Nicole van Keelsdonk on Telefilm Okedoeibedankt

OK thanks. Photo: Sophie Gessens

Exciting children’s films for the target group from six to twelve years old, which are also fun to watch for parents and grandparents. This is the starting point for the six Telefilms this year. road movie OK thanks, about two deaf teenage friends, is now Nicole van Keelsdonk’s eighth Telefilm. “It’s not about deafness in our movie, but it definitely affects the course of the story.”

Nicole van Keelsdonk is the Queen of Telefilm. Since the first time in 1999, man, woman, dogShe has already made seven, including groundbreaking productions such as the musical morning swimmers (2001), winner of the Golden Calf Award swell (2004) and the bike movie Girlfriends Saddle pain (2007).

Despite all the successes of the series, it was her eighth film OK thanks He was hardly there. “Because of the crowds, I really wanted to let Telefilms pass me this year. But producer Roger Kramer of Labyrint Film was convinced I would make a very good team with screenwriter Lillian Siepisma for this edition.”

While talking with Kramer, Van Kilsdonk tells him about her research into the use of sign language. “For a previous project I had worked in a school with deaf children. Then I realized how little I knew about the deaf world. Unlike many other countries, sign language has only been recognized as an official language in the Netherlands since 2021. It is a beautiful and elegant language that has even been banned In the past. It didn’t belong, just like being left-handed. Anyway, I did research on that history, but it wasn’t intended to make an informational movie.”

“On this subject I had a plan for a feature film which I could not get more into. I then gave Lillian that with the message that she could completely change it or invent something completely different. In the meantime, I also became fascinated with the subject and transformed my original style, which was shown in a place One, to a very trashy road movie about two girlfriends.”

The two girls in OK thanks Experiencing their adventure are deaf Jamie (Mae Van de Loo) and hard-of-hearing Iman (Daa Zain El Abidine) who live at the same boarding school. Together, they decide to secretly travel to Paris to visit Jamie’s grandmother, who has just had an accident. Van Kilsdonk: “It’s actually a coming-of-age movie. It’s not about being deaf, but it definitely affects how the girls’ journey goes.”

Nicole van Keelsdonk. Photo: Ester Grass Vergara

One of the biggest influences he addressed was deafness OK thanks It was the important role played by the voice. While the picture shows how little the deaf are taken into account by the world, the soundtrack shows hearing viewers how the hearing impaired experience this world. The silence of sign language dialogues places more emphasis on the chirping of birds and ambient noises that would normally be taken for granted. Where, during the writing process, Lucas Moodyson we are the best! (2013) Inspired Energy Among Girls, Let’s Metal sound (Darius Marder, 2019), about a drummer who suddenly becomes deaf, and sees how much freedom he can have in using his voice.

Metal sound We came out as we wrote and it showed how inconsistent we can be. In the announcer, they asked us in advance if we could explain how we would approach our film in terms of sound, and we knew we wanted to work with perspective changes, also in sound, but how that would work, it was hard to say. when we were Metal sound I watched a movie, it was a relief that they were completely incompatible with, say, not showing anything when the main character was on the screen. For example, the main character also receives CI [cochleair implantaat voor slechthorenden en doven – AZ] Where you hear all kinds of disturbances, and sometimes there is sound from an auditory perspective. It simply depends on: what works, and it works. That’s why we also thought: we shouldn’t be dogmatic about it.

“We played in sound and music with certain sound frequencies that many deaf people feel. Composer Wilko Sterke used those frequencies in his electronic sound field. On TV, that can sometimes be too subtle to go along with, but we wanted to incorporate that.”

reaching the age of majority
The fact that the leading roles had to be played by hearing-impaired girls themselves was indisputable for Van Kilsdonk. That was an ethical issue, but also a technical issue. “local speakers In sign language they have a natural feel, and space to improvise or speak things their own way. There are many differences in how language is denoted. For example, a deaf Mai uses Dutch Sign Language (NGT) and Duy as a hearing-impaired person uses Dutch with Signs (NMG), which is not a formal language and is what hearing people usually use when signing. Apart from these differences, you also now see – as in every language – a lot of young people a snake They use it in their gestures which the elders do not understand.”

Since they both speak this language day in and day out, the two heroes really helped make the movie authentic, says Van Kilsdonk. Sometimes, for example, they used other gestures that seemed more natural to them. Especially with May, who plays Jimmy and was more withdrawn, I saw exponential growth. At first she did as we asked, but gradually she indicated more and more if she saw it differently. It was nice to see him. This is how adulthood came to be behind the scenes.”

OK thanks (Producer: Labyrint Film | Broadcaster: BNNVARA) It will be broadcast on Zapp (NPO3) on Sunday, January 1, 2023 at 10:00 AM.

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