IFFR - CineMart project 'Future Me'
1 February 2021
ANALYSING THE DUTCH MILLENIAL
Young, Dutch and maverick, Vincent Boy Kars arrives at CineMart with Future Me, the third part of his millennial trilogy, together with HALAL-producer Olivia Sophie van Leeuwen, that attempts to understand the collective psyche of his generation. Dutch minority interest is found in three further co-productions presented during IFFR Pro.
In his first feature Independent Boy, a hybrid of doc and experimental, Vincent Boy Kars made it his mission to take all the decisions for his indecisive friend Metin, and record the results. In Drama Girl, he gave a young woman, his friend Leyla, the lead role in a film about her own life (as established actors played out the other roles). The film explored how the emotional events of her past influenced the development of her identity, and whether the experience could allow her to reframe these past events in a newer and perhaps more positive light.
In his latest project Future Me, which he will be discussing with potential partners during CineMart, he takes centre stage. Or rather his future self does, as interpreted by an actor who will play the ageing Kars. Also in the mix is a psychologist who will devise a set of future life circumstances to which the actor must react. How will Vincent live his hypothetical future and what does that say about who he is?
In his notes for the film, Kars expresses a creative and psychological dilemma, and what he must do to face it. "Control is a centralised aspect in all my films - whether it's about having control or keeping it, or about losing it or letting go of it. What lies beneath my desperate need for control? I've been in denial for a long time, but the only sincere way to end this trilogy is to expose myself for once. I find this absolutely terrifying and uncomfortable. But if there is a film in which I will expose myself, it must be this one."
Vincent Boy Kars
He elaborates on this with SEE NL, at the same time articulating a very particular and idiosyncratic modus operandi in which the journey is the real point of the exercise, not necessarily what he finds at the end. "I think in concepts, not in narratives or stories. For me, every project, every film starts with a simple construct, and from there on I am developing the film... I am not that much interested in storytelling. I am more interested in the conceptual side of filmmaking. For me that is a natural thing. It's a niche."
He continues: "I don't know why I make it so difficult for myself. It's a hard job. I have been working on the project now for one year. It's a very lonely process in which I am overthinking constantly to get the filmic construction right...I want to make this film to see what happens. That is my drive. I am interested in creating an environment in which anything or a lot can happen."
Kars points out an obsession of his generation that makes such introspection both fascinating and possible (and highly entertaining, one should add). "The millennials are the first generation that grew up with the ubiquitous presence of cameras in everyday life, with the possibility (and expectation) of sharing all these recordings with others through 'social' media. The connections that are created among us largely rely on the exchange of data. Our self-made content serves as the backdrop for our existence. Embarrassment no longer seems to exist. Pregnancies, broken relationships, deaths, births, selfies with meals: everything is shared on YouTube and Instagram."
He also stresses why film is his preferred medium for artistic expression. I suggest that he could write a book. No, as he is dyslexic. An art installation could be a possibility, he muses, but cinema is king in one particular respect. "It is the only place where you sit down, put your phone away for two hours and concentrate on another world. I like my audience to be in that exclusive environment. I feel at home there, where the audience is completely focussed. I like my work to have a lot of layers so it is really about the interpretation of the viewer. So it is important that that particular viewer is therefore very concentrated on the film."
The three other CineMart projects in which there is Dutch interest are diverse, both in subject and geographical terms.
In the Greek Novak, directed by Harry Lagoussis, a reclusive old scientist leaves his solitary life behind in order to join a group of young admirers at the cost of his own sanity. Koji Nelissen and Derk-Jan Warrink of Kepler Film have partnered as co-producers on the project.
Stienette Bosklopper's Circe Films is Dutch minority partner on Argentinian Nele Wohlatz's ¿Duermen los peces con los ojos abiertos? (Do Fish Sleep With Their Eyes Open?). The film's logline reads how "the dramaturgy of labour migration resists the heroic journey, when Lixue or Bo are needed elsewhere, they just leave. Lixue disappears from the film, but Ah, the tourist, stumbles over her tracks. The three are connected by their feeling of not belonging anywhere in the world. But what does belonging mean anyway? To whom, to what, does one belong?"
Meanwhile Jeroen Beker of Dutch outfit Bastide Films has teamed up with Belgian producers Annemie Degryse and Melissa Dhondt (Lunanime) on Christina Vandekerckhove's Milano. The film tells the story of an eleven-year-old boy who cannot speak and can only hear with hearing impairments, and therefore must express himself using sign language. Raised by a father who doesn't know how to raise a young kid, Milano and his dad are forced to reappraise their lives when, all of a sudden, the boy's mother resurfaces.
Future Me has been supported by the Netherlands Film Fund.
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