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A huge haul of Golden Calves for The Judgement and The Forgotten Battle at the 41st Nederlands Film Festival


- Sander Burger’s true-crime feature has taken home four trophies, surpassed only by Matthijs van Heijningen’s World War II epic, which pocketed five of the coveted statuettes

A huge haul of Golden Calves for The Judgement and The Forgotten Battle at the 41st Nederlands Film Festival
The winners of the 2021 Golden Calves

The Nederlands Film Festival (24 September-2 October) once again proved to be an important annual platform for the Dutch film and television industry. After celebrating its 41st edition, it drew to a close with the highly anticipated Golden Calf awards ceremony, which took place on Friday 1 October. During the event, the Golden Calves were awarded across 22 different categories, which have been slightly altered this year. With a view to organising a more inclusive and diverse ceremony, there was only one Award for Best Actor, instead of two for Best Female and Best Male Actor.

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Two productions undeniably stood out. The Judgement [+see also:
film profile
, directed by Sander Burger, and produced by Joram Willink and Piet-Harm Sterk for BIND Film, took home the Golden Calves for Best Feature, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Script. Meanwhile, Matthijs van Heijningen’s epic war flick The Forgotten Battle, produced by Alain de Levita for Levitate Film BV, was singled out for Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design and Best Sound Design.

With five awards, the big winner was therefore The Forgotten Battle, about a decisive – but not often spoken of – confrontation that took place in November 1944 in the province of Zeeland. It was said to be the largest operation in the Netherlands during the war, as tens of thousands of Allied and German troops went into battle. The story revolves around three main characters who all played a part in this battle around the River Scheldt: a displaced English pilot, a Dutch boy fighting for the SS and a local girl from Zeeland working with the resistance.

Runner-up The Judgement tells the thrilling true-crime story of the Deventer murder case, surrounding the killing of a widow in the Dutch city of Deventer in 1999. It is a real cause célèbre and is perceived in the Netherlands as one of the first cases in which the internet and the media played a significant role in shaping public opinion, resulting in widespread conspiracy theories that proved stronger than the supposed facts. The upshot was a witch hunt, ultimately leaving the wrongly accused suspect, Michael de Jong, powerless, despite a court ruling. Interestingly, de Jong himself was handed the Award for Best Supporting Actor, as actor Yorick van Wageningen, who played de Jong in the film, wasn’t present at the event.

The Golden Calves in the categories of Best Feature Film and Best Feature Documentary are determined by an academy-voting system, which was implemented in the Netherlands in 2015. The voters are the previous winners of a Golden Calf, the Dutch winners at A-list festivals abroad, and members of the Dutch Academy for Film (DAFF). In the Short Documentary, Short Film, TV Drama/TV Movie and Digital Culture categories, an independent jury comprising three professionals per category made the call. This year, the juries were made up of producer Lea Fels, founder of Full Color Entertainment Peggy Gemerts and director Aliona van der Horst for Short Documentary; producer Monique Busman, director Eché Janga and screenwriter Marieke van der Pol for Best Short Film; and filmmaker Victoria Douka-Doukopoulou, artist Kianoosh Motallebi and director of the MU Hybrid Art House Angelique Spaninks for Best Digital Culture.

Here is the full list of award winners:

Best Feature Film
The Judgement [+see also:
film profile
– Sander Burger

Best Director
Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Niels van Koevorden – Becoming Mona [+see also:
film review
interview: Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Nie…
film profile

Best Cinematography
Lennert Hillege – The Forgotten Battle (Netherlands/Belgium)

Best Editing
Marc Bechtold – The Forgotten Battle

Best Feature Documentary
Shadow Game – Els van Driel and Eefje Blankevoort

Best Screenplay
Bert Bouma and Sander Burger – The Judgement

Best Short Documentary
Zie je me, hoor je me - Anne-Marieke Graafmans

Best Short Film
Pantser - Jan Verdijk

Best Actor in a TV Drama
Werner Kolf – Commando’s

Best Supporting Actor in a TV Drama
Michel Sluysmans - The Spectacular

Best TV Drama
Mocro Maffia 3 - Achmed Akkabi, Bobby Boermans and Victor D Ponten

Best Actor
Fedja van Huêt – The Judgement

Best Supporting Actor
Yorick van Wageningen – The Judgement

Best Actor in a Short Film or TV Movie
Laura Bakker - Heartbeats

Best TV Movie
May - Madja Amin

Best Costume Design
Margriet Procee - The Forgotten Battle

Best Digital Culture
IVF-X: Posthuman Parenting in Hybrid Reality - Victorine van Alphen

Best Music
Gino Taihuttu - The East [+see also:
interview: Martijn Lakemeier
film profile

Best Sound Design
Herman Pieëte - The Forgotten Battle

Best Production Design
Hubert Pouille - The Forgotten Battle

Audience Award
Bon Bini: Judeska in da House [+see also:
film profile
- Jonathan Herman

Golden Calf for Film Culture
Mijke de Jong

Award of the Circle of Dutch Film Journalists
Up to G-Cup - Jacqueline van Vugt

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