Leiden International Film Festival Wrap up

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Expats enjoyed a free preview of (Untitled), the winner of the Iron Herring prize at the fifth annual Leiden International Film Festival.

After six days, 59 films, 18,000 visitors, three parties, two screenings accompanied by live music, two film cafes, one film quiz, eleven fresh herrings and one Iron Herring, the fifth annual Leiden International Film Festival has drawn to a close.

Running from 26-31 October, the festival opened with Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, premiering in The Netherlands on December 16.

The film screenings were held in several movie houses and cultural centres in Leiden; the parties were held at Scheltema and the LVC, all in the city centre within walking distance of each other. The festival staff were all friendly, helpful and informative. The atmosphere in the movie lobbies and parties was festive and social. You could meet just about anybody there: civic leaders, funky artists, students, expats, scientists, grandparents, assorted film industry folks.

LFF crowd
Since the Leiden Film Festival is an internationally oriented event, the LFF and the City of Leiden took the opportunity to host a special Expat Night. After a free drink from the bar and an introduction by producer Catherine DiNapoli,  everyone enjoyed a free screening of (Untitled). Then the lucky expats could wander over to join the Arty Party with armed with coupons for two free drinks. It’s good to be an expat (but you already knew that).

The Leiden Film Festival offered a wide variety of film genres:

  • Iron Herring nominees – Six films selected as finalists for the Iron Herring prize
  • Panorama – premieres, arthouse and independent films
  • Russia & WWII – films commemorating the 65th anniversary of the victory of Russia over Nazi-Germany
  • Egypt and Magic – films to accompany a current exhibit in the National Museum of Antiquities
  • Japanese Monster Invasion & Camera Japan – in collaboration with the Seibold House, a museum dedicated the Japanese culture
  • Dutch Shorts Competition – offers young and talented filmmakers an opportunity to show their films on the big screen
  • International Shorts Competition – the audience was the jury for these short films from all over the world

This year marked the launch of the Iron Herring, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the LFF. Six films were selected as finalists in the competition, to be judged by an international jury of film professionals. The prize, made possible by sponsorship from Ziggo, was EUR 10,000 to be used towards nationwide release of the winning film. The first winner of the Iron Herring was Jonathan Parker’s (Untitled). Producer and writer Catherine DiNapoli received the award.

From the jury statement: "(Untitled) tells a story of passions, artistic struggle, the nature of art and creativity and our perception of it - choosing a witty and eye-opening approach. The jury believes this film deserves to be seen by the Dutch audience outside the festival circuit and hopes the award will facilitate its wider distribution".

The film voted most popular was Haar Naam Was Sarah, adapted from the bestselling book by Tatiana de Rosnay. The public gave it a rating of 4.7 out of 5. The film is currently showing in theatres in The Netherlands.

The winners of the Dutch shorts competition were MO by Eche Janga in the Fiction category and The Origin of Creatures by Floris Kaayk in the Animation category. Edgar by Fabian Busch was voted best in the International Shorts Competition.

In case you missed out on this year’s festival, please visit the Leiden International Film Festival website here. Hope to see you there next year!


 Lynelle Barrett / Leids Film Festival / Expatica

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