Dutch fest embraces ‘Godforsaken’

Pic scores helmer, actor, screenplay kudos

UTRECHT, Netherlands — “Godforsaken,” a thriller romance about two petty criminals in a small town, picked up three Golden Calves, the Dutch equivalent to the Oscar, in a gala closing ceremony to the Netherlands Film Festival on Friday. Director kudos went to “Godforsaken’s” first-time feature lenser Pieter Kuijpers; Tygo Gernandt drew the actor nod for his role in the pic. Kuijpers and Paul Jan Nelissen went home with the Golden Calf for screenplay and a monetary development prize of E7,000 ($8,120).

Jury awarded Ben Sombogaart’s “Twin Sisters” a Golden Calf for feature film. The tale of twins separated at an early age and set against the backdrop of WWII wove difficult issues surrounding the war into the tale of two individuals and their personal dilemmas, the jury said.

Kim Van Kooten walked away with the actress award for her lead role in “Phileine Says Sorry.” It was the second Golden Calf for Van Kooten who, along with Lodewijk Crijns, was awarded one for screenplay in 2001.

The Golden Calf awards capped perhaps one of the most political fests ever seen in Holland, with all sectors of the industry using the event as a platform to take broadsides at the Dutch government for its planned axing of a film production tax incentive. The 10-day event, which opened Sept. 24, drew more than 105,000 visitors, up from 90,000 a year earlier, and screened some 67 features, 15 in competition, with 212 documentaries, shorts and TV dramas also shown. Some 1,500 professionals from across the globe attended.

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