Europeans win at Film by the Sea
by Boyd van Hoeij
26/09/2006 - The eighth edition of the Dutch Film by the Sea Festival ended on Sunday, with awards going to European titles Mother of Mine [trailer], The Great Match [trailer] and After the Wedding [trailer, film focus].
Held in Vlissingen, Zeeland, the event attracted almost 40,000 visitors from the Southern provinces and beyond.
Guests at the festival included Jonathan Demme, who was awarded a Career Prize, and directors Steen Agro, Yves Angelo, Jun Ichikawa and David Christensen.
The festival's main focus is on literary adaptations, and its programme Boeken aan zee (Books on the Sea) opened with the German adaptation of Michel Houellebecq's The Elementary Particles [trailer, film focus] (see Focus).
The selection also included Michael Winterbottom's playful A Cock and Bull Story (based on Sterne's Tristram Shandy), Angelo's magnificent Les âmes grises [trailer] (based on Philippe Claudel's WWI novel) and Klaus Härö's Finnish-Swedish WWII adoption drama Mother of Mine, which eventually won the section's top prize.
Härö was not present at the festival, but said in a statement that winning this prize reminded him of a promise he made as a film student never to adapt a book into a film: "Mother of Mine is my second feature film - and also my second adaptation. I don’t regret breaking this promise".
The jury was chaired by Dutch crime writer Rinus Ferdinandusse and also included director Marleen Gorris and actress Willeke van Ammelrooy, the latter two responsible for the Oscar-winning drama Antonia's Line.
The Spanish/German World Cup-fever comedy The Great Match (La gran final) from Gerardo Olivares won the MovieSquad Award, while Susanne Bier's family secrets drama After the Wedding (Efter Brylluppet) picked up the Audience Award.
The 2007 edition of the festival will take place from September 14-23, 2007.