomes a test of Alfred’s own survival skills.

One of the biggest expectations surrounding the film relates to the performance of lead actor Reinout Scholten van Aschat, who was recently chosen as the 2016 Dutch Shooting Star (read more). When this announcement was made, the European Film Promotion jury underlined the young actor’s talents as follows: "Often filmed all alone in Norway's Finnmark wilderness, Reinout affirms himself as the magnetic centre of the philosophical adventure story. In a riveting performance, he walks the delicate line between lucidity and madness.” The cast also includes Norwegian actors Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen and Thorbjørn Harr.

The film, co-produced by Amsterdam-based outfit KeyFilm, VPRO and Nordisk Film, was described by IFFR director Bero Beyer as a “dream opening film: a Dutch story taken to another level by international cooperation in cinematography and production".

After the world premiere at the IFFR, Beyond Sleep is set to reach Dutch screens on 11 February.

The screening of The Childhood of a Leader at the closing night of the festival promises to be a very special event, as the film's music, by American singer-songwriter Scott Walker, will be played live by the Codarts Symphony Orchestra, led by Mark Warman.

The two features mark the beginning and the end of the 2016 edition of Holland’s most famous movie showcase, which is being headed for the first time this year by producer Beyer, who has films like Atlantic. [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Jan-Willem van Ewijk
film profile
and the Oscar-nominated Palestinian drama Paradise Now [+see also:
film profile
under his belt. The rest of the programme is due to be unveiled shortly.

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