Dutch producers may win a piece of the foreign film Oscar on Sunday

A still from Quo Vadis, Aida
A still from Quo Vadis, Aida

It may be another year without a Dutch nomination for best foreign language film at the Oscars but Dutch production companies were involved with no fewer than three of the current candidates, the Parool reports.

The Bosnian contender Quo vadis, Aida directed by Jasmila Žbanić, the Danish film Another Round by Thomas Vinterberg and the Chilean documentary The Mole Agent by Maite Alberdi are all in the race for next Sunday’s top prize and all were co-produced by a Dutch production company.

European co-productions are becoming more common, boosted by the Dutch film fund’s Production Incentive, a financial scheme which allows producers to claim part of the costs made in the Netherlands.

Over half of the 405 co-productions between 2014 and 2020 came from abroad and would probably not have involved Dutch companies if the it hadn’t been for the financial support of the film fund, the paper said.

The most extensive Dutch involvement is with Quo Vadis, Aida, regarded as a likely winner in the category. It not only stemmed from the financial support from the fund but from its emotive subject: the fall of Srebrenica in 1995 in which Dutchbat troops played a part.

Apart from Dutch actors Raymond Thiry, Reinout Bussemaker and Teun Luijkx Dutch film crew members also worked on the production.

Filmmore visual effects company was hired to add effects like explosions and tanks but also worked on shots of the twenty thousand refugees who sought shelter in the UN compound.

Some 450 extras had to stand still for hours in the hot sun so the shot could be duplicated to suggest a crowd, visual effects supervisor Stefan Beekhuijzen said.  ‘I thought that would be hard going for them but these people were so committed to the film they came to thank me for helping to make it,’ Beekhuijzen said.

The last time a Dutch film was nominated for an Oscar was in 2003 but Ben Somboogaard’s Twin Sisters did not win. The last director to go home with the statue was Mike van Diem for Character in 1997.

The Mole Agent can be seen via streaming service Picl. Another Round en Quo vadis, Aida? Will be released in Dutch cinemas later in the year.

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