In Cannes, the Netherlands’ long tradition of international co-productions pays off with competition entry “A Gentle Creature,” from the Berlin-based, Kiev-raised director Sergei Loznitsa. The France-Germany-Lithuania-Netherlands title is co-produced by Marc van Warmerdam’s Graniet Film (the company behind his brother Alex’s 2013 competition player “Borgman”) and Peter Warnier’s Wild at Art. Warnier’s Warnier Posta did the sound-editing for Loznitsa’s second feature “In The Fog.” Of course, Loznitsa is no stranger to the Netherlands; Atoms & Void, his production and distribution company with Maria Choustova, which backed his most recent documentaries including “Maidan,” is based there.
In an average year, the number of co-productions, both majority and minority, practically equals the number of Dutch productions shot mainly or wholly in the Netherlands. Why are there so many international co-productions from this small country with a non-hegemonic language? As Doreen Boonekamp, CEO of Netherlands Film Fund, points out, “co-productions expand the possibilities for distribution in co-production countries and beyond.”
She believes that the best international co-productions start by putting the creative parts together in an organic way. The fund helps Dutch producers and directors to work internationally through specially designed funding schemes and offering support through international labs that expand their networks. Moreover, since 2014, the fund has offered a film production incentive, a 30% cash rebate on local expenses. So far, this incentive has funded 201 projects, of which 134 are international co-productions.
In addition to sponsoring the travel of a group of young Dutch producers so they can benefit from the Cannes Producers Network, the fund is organizing a number of networking events at the fest, involving Dutch and international producers, including a lunch with reps from French-and-German-speaking…