New-style Golden Calf acting awards at the 41st edition of the Netherlands Film Festival

The Golden Calves, the most important film awards in the Netherlands, are getting an update. From this year’s edition of the Netherlands Film Festival (NFF), there will be a single award for both Best Leading Role and Best Supporting Role, rather than separate awards for actors and actresses. Five performances will be nominated for each award. Equally, the Drama Series category will now have one Golden Calf for Best Leading Role and one for Best Supporting Role. There will also be a new award for the Best Leading Role in a Short Film. NFF has decided to make the changes in consultation with the Dutch Academy For Film (DAFF) and the actors’ association ACT. The Netherlands Film Festival this year runs from 24 September to 2 October 2021. The nominations will be announced on the evening of Monday 27 September. The award ceremony – the Grolsch Golden Calf Gala – will take place on the evening of Friday 1 October in Utrecht.

Silvia van der Heiden, director of Netherlands Film Festival (NFF),explains the changes: ‘The discussion about gender inclusivity has been taking place worldwide for years and it’s also an urgent issue in the Dutch and international film and television industry. NFF is moving with the spirit of the times and has chosen to abolish the gender distinction in the acting awards, as has been the case with other Golden Calves for decades.’Jenny Booms, director of the Dutch Academy For Film (DAFF)says of the new-style awards: ‘As an Academy, we want to unite all makers, regardless of profession, background or gender. Inclusiveness in the industry is a key focus for us. Together with NFF and ACT, we investigated whether there was a desire for change in the industry among actors, and among our members. In view of the predominantly positive reactions, it is only logical that we as DAFF should respond to the call. Ultimately, the voters only care about professional skill in choosing the nominations and winners of the Golden Calves.’Manoushka Zeegelaar Breeveld, chair of the Actors’ Association ACT: ‘ACT wants to see actors broadly represented, and the awards play an important role in this. We are already looking forward to the introduction of a new Golden Calf for up-and-coming talent next year. The new categories are a first step towards greater inclusiveness and diversity. We are particularly pleased about the new award for Best Leading Role in a Short Film, because up to now the diversity among the actors and makers who are eligible for these awards has been the greatest.’

Single Drama

Due to the popularity and proliferation of drama series, particularly via streaming services, the former Television Drama competition will switch to Drama Series from 2021. In addition, the Golden Calf for Best Single Drama 2021 will be awarded as a tribute to fiction film made for television. These projects are to be discontinued with the introduction of new talent development schemes. From 2022, single dramas will compete depending on length in the Short Film (up to 70 minutes) or Feature Film (70+ minutes) categories.

Voting and jury

Since 2015, the nominations and winners of the Golden Calves for Feature Film and Long Documentary have been chosen through an academy system introduced and executed in cooperation with the Dutch Academy For Film. As in previous years, the nominations and winners for the Golden Calf Competition for Short Film, Drama Series/Single Drama, Short Documentary and Digital Culture will be selected by an independent jury.

Overview of Golden Calves

There are three nominations for each Golden Calf, unless stated otherwise.
Academy Awards
  • Best Film (5 nominations)
  • Best Long Documentary (5 nominations)
  • Best Director
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Leading Role (5 nominations)
  • Best Supporting Role (5 nominations)
  • Best Photography
  • Best Production Design
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Editing
  • Best Sound Design
  • Best Music
Jury Awards
  • Best Short Documentary
  • Best Short Film
  • Best Drama Series
  • Best Single Drama
  • Best Leading Role in a Short Film/Single Drama
  • Best Leading Role in a Drama Series
  • Best Supporting Role in a Drama Series
  • Golden Calf Digital Culture
Other Awards
  • Golden Calf for Film Culture
  • Golden Calf Audience Award
back to