Dutch send ‘Boy’ to Oscars

Maria Peters directs period romance

BRUSSELS — Period romance “Sonny Boy” has been selected as the Dutch candidate in the race for next year’s foreign-language Oscar.

Pic is the first adult film from Maria Peters, a noted writer-director of children’s fare such as “Little Crumb” and “Peter Bell.”

Sonny Boy” recounts the romance between Waldemar (Sergio Hasselbaink), a student from Suriname, and Rika (Ricky Koole), a Dutch single mother 17 years his senior. Beginning in the late 1920s, their relationship survives local scandal only to be tested even further under the Nazi occupation.

Pic is based on a non-fiction best-seller by Annejet van der Zijl, and topped the Dutch box office for three weeks on its release in January.

The lead producer is Shooting Star Filmcompany, working with Ester Reglin Film in Germany and Menuet in Belgium.

Meanwhile actor-director Roschdy Zem’s racially charged crime drama “Omar m’a tuer” has been selected as the Moroccan entry.

Based on a case from 1991, it tells the story of a Moroccan gardener accused on dubious grounds of murdering his wealthy French employer. Sami Bouajila (“Hors-la-loi,” “Indigenes”) plays the lead.

French-produced pic plays in the Contemporary World Cinema section of the forthcoming Toronto Film Festival.