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BERLINALE 2008 Generation / Netherlands

Dutch girl power in the Generation sidebar

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The Netherlands has a strong reputation for children’s fare, which was confirmed at this year’s Berlinale with the selection of two features for the Generation selection that showcases films for younger viewers. Both films are directed by women and have young female protagonists.

The opening film of the 2008 Generation sidebar was Mischa Kamp’s Where is Winky’s Horse, the director’s follow-up to Winky’s Horse [+see also:
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, which was selected for the 2006 Berlinale. The holiday-themed sequel was a big success in the Netherlands with over 350,000 tickets sold and has already been sold to several territories at the European Film Market by its sales agent Delphis Film (see news).

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It tells the story of a little Chinese girl called Winky (Ebby Tam) who tries to make sense of the Dutch Sinterklaas (“Santa Claus”) traditions.

For the film, Kamp reassembled much of the same team that worked on the first film, including screenwriter Tamara Bos, who won a Golden Calf for her screenplay of the first film that was based on her own novel. Her father Burny Bos of Bos Bros was one of the producers on both films, while Betty Schuurman was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Golden Calf for her role in the sequel.

Delphis Film also sells Dunya & Desie [+see also:
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, a sweet and colourful road movie about two teenage girls who find themselves in Morocco. Dunya is of Moroccan heritage but grew up in Amsterdam, while Desie is a blond Dutch girl who is her best friend.

The film was written by Robert Alberdingk Thijm and directed by Dana Nechushtan (Night Run) and follows on the heels of their successful TV series of the same name that made a star of Dutch-Moroccan actress Maryam Hassouni.

Hassouni is also this year’s Dutch Shooting Star (see interview) at the Berlinale, where Dunya & Desie had its world premiere. The film was produced by Amsterdam-based outfit Lemming Film and is pencilled in for an April release in the Netherlands through Independent Films.

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