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Oscar Hopefuls from The Netherlands

by Nathaniel R

Romy's Salon is one of nine finalists for the Dutch Oscar submission

Dutch films have been on our brains since Rutger Hauer passed away, so here's a timely bit of news. The NOSC (Nederlandse Oscar Selectie Commissie) will choose the Dutch Oscar submission in early September. Nine finalists are reportedly up for the honor...

  • Bloody Marie (Guido Van Driel & Lennert Hillege)
    An action drama about a drunk artist living in the Red Light District. 
  • Kabul, City in the Wind (Aboozar Amini)
    A documentary about daily life in Kabul inbetween suicide bombings. It's won a few festival prizes. 
  • Romy's Salon (Mischa Kamp) 
    A young girl spends each day in her grandmother's salon. This is from the director of Boys (2014) a gay drama we enjoyed quite a lot. This doesn't open in The Netherlands until the fall so we hope it does the festival circuit in September.   
  • De Libi (Shady El-Hamus)
    A comedy about teenagers trying to get into a nightclub 

  • My Extraordinary Summer with Tess (Steven Wouterlood)  
    A drama about a boy on summer vacation with his parents. This has been quite successful at international festivals where youth films are awarded including a "Special Mention" at Berlinale. 
  • Open Seas (Michiel van Erp)
    Coming of age drama about three young friends and the death of one of their fathers. It's based on a novel. This is the oldest film among the possible submissions since it opened right after the cut off point for last year's Oscar submissions.
  • Sheep Hero (Ton Van Zantfoort)
    A documentary about a shepherd forced to innovate with the changing times. It's won some festival awards. 
  • Take Me Somewhere Nice (Rna Sendijarevic)
    A Dutch-Bosnian girl travels to Bosnia to meet her father for the first time. Jury "Special Mention" at the Rotterdam Film Festival. 
  • Vechtmeisje (Johan Timmers)
    A young kickboxer struggles with the breakup of her parents. Like Extraordinary Summer it fared well at family film festivals. Europeans tend to make MUCH better youth films than the US does. 


None of these filmmakers have ever been submitted from The Netherlands so whoever's chosen will have their first taste of the Oscar race. We haven't even a good educated guess about which of these nine films they might choose, though, so let's guess that it's won of the youth dramas: either Romy's SalonVechtmeijse, or My Extraordinary Summer. 

Antonia's Line (1997) proved to be the most successful Dutch Oscar winner in US theaters

The Netherlands have been up for the Oscar in the Best International Film category a total of 7 times. Their first two nominations came via The Village on the River (1959) and Turkish Delight (1973) and their most recent two nominations were Zuz & Zo (2002) and Twin Sisters (2003), both of which were disasters when they hit arthouse theaters in the US earning less than $50,000 each. In between those doubles, The Netherlands won three Oscars for The Assault (1986), Antonia's Line (1995), and Character (1997)... all three of which were successful in their arthouse runs, with Antonia's Line becoming a very big specialty hit. The drought of the past 15 years must be irrritating to the NOSC since they've made the finalist list thrice in that time frame (Black Book, Winter in Wartime, Accused) but no nominations have followed. 


p.s. thank you to Erik Anderson for the heads up on this news. 


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Reader Comments (6)

I am looking for:

COLOMBIA: Monos (Sundance winner)

CHILE: Ema (TIFF + Venice selection)

BRAZIL: The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao / Bacurau (Cannes winners)

SPAIN: Pain & Glory (Cannes winner)

FRANCE: Les Miserables / Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Cannes winners)

CHINA: Saturday Fiction (TIFF + Venice selections)

SOUTH KOREA: Parasite (Palm D'Or winner)

SENEGAL: Atlantique (Cannes winner)

July 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRiah

This is posing a problem for me and my Melbourne Film Festival programming. I could do TAKE ME SOMEWHERE NICE, but it'd be at the expense of THE DEAD DON'T DIE. The latter will certainly get a cinema release here, but I do want to see it early (despite the middling reviews). The former almost certainly won't get a release, and we don't get a Dutch Film Festival in this country, so MIFF will probably be the only chance to watch it on a big screen. But it is not a strong enough contender for me to put it on the "likely Oscar submission" (i.e. must try to see it) list.

Decisions, decisions...

July 30, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

Travis C - but nobody seems to like DEAD DON'T DIE... at least in this case you'll get an unknown quantity

July 30, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I felt so grown up watching Antonia's Line in a movie theatre.

July 30, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Nathaniel R - Yes, good point. But it is Jarmusch (who has never let me down). Plus I have since realised that the distributor is Universal who never released FIRST REFORMED here in Australia (and so my viewing at MIFF was the only chance I had) so they are not necessarily to be trusted with the arthouse (and my original assessment of "it will certainly be released" may be incorrect).

Plus,often in the middle of a 41-films-in-8-days marathon, I need something light to balance out all the Cannes films and potential Oscar submissions.

PS Thanks again for updating your International Film submission charts at this time every year. It helps me make many good decisions for my MIFF schedule.

July 31, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

Nathaniel - why is the ultimate decision (INSTINCT, according to your charts), not in the list of nine in the above article?

September 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

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