Rene Scholten, Dutch producer and film industry vet, died Oct. 26 in Amsterdam of cancer. He was 57.
Scholten, chairman of the Dutch Feature Film Producers Assn., produced or co-produced some 60 features, shorts and documentaries. At the time of his death, he was busy on a longform film titled “Polonaise,” directed by Nicole van Kilsdonk.
He achieved a reputation for his support of young film directors and as a producer of auteur-driven cinema.
Frank Bak, a colleague and a friend, noted Scholten did not achieve much commercial success but played a pivotal role in the industry. “He gave a number of young filmmakers their first chance,” the Theorema Films producer said. “Rene was always more concerned with the quality of films..”
Scholten graduated from the Dutch Film and TV Academy and after being involved in 32 film projects in the 1970s, he founded Studio Nieuwe Gronden in 1980 and began working with people who have now become some of Holland’s more respected directors, including Danniel Danniel (“Egg”), Paula Van Der Oest (“Another Mother”) Ger Poppelaars (“The Three Best Things In Life,”) Mijke de Jong (“Brittle”) and Sinke (“Belle Van Zuylen”).
Short films “Requiem” and “Schrodingerskat,” which he produced, each received a Golden Calf for best short film, and at the Dutch Film Festival in September, Scholten was presented with the Culture Prize, a Golden Calf for lifetime achievement.
During the last decade of his life Scholten was involved in a number of international co-productions, including the Marion Hansel-directed “The Quarry.” His last co-production, “The Other Life,” helmed by Belgian writer-director Hugo Claus, was premiered recently at the Flanders Intl. Film Festival in Ghent.
Scholten is survived by longtime partner Digne Sinke, who also directed some of the films Scholten produced.