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November 2, 2015

The Netherlands is country in focus at the 25th FilmFestival Cottbus, taking place November 3 - 8. Five Dutch films in the globalEAST section present the diverse results of co-operations between with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

The Netherlands are capturing European cinema – and not only with big, established names like cult director Alex Van Warmerdam, doyen Paul Verhoeven or award-winning filmmaker Jos Stelling, who has a lot of experience with Eastern Europe and has been a frequent guest in Cottbus. This is something that cannot be overlooked, especially in view of the country’s participation in international co-productions, the partners of which are often from a country beyond the Oder – for example, Loznitsa’s documentary film Maidan recently released in Germany or Sokurov’s award-winning World War Two drama Francofonia. This development has prompted the East-West co-production market Connecting Cottbus, taking place simultaneously with the festival, to also take a closer look at the Netherlands.

The five Dutch co-productions that will be screened:
Documentary Stand by Your President  by Ineke Smit portrays Dutch-born Sandra Roelofs, wife of the former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, who as “First Lady” played clearly more than just a representational role. The film’s director, who works in both the Netherlands and Georgia, will not only present her own film during the festival week but also act as a member of the International Jury awarding the coveted prizes.

In Kurai Kurai, the director and photographer Marjoleine Boonstra uses breath-taking pictures to convey myths of the Kirghiz steppe and tell the story of a young man searching for answers to the big questions in life.

Marinus Groothof looks back at more recent historical events: The Sky Above Us grants a view into the inner life of three people during the NATO bombardment of Belgrade in 1999.

In Meet Me in Venice by Eddy Terstall, a father and daughter, who had been alienated for years, set off on a (rail)road trip through the Balkans.

A game of attraction and seduction is played by the two young female protagonists in Nude Area. This arthouse film by the Polish director Urszula Antoniak, who lives in the Netherlands, negotiates the hierarchies between rich and poor as well as conceptions of Islam – entirely without dialogues.

This year’s GlobalEAST programme series was compiled with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Nederlands Filmfonds and EYE International.

For more information:
Filmfestival Cottbus: www.filmfestivalcottbus.de

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