Go to content
Gouden Kalveren

Golden Calf nominations Digital Culture 2023

During the event Digital Culture: About fellows, battles and winners in Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, the three nominations for the Golden Calf for Best Digital Culture Production were announced.

The prize will be presented on Friday, September 29 during the EY Golden Calves Gala. The three nominees are part of Storyspace, the exhibition of the Netherlands Film Festival in Bibliotheek Neude.

Nominations Best Digital Culture Production 2023

  • Dear beloved friend, - Dries Verhoeven en Kininso Koncepts (Studio Dries Verhoeven, Kininso Koncepts)
  • The Imaginary Friend - Steye Hallema (Studio Biarritz)
  • To Be Continued - Yannick Noomen, Noortje van den Eijnde, Roel Wouters, Luna Mauer (Nineties)

Join us at Storyspace

Jury report for Best Digital Culture Production 2023

Over the past weekend, the jury spent three days viewing, experiencing and assessing the ten works in competition for the Golden Calf for Best Digital Culture Production. Their assessment was based on three criteria: Storytelling Innovation, Authenticity and Relevance/Urgency. This year, the selection of work was highly diverse, interweaving digital culture with a wide variety of aspects of life, both in application and in content. Equally striking this year was the diversity of media used, and the cross-disciplinary collaborations in both process and final product, incorporating fields including architecture, and a notable role for expertise from theatre. Many works also take into account the role of the audience, involving and challenging them in innovative ways, such that the audience member truly becomes a part of the experience. This is also the power of digital culture: the way it affects you as a viewer can set a lot in motion.

After thorough deliberation, the jury has nominated the following three works:

Dear beloved friend,

Dries Verhoeven and Kininso Koncepts

The interactive theatre piece Dear beloved friend, takes the viewer via a live internet connection from Nollywood into a compelling and confrontational story in which the archetypal Western view of Africa contrasts with an African perspective on Europe. With a camera in the middle of the stage as a two-way portal to this other part of the world, the fourth wall is broken, and digital communication is used as a means to bring together different worlds. The digital infrastructure of the internet and livestreaming is used inventively to explore new forms of making, showing and experiencing work.

The story is told from different perspectives, and this has resulted in a richly layered work that plays with expectations using the screening, camera, livestream, studio, viewer, and viewer of the viewer. In this complex choreography, nothing is left to chance.

Dear beloved friend, thought-provokingly involves the audience in the story as a viewer, actor and subject, thus emphatically highlighting the relativity of our Western narrative regarding the theme of immigration from Africa.

To Be Continued

Yannick Noomen, Noortje van den Eijnde, Roel Wouters and Luna Maurer

Through a chatbot and an immersive audio-visual installation, To Be Continued makes tangible the wide differences between our human ways of experiencing and the way in which AI interprets information. The work zooms in on the difference between the way humans experience time and what time is to an AI system. In the central role is an extremely accurate chatbot, which makes one-on-one contact with the visitor and invites them to share moments from their daily lives. This input is then processed into a powerful composition of rhythm, music and images, in which time-bound human moments become the abstract timelessness of artificial intelligence. Through the interpretation of the complex human concept of time through AI, the audience is not only involved in the story, but also prompted to consider something that is apparently ordinary, which in turn inspires further thought.

The jury finds it interesting how this work makes use of the way social media is integrated into our daily lives, and draws on this to engage the viewer in the experience created by the installation. Everyday life is then introduced into these media, in this case also forming the content of the performance.

The Imaginary

Friend Steye Hallema

In the beautiful and imaginative VR story The Imaginary Friend, the viewer becomes the invisible friend of Daniel, whom they have to help to defeat his inner demons, by fighting, flapping imaginary wings and shooting.

The use of VR in The Imaginary Friend goes beyond mere technical ingenuity; it creates a bridge of empathy between the viewer and Daniel, enabling you not only to enter his world, but also to deeply experience his emotions and challenges. The message itself – how a child deals with grief and tries to overcome his fears – has urgency, and is reinforced by the storytelling techniques and the use of volumetric video capture in combination with animation and a strong soundtrack. The game elements increase involvement, and through fairly simple means – playing and waving – you are drawn into the story.

The jury recognises the unmistakable relevance of the subject. Children are increasing suffering from mental health issues in an increasingly complex society that places high demands on its members, and in which there is less and less room for imagination and magic.

back to