June 1st to 10th, the 20th Brooklyn Film Festival will feature the Dutch film Brothers (NL: Broers). You can find the festival trailers here. Full festival passes are temporarily discounted ($150 instead of $200), so grab this opportunity and get your tickets on the official site!
When Alexander suddenly leaves on a road trip to France, Lukas decides to join him as he’s been trailing his charismatic brother for his entire life. But during this journey he discovers that he finally has to go his own way, not knowing this decision would be so all-encompassing.
‘My brother is my best friend. We differ 4 years in age, but we look a lot like each other. We laugh at the same jokes and sound identical. And yet we’re also different: extravert and introvert, goal-oriented and dreamy, responsible and wild. Cut from the same cloth but in different shapes. It’s the deepest form of friendship to me, but one that comes with a natural inequality: only one person can be the strongest. There’s a peculiar kind of balance between brothers: the dominance of one brother is entangled with the reticence of the other.
In Brothers I wanted to investigate the unique connection between two brothers. Alexander has always been the charismatic role model for Lukas, who has been following in his brother’s footsteps his whole life. Eventually, Lukas has to wrench himself out of the grasp of Alexander’s dominance to find his own way. It is poignant to realize that he might not have undergone this development if Alexander hadn’t dropped out of the picture. Lukas is like a plant that’s always been in the shadow of a huge tree. Only when the tree is chopped down the plant can catch the sunlight it needs to grow into a tree itself.
After our short film Sevilla and Marcel’s novel Rebel With Wings, Brothers again refers to the Icarus theme: the Greek myth about the arrogant boy who wanted to fly to the sun. I’m fascinated by people who dare to risk everything to get the most out of life, precisely by also flirting with death. Alexander is like Icarus, a boy who faces life like a loose cannon. A rebel who always pushes the boundaries. In style and pace, I wanted to give the film the same mercurial character as the reckless antagonist. For both Lukas and the viewer, Alexander is at times difficult to follow. Gradually, the film calms down and Lukas finds his own heartbeat. That way we experience how he comes more and more closer to himself. So I wanted the visual style to coincide with the development Lukas undergoes and in which we see him become an adult willy-nilly.’
Jonas Smulders (1994) made his film debut in the Netherlands with the One Night Stand (short film initiative of Dutch broadcasters VPRO, NTR, and VARA) “Tunnelvision”. More roles quickly followed and, in 2013, he became known for his leading role in the young director Mees Peijnenburg’s graduation project Even Cowboys Get To Cry and the feature film The Dinner. He also appeared in the television film Boys, which was selected for various international film festivals. In 2014, he played his second leading role in the One Night Stand feature Ketamine and had a guest role in the successful series Black Widow). In 2015, he played the role of young André in the film adaptation of the book Ventoux, as well as the leading role in the One Nights Stand feature A Good Life With A Happy Ending and We Will Never Be Royals. The last earned him a Golden Calf Award (Dutch Academy Award) for best actor in a television drama.
Niels Gomperts (1991) made his film debut in the feature film Shocking Blue by Mark de Cloe. This role earned Niels a Golden Calf (Dutch Academy Award) nomination in the Best Male Supporting Actor category. Also for his next role in the feature film LENA Niels received a Golden Calf nomination in the same category. On television, Niels is mainly known as Monic Hendrickx’ son in the critically acclaimed crime series Penoza (“Black Widow”).
Niels began his television career as host of the Villa Achterwerk (a youth series) program “Veel Tijd, Weinig Geld”. As an actor, he had a leading role in the television film “Dagen Van Gras”, based on
Philip Huff’s novel. He also had roles in television series such as Zusjes, Aaf and ‘t Schaep Met De Vijf Poten. In addition, he had roles in the crime series Van God Los and in the second season of
A’DAM – E.V.A.
In 2007 he co-directed the play “Backspace” for the theatre festival Cinéma et Justice, organized by the French Embassy and Amnesty International. It was the first of many collaborations with (screen)writer Marcel Roijaards.
His second short film Impasse had its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2008 as part of the feature film Stories On Human Rights with short films from directors such as Hany Abu-Assad, Marina Abramovic, and Abderrahmane Sissako. The project was selected for renowned film festivals in New York, Sarajevo, and Paris. Impasse received a Special Mention at the International Amsterdam Film Festival and won the NFTVM Vers Award for young Dutch filmmakers.
