“Many children are basically ready to grow old quickly.”

The two-man Keplerfilm club, which saw the light of day in 2016, has wasted no time showing off its calling card: Their first three films have the distinction of bringing major current themes to the fore in an accessible way. The trophy cabinet now includes a Golden Calf, a Golden Rose, and a Director’s Award from the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Dirk Jan Warenke, 37, and Koji Nielsen, 41, met each other at the Film Academy. Both spent their flying hours in established production houses before they dared get on their feet: Warrink at Lemming Film, Nelissen at Millstreet and Johan Nijenhuis. The name Keplerfilm came up with the two having a drunken night at the pub. “The astronomer Johannes Kepler mapped all the new stars in the 17th century. We’re trying to do that too, just on a smaller scale,” Warnke explains.

Their first feature film, The Magic Realist Bolado, opened the Netherlands Film Festival in 2020, won the Golden Calf Award for Best Film and won the Academy Award. For this spiritual coming-of-age drama set in Curaçao, director Ichi Janga and co-writer Esther Duesker took inspiration from traditional stories of enslaved people who escaped from the salt mines.

The film has been hailed as a successful advocate for a new and diverse generation of directors. “We found it strange that no film had yet been spoken of in Papiamento, which talks about the folklore and rituals of the island,” says Warink. “These stories are also part of Dutch culture and deserve to be told.”

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The young adult sci-fi film received a similarly enthusiastic reception in 2021 Captain NovaAbout a girl who travels through time to save the world from an ecological disaster. The film won all the major awards at the Cinekid Festival, but was not given a chance in cinemas; The day after the premiere in early December, all cinemas closed due to the last major lockdown. Director Maurice Troburst and co-screenwriter Lotte Tappers were also given carte blanche for this ambitious project. “If there’s one topic that concerns young people, it’s climate change and its consequences,” explains Warenke. “But you shouldn’t make it boring or pedantic. We wanted to wrap up the letter with an interesting story.”

The pain of the minimal number of movie theaters was eased by the sale to Netflix, which was done by Captain Nova Reached a potential audience of millions. Also a third feature film pink moonabout a father who wants to take his own life, was praised for its contemporary philosophical subject matter and avoidance of flat melodrama.

Family movie Sinstra Hotel, which hits theaters this week, is Keplerfilm’s most traditional production yet. The comedy (cost: 3.5 million euros) is about a girl (Bobbie Mulder) who wishes her parents away in a hotel in the snow and gets her way. It’s the first movie with a large audience mudguardDirector Michel Tenhorn.

Pancake fight

“It could work out very well if you put an outspoken, artistic director with a clear signature on a larger, more accessible project,” Warenke believes. “You see this happening more and more in America now, in the superhero studio Marvel, for example.”

The disappearance of the parents Sinstra Hotel It leads to scenes that particularly appeal to younger viewers: a full-bodied cleaning cart races through empty hallways, an old-fashioned pie fight under a rickety Christmas tree. But in the end, the absence of parents also has its drawbacks, as who fixes the electricity when it goes out or provides food when the store becomes empty?

There is a serious contemporary message beneath this infectious nonsense. “Many children are basically ready to age quickly,” Warnke explains. „Sinstra Hotel It is a call to take the time to be a kid: dare to risk, dare to play, dare to discover.”

Also Read: What Kids Movies Are Out There Let’s see it all at Christmas In the cinema?

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