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The day My Father Became a Bush by Nicole van Kilsdonk

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Toronto welcomes Dutch youth films

April 5 2017

Ten Dutch children's and youth films have been selected for the prestigious TIFF Kids International Film Festival in Toronto, which kicks off Friday April 7.

The following feature films will be presented at the 20th edition of TIFF Kids:
Mr. Frog
, directed by Anna van der Heide and produced by BosBros (Canadian Premiere).
When Mr. Franz's students discover that he occasionally turns into a frog, they must work together to guard the secret from their principal.

Mr. Twister at the Pitch, directed by Aniëlle Webster and produced by PV Pictures (International Premiere).
In this sequel to TIFF Kids 2016 selection Mr. Twister on Stage, the lovable oddball schoolteacher and his class experience numerous pratfalls as they aim to compete in an upcoming soccer tournament - despite none of them (including Mr. Twister) having any experience on the field!

The Day My Father Became a Bush, directed by Nicole van Kilsdonk, produced by Lemming Film.
A childlike sensibility is applied by the director to this story of a 10-year-old girl whose life is upended by the sudden outbreak of war, adapted from the novel by award-winning author Joke van Leeuwen. The Day My Father Became a Bush was part of the Official Selection of the Toronto International Film Festival 2016.

And the Belgian-Dutch-Swedish co-production Cloudboy, directed by Meikeminne Clinckspoor, NL co-producer: Submarine Film (International Premiere).
Reluctantly staying with his mother's new family among the reindeer-herding Sami people in rural northern Sweden, 12-year-old Niilas accidentally allows one of the reindeer to escape, and sets out on an adventure-filled search to return the missing animal to the herd.

Short films:
Chenelva & Sheneeva, director: Léon Bellaart, produced by Hollandse Helden (Canadian Premiere).
While conjoined twins Chenelva and Sheneeva are very different from one another, they are nevertheless completely supportive of each other's desire to be independent and express themselves as unique individuals. Their mother, on the other hand, feels that both girls should like the same everything - including clothes.

Chickens for Kimaru, directors: Eriss Khajira, Anne van Campenhout, produced by EO (International Premiere).
Living in a small town in Nairobi with his mother and two sisters, Kimaru feels strongly that an education will support his ambition for a better life. When his mother can no longer afford his school's fees, he decides to apprentice with a local chicken farmer, thinking that he'll be able to sell the eggs at the market. With great determination, Kimaru must learn the true meaning of perseverance if he's going to be able to return to school.

Safia's Summer, director: Els Van Driel, produced by EO (International Premiere).
Having been unable to attend school back home in Libya, Safia is eager for the opportunity when she and her family move to the Netherlands. She attends classes while living in a refugee camp there, but feels confined. When summer arrives, along with a camp where she can engage in a variety of activities, Safia begins to feel, for the first time in a long while, that there is hope.

Sammy Paramaribo: Bittersweet, director: Barbara Bredero, produced by IJswater Films (Canadian Premiere).
Sammy smells nothing but good aromas coming from her aunt's kitchen, but when she goes to see what's cooking, she lifts the lid to find sopropo - a very healthy but very bitter vegetable. Refusing to eat it, Sammy goes to visit her friends to see what's on their stoves.

The Girl of 672K, director: Mirjam Marks, produced by Hollandse Helden (Canadian Premiere).
In this timely documentary, what begins as a hobby quickly erupts into something much more as 15-year-old Annegien navigates the social media landscape, carefully curating her imaginative photographs for her nearly 700,000 followers. As Annegien struggles to reconcile her real and perceived
personae, she must also manage the increasing demand from her followers and the pressure to commodify their likes.

When Grey Is a Colour, director: Marit Weerheijm, produced by Netherlands Film Academy (North American Premiere).
Despite Cato's efforts to reconnect with her brother following his suicide attempt, he remains withdrawn. By chance, Cato meets an unexpected stranger who provides an escape from the tense emotions filling her house. Exploring this challenging subject from a young girl's perspective, this beautifully constructed short film uses a muted colour palette to convey the emotion of Cato's family.

TIFF Kids 2017 takes place April 7 -23: www.tiff.net/kids/

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