The prizes of the Holland Film Meeting (HFM), the international professional arm of the Netherlands Film Festival, were handed out October 2. In total 23 highly promising new projects were presented within the BoostNL, Stories & Beyond and New Dutch categories to potential funders, sales agents, distributors and production companies from across the globe. As one of Europe’s must attend international exchange platforms for professional collaboration and creative development, the HFM creates a vital bridge between the Dutch and international film industries.
The NFF Script Development Awardwent to the project Lost Songs of Distant Realms (Bolivia/France, BoostNL).
Written and produced by Kiro Russo and co-produced by Alexa Rivero. In the film, the third part of Kiro Russo’s mining trilogy, the adolescent Nina falls in love with a girl at school, which leads her father Charque, a Satanist miner, to question his long-held beliefs.
Jury citation: “The jury believes this project can best benefit from the award in this early stage of development, and would like to support this truly original story and cinematographic approach. In recognition of its bold idiosyncratic drive to challenge the language and borders of cinema, the jury has decided to award the third part of a trilogy that was strikingly presented by the director in an original and stimulating pitch.”
Special mentions were given to Flat Girls (Thailand, BoostNL) by writer-director Jirassaya Wongsutin; Chance Encounters (South Africa/The Netherlands, Stories & Beyond) by Naomi van Niekerk and Show Up by Andrew Brukman (South Africa, Stories & Beyond).
The Camalot/Filmmore Emerging Cinema Award went to Flat Girls (Thailand, BoostNL) by Jirassaya Wongsutin.
This film is produced by Pom Bunsermvicha and Noorahaya Lahtee. In Flat Girls, Jane is the daughter of a police sergeant. She has lived in the same block of subsidised government housing since birth. Following the death of her father, Jane and her mother must prepare to leave. As their moving date approaches, Jane reflects on a youth spent within the confines of the police flats. Memories surface from her past as a chubby-cheeked high school student still questioning her sexuality. These memories bring past secrets to light.
Jury citation: “We are all very taken by the originality of the arena and the cinematic quality of it. The coming-of-age story deals with loss, corruption and queer aspects with a surprisingly light touch. The pitch drew us in straight away and convinced us of the clear chemistry and professionality within the team.”
Special mentions were given to the feature animation Galeo of the Sea Walkers (Indonesia, Stories & Beyond) by Andra Fembriarto, and the Brazilian Nightsong by Maya Da-Rin (BoostNL).
The Works-in-Progress Award, sponsored by Intermission Film, went to Show Up (South Africa, Stories & Beyond) by Andrew Brukman.
This film is produced by Quinton Fredericks and Thembisa Cochrane. The film logline reads: Queens of their own South African desert, a queer performance ensemble go on a road-trip to help shine a light on the extreme violence suffered by our LGBTI community. The jury recognised “a personal and above all urgent story with charismatic and vibrant characters that we all want to discover. There is a clear global audience here and we wanted to provide a platform to help this powerful story get told.”
Runner-up was Galeo of the Seawalkers (Indonesia, Stories & Beyond) by Andra Fembriarto, and two special mentions were given for Plantation Wildlust by Hesdy Lonwijk (Netherlands/Belgium/Suriname, Stories & Beyond) and Shiny New World by Jan van Gorkum (Netherlands, Stories & Beyond).
The HFM Market Potential Award went to Flat Girls (Thailand, BoostNL) by Jirassaya Wongsutin.
This film is produced by Pom Bunsermvicha and Noorahaya Lahtee. The jury felt that the winning team “delivered a beautifully presented marketing strategy for an intimate human story. We particularly commended their work on audiences and the strong local and international positioning for the film. The winning film will not only be a festival darling but will also certainly have a strong impact on the audiences that will be lucky enough to see it.”
The jury awarded a Special Mention to Show Up by Andrew Brukman (South Africa, Stories & Beyond). The jury said how “the team delivered a sparkling presentation, with a visual identity that brings a powerful emotional connection to the story. The jury felt covered in glitter after discovering this film and its strategy and we know the audience will feel exactly the same!”
This award is sponsored by Alphapanda and We Are The Tonic.