BoostNL Interview: METHUSALEM

European Film Award-winning Floor van der Meulen’s feature debut METHUSALEM, produced by Dutch production house Keplerfilm, looks set to benefit greatly from its Boost NL outing this week. In the drama, just as a woman is set to announce her pregnancy at a family gathering, her father announces his decision to bring his own life to an end. The €1.4 million film has already attracted a local broadcaster in the form of NTR.“We are in the final stages of development, still working on the latest draft, and for us this is really the moment to see how an international audience or interested professionals will react on the theme and the way we are writing it,” comments producer Derk-Jan Warrink, who has set up consultations this week with sales power houses such as Wild Bunch, New Europe Film Sales and Trust Nordisk.Core to Warrink and director Van der Meulen’s BoostNL experience will be a closed script reading on Monday organised by NFF Professionals. “We want to do it with actual actors to test the script so we can really see how the script works in terms of dialogue and rhythm.”BoostNL has also arranged an hour-long meeting with an academic who will seek to explain the psychological and philosophical implications of the drama. “The theme of this film is quite heavy and none of us has ever been in this situation. We don\'t want to make a film just about a father/daughter relationship, it is really about the daughter and how she reacts to this situation. She is full of life and totally doesn\'t understand why he wants to do this. Floor can use this to get into the head of this main character.”Director Van der Meulen won a European Film Award and Best Short Film prize at the BFI Film Festival London for her documentary 9 DAYS - FROM MY WINDOW IN ALEPPO (2015) 9 Days — From My Window in Aleppo (2015). Her 45-minute drama IN EXILE (2016) was nominated for two Golden Calves, winning the gong for Best Actress.“The great thing about Floor is the fictional narratives within her documentaries and how all the ideas for her fiction films mainly emerge from a documentary she has been working on before,” points out Warrink. “She is now currently working on a feature length documentary about the last rhinos in Africa (LAST MALE STANDING for Een van de jongens) and about the people who are trying to breed a baby rhino. It is a film about creating life.”“Then her thoughts turned to the opposite, about human beings who are trying to remove themselves from life, people for whom life is over – done. So that was the starting point of METHUSALEM. What happens when somebody very close to you decides to stop.”
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