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Becoming Mona

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From the Netherlands at Chicago

13 October 2020

Dutch cinema is very well represented at the upcoming edition of the Chicago International Film Festival with two feature films and two shorts.

Becoming Mona*), Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Niels van Koevorden’s first feature film, produced by Submarine will have its international premiere in the New Directors competition of the Festival. The directors duo are no strangers to the Festival, since their documentary Ne Me Quitte Pas*) (2013) also screened at Chicago.

Becoming Mona, based on the bestselling novel 'Kom hier dat ik u kus' by Griet Op De Beeck (English language title: ‘Mona in Three Acts'), is an emotionally-charged tragicomic journey of courage, forgiveness and self-discovery. The films tells a story in three parts of Mona’s struggle to break free from the stifling constraints of a life lived in the service of other people’s egos. International sales are handled by Nine Film.

Ivo van Aart’s The Columnist**) is selected for the Festival’s After Dark programme. The film, which is produced by NL Film (International sales: Dutch Features) has recently already received positive appraisal from North-Americain film critics following its screening at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal.

The Columnist is about successful columnist Femke, who is flooded every day by (anonymous) nasty messages and death allegations on social media. One day she decides the messages need to stop and her anger ignites fast. The act of violence and revenge eases and inspires her – she writes like never before.

Pilar*), a short film directed by Diana van Houten, Janis Joy Epping and Yngwie Boley, and produced by il Luster, (sales: Square Eyes) will be presented as part of both the Shorts and Women in Cinema programmes. The hand painted animated film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in the Short Cuts competition.

Pilar shows a young woman who is fascinated with the wilderness beyond the walls of the post-apocalyptic and desolate village she lives in. A dangerous intruder finally gives her the chance to discover the wild animal within herself and the means to escape her suffocating situation.

And lastly, the short horror film Nightingale, directed by Jasper de Bruin and produced by Make Way Film, is part of Chicago’s A Creeping Chill-After Dark section.

In Nightingale a heavily overworked nurse who is being stalked by a mysterious figure during her night shift in the nursing home. When Julia demolishes the locked storage room in search of a weapon, she finally meets him face to face and things quickly take a turn for the extreme.

The 56th edition of the Chicago Film Festival takes place from 14 to 25 October: www.chicagofilmfestival.com/

The festival will take place online with the exception of a small number of screenings at the ChiTown Movies Drive-in cinema in Chicago.

*) films supported by the Netherlands Film Fund

**) supported by CoBO Fund and BNNVARA

For more information:

Becoming Mona
Submarine Film

Sales: Nine Film

The Columnist
NL Film

Sales: Dutch Features

il Luster Films

Sales: Square Eyes Film

Make Way Film


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