The film industry in the Netherlands is referred to as Cinema of the Netherlands. Because the Dutch film industry is small and there is little or no worldwide market for Dutch films, practically all films are funded by the government. This financing might come from a variety of sources, including The Netherlands Film Fund and public television networks.
Dutch Short Films have a long and storied history, The first Dutch film was the slapstick comedy Gestoorde Hengelaar (1896) by M.H. Laddé.
In recent decades, Dutch short films have continued to leave their mark on the global film scene. The Netherlands Film Festival, established in 1981, has become a prominent platform for showcasing and celebrating Dutch Short Films. The festival, held annually in Utrecht, provides a stage for emerging and established Dutch filmmakers to share their works with a diverse audience. It has played a pivotal role in promoting and preserving the rich tradition of Dutch cinema.
The most success of Dutch short films can be attributed to several factors. Dutch Short filmmakers have a penchant for storytelling that combines unique perspectives on universal themes. The country's geographical and cultural diversity also allows for a wide range of narratives, from urban tales set in Amsterdam to rural stories in the Dutch countryside. This diversity has given rise to a rich tapestry of cinematic experiences that resonate with audiences around the world.
The most acclaimed Short Films in the history of Netherlands Cinema
Father and Daughter (2000) The movie is directed by Michael Dudok de Wit. The main storyline is a father says goodbye to his young daughter and leaves. As the wide Dutch landscapes live through their seasons so the girl lives through hers. She becomes a young woman, has a family and in time she becomes old, yet within her there is always a deep longing for her father.
High Tide (2015) Directed by Claire Zhou where a man takes himself to a woodland cottage to escape the pain and confusion of an impending divorce. Whilst enlisting the owner to fix the broken water he begins to uncover and embrace his hidden desires - a journey of self-discovery and healing.
Turkse chick (2006) Directed by Lodewijk Crijns. The main story is a young skater boy get seduced by a Turkish Chick after he bumped his head.
Even Cowboys Get to Cry (2013) Directed by Mees Peijnenburg. The plot of the movie is When Sven provokes a fight after an evening out in Amsterdam his best friend ends up in a coma, and nothing is the same as before.
Naakt (2006) Directed by Diederik Ebbinge and Albert Jan van Rees. A eight-year-old Erik's mother takes him to the sauna for the first time in his life. There, he has to disrobe and sees lots of naked men and women around him. He feels very uncomfortable at first but then he seems to enjoy it.
Water (2012) Directed by James leads a lonely life in a luxurious castle. He never goes out with friends. One day he finds himself interested in an injured, handsome Swedish soccer player.
I Can Fly (2017) Directed by Ruwan Suresh Heggelman the 22-year-old Lisa is approached on the street by the 23-year-old Sven, after a flirt and a joke, Sven asks Lisa the question: Do you believe that I can fly?
The Blue Virgin (2018) Directed by Joeri Pruys the Blue Virgin is a drama set in the sixties about Thomas, refined and wealthy, who treats his beautiful young wife Nathalie to a trip to sunny France. When she suddenly disappears in a medieval village, he offers the locals his fortune to find his wife. But he discovers they have used it to fund their religious quest, and is then offered to join their army or never see his wife again.
Wednedays (2011) Directed by Aaron Rookus. The story is about every Wednesday, 8-year old Kris accompanies 28-year old Willem to the swimming pool where they have a whole lot of fun together. They swim, go down the slide and eat fries.
Rain (1929) Directed by Mannus Franken and Joris Ivens. The short film is composed of highly artistic photographs that capture the transformation of the bustling cityscape and the effects of the natural phenomenon before, during, and after the sudden rain shower in Amsterdam.
Lockbuster (2015) Directed by Jonathan Elbers. Joost colleagues are preparing for their exciting vacation plans but Joost dreams away looking at a film on his PC; The unattainable blockbuster adventures of his favorite action hero. When he accidentally locks himself in the utility room, he is forced to find the hero within.
Dilemma (2005) Written and directed by Boris Paval Conen, and supported by the Dutch Film Fund among others, Dilemma obviously had a considerable budget at its disposal. A jogging man begins a fun race with a boy on a bicycle but when the jogger stops at the road the boy continues into the path of an oncoming lorry. Time and people freeze for the jogger. He has the power to direct the lorry away from the boy. However, he faces a dilemma as to where he directs it.
Sigh (2007) Sigh (Zucht), written by Tjyying Liu, is one of those lovely coming-of-age dramas. A young girl, Sofie, is keen on Erik, a boy about her age. She and her father are taking Erik with them to the beach but Erik seems as interested in Sofie's father as her. When Sofie instigates a kissing game, Erik seizes the chance to give his heart away.
Contribution of Dutch Short Films
In recent years, Dutch short films have continued to gain recognition on the international stage. Filmmakers like Daan Bakker, whose short film Centaur (2015) was selected for the Cannes Film Festival's Director's Fortnight, have showcased the country's talent and creativity on a global platform. The Netherlands' commitment to supporting the arts and nurturing emerging talent has further cemented its place as a hub for short film production and innovation.
Dutch short films offer a captivating journey through the heart and soul of the Netherlands, where creativity, tradition, and innovation come together to produce compelling cinematic works. From the early pioneers who challenged societal norms to the contemporary filmmakers who continue to push the boundaries of storytelling, the Netherlands has left an indelible mark on the world of short films. These cinematic gems serve as a testament to the Dutch passion for storytelling and the ability of short films to convey profound narratives in a compact yet impactful form. In the following sections, we will explore the various genres, themes, and notable Dutch short films that have contributed to the Netherlands rich cinematic legacy.