wo 23 jun 2021

Holland Film Meeting Selections 2021

Twenty-three riveting projects from original voices across the world will be further developed and presented at the 2021 Holland Film Meeting (HFM), one of Europe’s must-attend co-production and development events, and an essential bridge between the Dutch and international film industries. Of the 23 projects, presented under the pillars of BoostNL, Stories & Beyond, and New Dutch.

Learn more about HFM

The Selections
New Dutch

  • Descending the Mountain (The Netherlands, Switzerland) – Maartje Nevejan 
  • FemiDwight Fagbamila 
  • The Miracle Basket Abner Preis
  • SwipeMieke Gerritzen 


  • Becoming Dubois (The Netherlands) – Joost van Hezik
  • A Chronicle From Nagorno-Karabakh (The Netherlands, Turkey) – Ibrahim Karatay, Janneke Pol
  • Flat Girls (Thailand) – Jirassaya Wongsutin
  • Lost Songs of Distant Realms (Bolivia) – Kiro Russo
  • Nightsong (Brazil) – Maya Da-Rin
  • The Right Answer (The Netherlands) – Mariia Ponomarova
  • A Winner Is Seen At The Start (Kazakhstan) – Zhannat Alshanova

Stories & Beyond

  • Mata Hari (The Netherlands) – Paula van der Oest
  • Plantation Wildlust (The Netherlands, Belgium) – Hesdy Lonwijk
  • Shiny New World (The Netherlands) – Jan van Gorkum
  • Collapse (France) – Damien Faure
  • S’Aigua Blanca (France, Switzerland) – Maxime Kathari
  • Tunis-Djerba (France, Tunisia) – Amel Guellaty
  • Galeo of the Seawalkers (Indonesia) – Andra Fembriarto
  • The Silent Path (Indonesia) – Yonri Revolt
  • 13th Year (South Africa) – Silas Miami
  • Chance Encounters (South Africa, The Netherlands, France) – Naomi van Niekerk
  • We Speak Gayle (South Africa)Andrew Brukman
  • Cursed Circus: Sweet Vengeance of A Tale Teller (Indonesia) – Fajar Nugros

Read more about the selections below:

New Dutch Selection

Descending the Mountain (The Netherlands, Switzerland)
Mystical experiences, induced by meditation and magic mushrooms, could play a major role in ending our materialistic worldview. This (inner-climate-change) movie is based upon a scientific experiment on the top of a mountain in Switzerland. A psychiatrist and a zen abbot, designed a legal ground breaking experiment after 4 decades of War on Drugs. Nevejan visualises with the help of A.I. artists, how to descend from the mountain of bliss and integrate mysticism in regular life.
Director, screenwriter and producer: Maartje Nevejan (Global Inside)
Co-producers: Annette Badenhorst (CH), Monette de Boton, Bohdana Tamas

When the birth of his first child is approaching, unstable Dennis (20) must finally face the loss of his Nigerian father sixteen years ago. A voodoo spell seems the only way to unburden himself and his loved ones.
Director: Dwight Fagbamila
Screenwriters: Dwight Fagbamila, Kim Kokosky Deforchau
Producers: Maarten van der Ven, Layla Meijman (Studio Ruba)

The Miracle Basket
A glimpse into humankind’s recent past told through an intimate childhood story in which mistakes bring change and hope for the future of the planet. The Miracle Basket is a textured and layered story integrating socio-political thought with abstract subjects both metaphysical and contemporary. By describing the arrival of the west as the downfall of innocence, the VR experience relates to environmental issues of today and political uprising through storytelling.
Director and screenwriter: Abner Preis
Producer: Fırat Sezgin (Institute of Time)
Co-producer: Valk Producties (NL)

The typographic film Swipe is a smartphone film about our relationship with technology. Our bodies are beginning to fuse with our smartphone. The typographic smartphone film Swipe responds to this and manifests itself as an unraveling critical visual machine for opinion, manipulation and seduction. Swipe is a cinematic pamphlet by Mieke Gerritzen, designed by Thonik.
Director and screenwriter: Mieke Gerritzen (The Image Society)
Producer: Stichting Next Nature (NL)

