2018: The year of the Dutch wildlife film

2018: The year of the Dutch wildlife film

Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam (WFFR 2018) is a multi-day film festival focusing on the screening of wildlife films and documentaries. The festival takes place in the heart of Rotterdam each fall. From 24 to 28 October 2018, the best and most recent nature documentaries from the Netherlands and abroad will be screened in film theater Cinerama, where visitors, young and old, can enjoy up to 80 film screenings.

After three successful editions of the Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam and five years after the success of The New Wilderness, there is a definitive revival of the Dutch nature film sector. No less than three Dutch nature films have been released to premiere this year in the cinema. With films about the Veluwe, nature in Amsterdam and the Wadden Sea, 2018 will be the year of the Dutch wildlife film.

The New Wilderness, the first Dutch nature film in the cinema, from the directors Mark Verkerk and Ruben Smit and produced by EMS FILMS, was an unprecedented success in 2013. The film about the Oostvaardersplassen attracted full venues; no fewer than 700,000 visitors have seen the film in the cinema.

Less than five years later, the success of The New Wilderness has led to a veritable boom in nature films. WFFR spoke with Luc Enting (WILD), Ignas van Schaick (The Wild City) and Ruben Smit (WAD) about their new films, about the current success of nature films and about what we can expect in the coming years.

WILD

From 1 February 2018 the film WILD, colorful families on the Veluwe, has been running in more than 60 cinemas in the Netherlands. WILD is the first cinema film by Luc Enting. He spent more than 2 years many hours in tents and huts in the Veluwe to show the shy animals at their most beautiful place.

For Luc, the reason for making his film was the feeling that the Veluwe, one of the largest nature reserves in Northwest Europe, deserves its own film. With his film, he wants to make it clear to people that we have to be careful with the Veluwe, that it should not become an amusement park. “Nature must remain nature. We still have gems, where animals can have a beautiful and protected existence.”

In four seasons, a lot happens on the Veluwe. The main characters are a fox, a red deer and a wild boar, which have offspring and survive in the Dutch wilderness. We see how they search for food through the seasons, how they meet their partners and raise their offspring. Spectacular images that you do not normally see. And can not see, because filmmaker Luc Enting received special permission to film in areas that are not accessible.

The Wild City

The Wild City is the third film in the series of the makers of the successful nature films The New Wilderness (2013) and Holland, Nature in the Delta (2015). It is a film that shows the dynamics, beauty and humor of nature in the city with surprising plot twists. A compelling story full of adventurous encounters between animals and people where sometimes not the human being, but film cat Abatutu is central. He loves the city, knows where to find a place and knows its inhabitants, both animals and people.

De Wilde Stad paints a picture of the city from a completely new perspective, that of the unnoticed inhabitants: the many wild animals and plants. Mountain ranges of glass and concrete, industrial savannas, kilometers of sewer pipes. For a large number of wild animals, trees and plants, our streets, tunnels, waterways and brick buildings are just as suitable and attractive as a primeval forest or new wilderness. The city does not repress or replace nature, it is nature. The French black-footed gull and the vinex fox are just as wild and special as the seal and the panda.

“Nature is closer than you think”, says Ignas van Schaick of EMS FILMS. “Of the 40,000 species of animals and plants that occur in the Netherlands, 10,000 live in urban environments.” Amsterdam, with its reputation and ambitions as a ‘green’ city, becomes the stage for an upbeat exploration into the deep and often humoristic bond between people and animal.

WAD: Surviving on the border between water and land

Filmmaker Ruben Smit also did not sit still during the past year. Together with Mark Verkerk he won a Golden Calf for The New Wilderness. After De Levende Rivier (2016), his new film about the Wadden Sea will premiere this fall. Ruben Smit is first and foremost a nature lover, someone who tries to tell a story based on his passion. He approaches all his films as an ecologist. He tells stories from the ecosystem.

Like in his latest project WAD: Surviving on the border between water and land. “The Wadden Sea Region, as the only world heritage site in the Netherlands, deserves to show a large audience how it works in such a beautiful and wild place. It is an area that is under enormous pressure due to the many interests that are involved: gas, salt and sand extraction, fishing, tourism, you name it.”

The Wadden area as you have never seen before. All animals, nature, weather conditions, and seasons in one breathtaking film.

During the Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam 2018, filmmakers will have the chance to win a much-coveted Flamingo Award. There are no less than 27 films, divided into 9 categories, nominated by the selection committee. All nominated films can be watched during the festival. The winners of the Flamingo Awards 2018 will be determined by the jury. The nine awards will be presented on Saturday 27 October during the Flamingo Award Ceremony.

Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam (WFFR 2018), from 24 to 28 October 2018, Rotterdam

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