Vandevorst's 'Sea' to make debut at event

UTRECHT — Prolific Dutch co-producer Els Vandevorst’s newest pic “Sea of Silence,” lensed by Belgian director Stijn Coninx, will have its world premiere at the Holland Film Meeting, a weighty sidebar to the Dutch Film Festival set to unspool in this city Sept. 24-Oct. 3.

“Sea of Silence,” a tale of a Catholic farming family trying to overcome difficulties, set against the backdrop of the first moon landing, will be among a raft of feature films and documentaries from Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg being offered as part of the Benelux Screenings.

More than 200 film and TV commissioners, buyers, distributors, sales agents and investors from across the globe have been invited to view new pics from Benelux.

The Variety Cinema Militans Lecture on the state of the industry will close the Film Meeting, which runs Sept. 26-29. Peter Greenaway will present the lecture.

The director of more than 50 pics and scriptwriter of some three dozen films, Greenaway’s lecture will center around the theme of “the position and viability of cinema in the present age.”

The screenings replace the Marketplace, which unspooled only Dutch films in previous years, and are part of a new effort by Holland Film Meeting to embrace the importance of pan-European co-production in the making of Dutch film.

For Coninx, “Sea of Silence” is only the second film he has directed since he was nominated for an Oscar in 1992 for “Daens.” “Where the Light Comes” bowed in 1998.

“With a respected Belgian director and Dutch producer and actors, the film is a good example of the kind of talent coming out of these territories,” fest director Doreen Boonekamp tells Variety.

Film is being produced by Vandevorst’s Isabella Films, with Denmark’s Zentropa among the co-producers. The Benelux Screenings will also include the world premiere of “Dutch Light,” a documentary about the influence of lighting and of the Dutch sky on Dutch and internationally renowned painters who took up the brush in Holland.

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