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The Dutch Berlinale Talents 2020

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Five new and diverse talents from The Netherlands talk about their selection for the prestigious Berlinale Talents programme 2020.

Director Noël Loozen is certain about what he wants to get out of Berlinale Talents, a clear perspective on the transition from shorts to features.

“I’m exploring how to stay true to my visual style and artistic DNA, whilst experimenting to see how they translate best into the longer format,” he underlines. “A feature film presents a different context than a short film. Ultimately, I hope to investigate my established visual language and form in relation to storytelling and drama. This symbiosis is what currently fascinates me the most, and I’m really excited to utilise the Berlinale Talents platform to dive deeper into this.”

He comments how working within the mediums of film and photography helps elevate his craft to higher levels of proficiency, “and it challenges me as a storyteller”. He adds: “Moving into my first feature film (entitled Crapule for Amsterdam-based Halal), after having worked on short films, music videos, commercials and photography, forces me to tie all this experience together. I think my hybrid approach has given me a strong sense of my own visual and aesthetic language, and a confidence in crafting my own little worlds.”

Editor Christine Houbiers has a head start on her fellow Dutch Talents in 2020, having attended many of the programmed events in Berlin last year, following the Generation selection of My Extraordinary Summer with Tess, which she edited.

“It was the first time I edited an international co-production and I really enjoyed working with the German co-producers, sound designer and composer. I hope to meet new people from different countries that inspire me and maybe I can work with them in the future,” she comments. “This year’s topic is about Collectives. At the moment I’m thinking of starting a collective together with two female friends, a screenwriter and a director. I hope to learn what’s the best way to do this.”

“I’m proud of the fact that I have been able to edit documentaries as well as fiction films… When I edit documentaries, I use techniques of fiction storytelling and vise versa. I’m not scared of changing the storytelling, like in a documentary. By doing both, I feel I can get more out of the material.”

Netherlands-based Turkish actress Ece Yüksel studied at HKU in Utrecht where she “realized the importance and fun of diversity in approaches to acting. Therefore [in Berlin], I’m mostly looking forward
to meet, collaborate with and learn from the great diversity of colleagues worldwide. With these experiences I hope to broaden my skillset and take further steps in my career internationally.”

Yüksel notes how her experience on Emin Alper’s A Tale of Three Sisters, which was shot in Eastern Turkey in 2017, was “life-changing” for her, and for which she was awarded Best Actress prizes at the International Istanbul Film Festival and the Batumi International Art-House Film Festival.

“During the rehearsal period and the shooting process, I had the chance to experience an inspiring and deep character which gave me the space to create, guided by our great director. We were all very proud that our movie achieved many successes starting with premiering at the 69th Berlinale competition, followed by many festivals all over the world.”

Sales agent Wouter Jansen of Square Eyes (launched at IFFR 2020 out of his previous company Some Shorts) is eyeing up the long-term transition into features sales, and believes Berlinale Talents, located adjacent to arguably the calendar’s most important film market, will help facilitate that. “I’m still relatively new to the world of feature sales, and with my focus on more nonmainstream films I hope to find out more about the best strategies to put these in the market and get them in front of audiences,” he stresses. “Hopefully I can exchange ideas and experiences with the other sales agents in Talents as well as people attending the festival. And of course I just want to meet more new people, extend my network and hopefully discover some great new films.”

“I have been able to work with a lot of young talented directors and introduce them to the international market with their short films where they were also really well received; directors like Guido Hendrikx, Ena Sendijarevic and Mees Peijnenburg, to name a few, that have all gone on to make strong debuts,” he adds. “Hopefully with Square Eyes I will be able to continue this success and also build a strong slate of feature films.”

Producer Rogier Kramer of Dutch Mountain Film fully expects a very full week of intense meetings in Berlin with the great and the good of the international film community. “I hope to learn more about the international market and different co-production structures, strategies and methods from experts and other Berlinale Talents.”

In 2019 Kramer became co-owner of his company. “That’s a really big achievement for me because I’ve always wanted to have my own production company. As owner I’m in full control over my own goals and choices about what I want to produce and who I want to work with. This gives me the opportunity to develop myself as a producer even faster. “Therefore I would also love to learn more about entrepreneurship.”

SEE NL Magazine #38 January 2020 / IFFR, Berlin & Clermont-Ferrand Issue
SEE NL is published four times per year by Eye andd The Netherlands Film Fund and is distributed to international film professionals.

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