Dirty God scoops three Golden Calves at the Nederlands Film Festival
by Chris Frieswijk
- Sacha Polak’s English-language debut has taken home a trio of Golden Calves, including Best Feature Film and Best Director; the runner-up, with two gongs, was Michiel van Erp’s Open Seas
The Dutch film industry once again gathered in Utrecht to assess the state of play during the 39th edition of the Nederlands Film Festival (27 September-5 October). The festival is the year’s most important event when it comes to Dutch cinema and television. The Grolsch Golden Calves Gala is the highlight of the festival, where the prestigious Dutch awards are given out to the best productions. Sacha Polak’s Dirty God [+see also:
interview: Sacha Polak
film profile] is this year’s big winner, having been awarded the Golden Calves for Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Music. Michiel van Erp’s Open Seas was the runner-up, with two Calves to its name.
Dirty God tells the story of Jade, a girl dealing with the aftermath of an acid attack in a London suburb. She has to find ways to rebuild her self-esteem as she learns to deal with her new, scarred appearance. In her social life, this proves to be filled with obstacles. Earlier this year, Dirty God opened International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and was the first-ever Dutch film to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Marleen Slot (of Viking Film), who produced Dirty God, proudly took to the stage to accept the Golden Calf for Best Feature, the festival’s most important prize. “I am proud of all my nominated colleagues; 2019 has been a year with many impressive Dutch productions,” Slot said in her speech.
Runner-up Michiel van Erp’s Open Seas, staged by NIDS Film Productions, celebrated wins for Best Photography (Jasper Wolf) and Best Supporting Actress (Julia Akkermans). The Amsterdam-based drama tells the coming-of-age story of three friends who manage to find their way through their fraternity. As they reflect upon who they are becoming as adults, a sudden death puts everything in perspective.
The much sought-after Audience Award was granted to Bon Bini Holland 2 by Jon Karthaus. The Abraham Tuschinski Fund grants the winning producers, Maarten Swart (Kaap Holland Film), Sander Emmering and Nelsje Musch-Elzinga (Warner Brothers International Television Production), a contribution of €30,000, to be spent on a forthcoming Dutch production. This is the fifth year that the Abraham Tuschinski Fund has made this prize available.
The Golden Calves in the categories of Best Feature Film and Best Feature Documentary are determined by an academy system, which was implemented in the Netherlands in 2015. The voters are the previous winners of a Golden Calf, Dutch winners at A-list festivals abroad and members of the Dutch Academy for Film (DAFF).
Below are all of the winners of the 39th edition of the Nederlands Film Festival:
Sacha Polak – Dirty God
Jasper Wolf – Open Seas (Netherlands)
Jeroen Scholten van Aschat, Shady El-Hamus – About That Life (Netherlands)
Best Short Documentary
Daddy and the Warlord - Shamira Raphaëla, Clarice Gargard (Netherlands/Liberia/USA)
Best Short Film
En Route - Marit Weerheijm (Netherlands)
Best Actor in a TV Drama
Gijs Naber – Judas (Netherlands)
Best Actress in a TV Drama
Rifka Lodeizen – Judas
Best TV Drama
Seven Little Criminals - Rob Lücker (Netherlands)
Die Fernweh Opera - Daniel Ernst (India/Netherlands/UK)
Rutger Reinders – Dirty God
Best Supporting Actor
Thomas Höppener – About That Life
Best Supporting Actress
Julia Akkermans – Open Seas
Bon Bini Holland 2 - Jon Karthaus (Netherlands)
Golden Calf for Film Culture
Award of the Circle of Dutch Film Journalists
Keeper - Johan Kramer (Netherlands)
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