Festival history

The story so far…

On September 24, 1981 Dutch director Jos Stelling launched the Dutch Film Days in Utrecht with the twofold intentions to bring Dutch films to the attention of large audiences and to start the professional as how to improve the local film infrastructure and production output. 

The first festival opened with the screening of Ben Verbong's HET MEISJE MET HET RODE HAAR and closed a week later with the premiere of TWEE VORSTINNEN EN EEN VORST by Otto Jongerius. The closing nightie 1981  was the first time the Grand Prizes of Dutch film, better known as the Golden Calves, were awarded The iconic statue was designed by the Utrecht artist Theo Mackaay.    

The festival was an immediate success and would soon become a permanent and core fixture within the Dutch film calendar. The general public embraced the event and very soon the venues increased both in  number and in size, with the addition of the Pathé Rembrandt Cinema, the Louis Hartlooper Complex, the Utrecht City Theatre, TivoliVredenburg and CineMec Leidsche Rijn. In 1993 the event officially became known as the Netherlands Film Festival.

The first edition of the Dutch Film Days attracted 8000 visitors. In 2015, the 35th NFF drew 150,000 visitors who watched films and TV series, experienced interactive projects, played the latest games, attended talk shows, lectures and workshops, and interacted with the Netherlands' leading and emerging makers. Of the 350 films in selection 77 were premieres, a fact which underlines the very good health of the Dutch production scene.  

The 36th edition of the Dutch Film Festival: 21 to September 30, 2016.    

See you there.                                                                               Pic: The 1989 NFF poster