After directing the TV film Nina Satana and episodes of highly acclaimed television series such as Overspel and Van God Los, Bram Schouw won a Golden Calf (Dutch Academy Award) at the Netherlands Film Festival with the short film Sevilla. The film premiered in Clermont-Ferrand, was selected for more than 100 international film festivals, won multiple awards and was announced to
be in the worldwide top-10 films by Vimeo in 2014.
Brothers is his first feature film.
Marcel Roijaards (The Hague, 1966) studied acting in Antwerp (Belgium) and worked as an actor in well-known Dutch and Belgian theatre companies like RO Theater, De Appel and Het Gebroed. Some years later he switched to writing. Since then several original plays have seen the light of day and are performed on a regular basis.
In 2012 his first novel Rebel With Wings was published. His modern version of the Icarus story was critically acclaimed and distributed in Italy and the Netherlands. The book was mentioned as one of the 3 best youth novels of 2012 by the Dutch press.
Marcel wrote several short films, including Sevilla, directed by long-time friend and collaborator Bram Schouw and was the start of a successful partnership with producer BALDR Film. The film premiered in the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, was selected at more than 100 international film festivals, won multiple awards – including a Golden Calf (Dutch Academy Award) for Best Short Film and a Silver Tale for best Dutch screenwriter.
Brothers is his first feature film screenplay.
BALDR Film (2012) is the Amsterdam-based production company of Frank Hoeve and Katja Draaijer. International in scope, they focus on developing, producing and co-producing challenging high-quality fiction films and documentaries by a select number of filmmakers with a distinctive personal signature.
After they founded BALDR Film, they produced the short film Sevilla by director Bram Schouw and screenwriter Marcel Roijaards, which won the Dutch Academy Award for best short film and was screened at over 100 film festivals worldwide. After this, they produced many films such as Voor Emilia by Martijn Maria Smits (winner Dutch Academy Best Actress), According to Ptorocol (Nomination Dutch Academy Award best documentary) and IDFA nominated Those Who Feel The Fire Burning by Morgan Knibbe, which won the Dutch Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary. It was also the official Dutch entry for the Oscars 2016.
BALDR Film is a member of Ateliers du Cinéma Européen (ACEnetwork), European Documentary Network (EDN), Film Producers Netherlands (FPN), and the European Film Academy.
Brooklyn Film Festival
Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF), the first international, competitive film festival in New York, has closed submissions for its 2018 edition: Threshold. BFF received a total of 2,584 films from 120 countries and will select roughly 130 film premieres to be announced in May. The films are divided into six categories: feature narrative, feature doc, short narrative, short doc, experimental, and animation.
In each of the six film categories, BFF’s judges will select Best Film, Spirit Award and Audience Award winners. From all the six categories combined, BFF will award one of each of the following: best actor, best actress, best composer, best editor, best cinematographer, best screenplay writer, best producer, best new director and best Brooklyn project. Through the resources of our sponsors, BFF will assign to the winning filmmakers over $50,000 in prizes (products, services, and cash).
BFF’s selection criteria, a 21-year-old set of rules, constitute the true festival’s trademark. Participating films cannot be older than two years. Films are selected from the submissions only. All the selected films are shown twice. All the selected films participate in the competition. And the smallest film can win the top festival award: The Grand Chameleon.
The festival will run from June 1 through June 10th at two main venues: Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg and Windmill Studios in Greenpoint. Additional programming will be presented on June 5 at Syndicated in Bushwick and on June 8th at UnionDocs in Williamsburg. On June 6th and 9th, BFF will present a total of five shows at Made in NY Media Center by IFP in Dumbo, where it will also present the 14th annual kidsfilmfest on June 2. On June 9, the 7th annual BFF Exchange program will be hosted by Kickstarter in Greenpoint and on June 4th, BFF will be hosted by Alamo Drafthouse in Downtown Brooklyn. Additional programming and networking events will be announced at a later date.
The organizers of the Brooklyn Film Festival have been staging International, competitive film events since 1998. BFF‘s mission is to provide a public forum in Brooklyn in order to advance public interest in films and the independent production of films, to draw worldwide attention to Brooklyn as a center for cinema, to encourage the rights of all Brooklyn residents to access and experience the power of independent filmmaking, and to promote artistic excellence and the creative freedom of artists without censure. BFF, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.