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Dutch Participation NZ International Film Festival


Three Dutch productions (two Dutch and one Belgium/Netherlands co-production) will be part of the New Zealand International Film Festival 2008.

Two of them are mentioned in the announcement of the festival organisation, you will find below, and a short (11 minutes) Dutch documentary EVOLIZER of Jan van Nuenen will be part of a compilation of shorts under the title 'DIGITAL PANORAMA, The Desire to create intense mood and atmosphere seems to bespreading through the digital animation realm at present'.

EVOLIZER is 'a frenetic journey through an elaborate digital jigsaw which leads to an undersea domain teeming with deep green life'.


Tena koe!

Dutch films at the New Zealand International Film Festivals 2008

I am contacting you regarding the 2008 New Zealand International Film Festivals running in Auckland between July 10-27 and Wellington between July 18 - August 3.

We have two wonderful films from the Netherlands. The films are:

1. Ben X
2. If We Knew

Both films will be showing in Auckland and Wellington, with Ben X also showing in Christchurch, Dunedin, Palmerston North and Hamilton.
Further details of each film are provided below.

We are thrilled to have these films as part of our programme and would greatly appreciate your support in helping us tell your network of colleagues, family, friends and community about it in advance. If you are involved in educational, cultural or social affairs we would be extremely grateful if you could make this information available to your club members / students. In many cases there are concessionary rates available for group bookings.

If your organisation has a publication/newsletter/website/noticeboard in which you could include some information about these films, we can supply you with any further information you may require, and we also have some terrific images for these films which I can email through to you.

Venue details, dates and sessions have been confirmed for Wellington and Auckland and are available in the festival brochure and online at from mid-June.
Please don’t hesitate to call me if there is any further information you require and once again, thank you!

Wellington Schedule

Ben X Tuesday 22-Jul-08 9:00 p.m. EMBASSY
Ben X Wednesday 23-Jul-08 4:00 p.m. EMBASSY

If We Knew Monday 28-Jul-08 6:15 p.m. FILM ARCHIVE
If We Knew Tuesday 29-Jul-08 2:45 p.m. FILM ARCHIVE

Ben X

Belgium/The Netherlands 2007
Director/Screenplay: Nic Balthazar
Photography: Lou Berghmans
Editor: Philippe Ravoet
Music: Praga Khan
With: Greg Timmermans, Marijke Pinoy, Laura Verlinden, Pol Goossen, Titus De Voogdt, Maarten Claeyssens
Festivals: Berlin 2008
In Dutch with English subtitles
90 minutes/M content may disturb

Online, Ben X is a high-scoring superhero with an arsenal of deadly weapons and a princess sweetheart named Scarlite. In the real world, he finds life so unfathomable that even the simplest greeting from his mother induces a meltdown. With insight matched by dazzling technical assurance, first-time Belgian director Nic Balthazar takes us deep into both worlds. We first meet Ben at home galloping through popular digital fantasy game ArchLord. But school for a boy diagnosed with everything from Asperger’s Syndrome to hypersensitivity, is a nightmare of bullying and bewilderment. What happens to Ben there is gut-wrenchingly shocking, though it probably occurs daily in dozens of schools around the world without anyone batting an eyelid. — BZ. “A galvanizing portrait of autism… Ben X boldly melds virtual reality with live-action vérité style and docudrama to create what may be a new film grammar.” — Denis Seguin, Screendaily

If We Knew
Als we het zouden weten

The Netherlands 2007
Directors/Screenplay: Peter Lataster, Petra Lataster-Czisch
Photography: Peter Lataster
Editor: Mario Steenbergen
Music: Candy Dulfer, Thomas Bank
Festivals: Amsterdam Documentary 2007
In Dutch with English subtitles
78 minutes/DigiBeta/M adult themes

Profound and sometimes distressing, this powerful film tracks from close up the staff of a Dutch intensive care neo-natal ward as they care for severely premature newborns. The technology at their disposal allows life to be sustained where death would once have been inevitable, thereby giving rise to grave ethical considerations. Is it right to inflict further suffering in the endeavour to save lives when the odds of succeeding are low; what ‘quality of life’ awaits babies when treatment could result in serious disabilities; if a baby cannot survive without being hooked to a machine, then what ‘life’ is it living? Faced with these questions on a daily basis, these dedicated paediatricians have established a rigorous protocol, but one which has caused an outcry: Dutch paediatricians have been accused of taking a Nazi-like view of their life and death powers. This close encounter leaves us in no doubt that this team is utterly scrupulous and that they are reminded daily that the power of medical science has its limits. — SR


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