BoostNL Selection

Becoming Dubois (The Netherlands)
Au-pair Elena (21) and washed-up actor Ben (60) are fighting over a bottle of wine in a convenience store, when they are mistaken for the world-famous trendwatcher Dubois and his manager. In an attempt to escape their miserable lives, they gradually lose themselves in a fictitious adventure. But how far are they willing to take their roles?
Director: Joost van Hezik
Screenwriters: Joost van Hezik, Willem Bosch
Producers: Layla Meijman, Maarten van der Ven (Studio Ruba)

A Chronicle From Nagorno-Karabakh (The Netherlands, Turkey)
Two seemingly antagonist families from Nagorno-Karabakh share one tragedy. A film about memories, displacement and mourning, but also surviving and hope in the shadow of a vicious cycle of violence.
Directors and screenwriters: Ibrahim Karatay, Janneke Pol
Producer: Ibrahim Karatay (Alchemic Film)
Co-producer: Soner Alper (Nar Film, TR)

Flat Girls (Thailand)
Jane is the daughter of a police sergeant. She has lived in the same block of police flats – subsidised government housing provided to policemen and their families – 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 about a time when she was still a chubby-cheeked high school student and questioning her sexuality.
Director and screenwriter: Jirassaya Wongsutin
Producers: Pom Bunsermvicha, Noorahaya Lahtee (Vertical Films)

Lost Songs of Distant Realms (Canciones perdidas de reinos distantes, Bolivia)
Trying to hide his illness to keep his job and continue playing in his Black Metal band, Charque, a single father and a miner, neglects his teenage daughter Nina, who is bored of their town and experiencing intense changes. After meeting a strange girl at school, Nina decides to run away from home.
Director, screenwriter and producer: Kiro Russo (Socavón)

Nightsong (Canção da Noite, Brazil)
Helena (6) lives with her parents at a large soy farm in southern Brazil. She is afflicted with sleepwalking and ever since her mother was diagnosed with cancer she befriends a Guarani indigenous woman who lives in the vicinity. When an unknown and pesticide-resistant plant begins to sprout in the fields, workers wonder where it has come from. But none of their speculations correspond to what Helena sees in her late-night walks.
Director and screenwriter: Maya Da-Rin
Producers: Maya Da-Rin, Sabrina Garcia (Tamanduá Vermelho)

The Right Answer (The Netherlands)
 A young hard-working architect, Tania, takes on a prestigious job while going through the naturalisation process. This brings her back to her youth in Ukraine when she participated in a TV-quiz for super-smart kids. Striving to win, Tania has to fight pressure both from outside and within herself.
Director: Mariia Ponomarova
Screenwriters: Mariia Ponomarova, Jessie Tiemeijer
Producer: Noortje Wilschut (Family Affair Films

A Winner Is Seen At The Start (Kazakhstan)
MILA (17) enrolls in a new and experimental swimming school in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Soon after, a freak accident alters the course of events for Mila and the other girls in the school, revealing controversial relationships and corruption.
Director and screenwriter: Zhannat Alshanova
Producer: Yevgeniya Moreva (Accidental Films)

Stories & Beyond Selection

The Netherlands

Mata Hari
Told in four powerful and distinct chapters of her life is the remarkable and mysterious true story behind the Dutch born beauty who rose from obscurity to become one of the most famous people on the planet in the early 20th Century; until being arrested, convicted and executed for espionage by the French during WWI.
Director: Paula van der Oest
Screenwriters: Adam Gyngell, Fred Fernandez
Producers: Mark van Eeuwen, Paula van der Oest, Alain de Levita (Levitate Film)
Co-producer: Veri Media 

Plantation Wildlust (Plantage Wildlust, The Netherlands/Belgium)
The black overseer of a former slave plantation vows to retain power when the new manager arrives from Europe with his ambitious young wife. 
Based on the 2020 novel by Surinamese-Dutch writer Tessa Leuwsha. Recommended in libraries of the Netherlands as the first “must read” to #educateyourself.
Director: Hesdy Lonwijk
Screenwriter: Aliefka Bijlsma
Producer: Emjay Rechsteiner (Staccato Films)
Co-producer: Saga Film (BE)

Shiny New World
A down on his luck construction worker gets caught up in a bloody power struggle between demons in human disguise, and discovers his true purpose in life: cleaning up their mess.
Director and screenwriter: Jan van Gorkum
Producer: Monique van Kessel (Make Way Film)


Not far from the North Pole, in a ghost city called Pyramiden, Vladimir and Elena try to find the traces of a vanished world and to reconnect with the wilderness. Thanks to forgotten reels films found in the old cinema, they dream of new stories. Until one day a curious visitor, an hermit called Harald, convinced that the world is collapsing, tells them that mankind has anticipated the catastrophe by sheltering all the seeds on Earth in a bunker dug into a mountain close to Pyramiden.
Director and screenwriter: Damien Faure
Producers: Alice Baldo, Mary Baldo (French Kiss Production)
Co-producer: AAA Productions

S’Aigua Blanca (France, Switzerland)
After months of heavy periods, Lia (32) is sure she has an infertility problem. While spending the summer season in Ibiza working for a family friend, she gets it into her head to have unprotected sex, determined to test her body’s limits and her power to create another life.
Director: Maxime Kathari
Screenwriters: Maxime Kathari, Christine Kathari
Producers: Chachi Hauser (Les Films du Buisson), Dea Gjinovci (Astrae Productions, CH)

Tunis-Djerba (France, Tunisia)
Alyssa and Mehdi have a rough life but use humor and imagination to escape it.
Director and screenwriter: Amel Guellaty
Producers: Asma Chiboub  (Atlas Vision, TN) Karim Aitouna (Haut les Mains productions, FR)



Cursed Circus: Sweet Vengeance of A Tale Teller (Horror Keliling)
Jarno, a disgraced traditional show stage crew who was expelled from his group, takes revenge on the group’s main star by using his new mysterious power that can make all his scary stories come true.
Director: Fajar Nugros
Screenwriter: Deo Mahameru
Producer: Susanti Dewi (IDN Pictures)

Galeo of the Seawalkers (Galeo Anak Segara)
A timid fisherboy becomes a true Seawalker after he is caught in an unexpected adventure when his younger sister runs away from home to chase sea ghosts.
Director, screenwriter and producer: Andra Fembriarto (Studio Amarana)
Co-producer: Visi8 Studio

The Silent Path (Soebertono Mote)
After living in Papua for 50 years, a Dutch Pastor wants to return to his village. Before returning home, he revealed a story of the past that had never been told before.
Director and screenwriter: Yonri Revolt
Producer: Rendy Rizal (Yoikatra)

South Africa

13th Year
In the 13th year of his failing marriage, lonely Dutch retailer, Bastian, escapes to Cape Town as part of a trial separation, but falls in love with a young Kenyan man whose unconventional life makes him question every choice he’s ever made.
Director and screenwriter: Silas Miami
Producers: Elias Ribeiro and Cait Pansegrouw (Urucu Media)

Chance Encounters (South Africa, The Netherlands, France)
In the late 90’s in South Africa, an 11 year old young girl disovers the magic of cinema. She finds a film camera in her father’s study and through its lens she starts to see the world around her differently. Marginalised by a rigid school system, cinema becomes her refuge but it also enables her to question things – like the mysterious death of her grandfather that no one wants to talk about.
Director and screenwriter: Naomi van Niekerk
Producer: Dryfsand
Co-producers: Valk Producties (NL), Olivier Catherin (FR)

We Speak Gayle
Queens of their own South African desert, a group of Gayle-speaking queer performers go on a journey of epic proportions to help shine a light on LGBT communities in every corner of the country.
Director and screenwriter: Andrew Brukman
Producer: Quinton B Fredericks (Spier Films)
Co-producer: Thembisa Cochrane (Caspian Films)