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Feature film

The production of feature films in the Netherlands definitely got off to a slow start: in the early decades, feature films were only produced occasionally. The first long Dutch feature films date from the second decade of the 20th century. Before then, only ​​short fiction films were made. It took until after the Second World War before some degree of continuity in production could be ensured.

Still uit De inbreker van Frans Weisz

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Production flourishes in the First World War

Around the First World War, there was a brief period of flourish: because it had become harder to get films from abroad, Dutch producers jumped in to fill this gap in the market. But the production of feature films again began to slump after the end of the war, and soon the majority of the feature films playing in Dutch cinemas were once again of foreign origin.

Success of sound film cut short

The advent of sound film in about 1930 created a demand for feature films in which Dutch was spoken. But this brief upturn quickly ended with the arrival of the Second World War.

Truus van Aalten in Het meisje met de blauwe hoed (1934)
Truus van Aalten in Het meisje met de blauwe hoed (1934)
Johan Walhain in Fietsen naar de maan (1962)
Johan Walhain in Fietsen naar de maan (1962)

New institutions boost production

It was not until the late 1950s that the production of feature films got a structural boost, with the creation of a production fund and a film school. Both of these developments paved the way for major films of the 1970s that proved popular with a large audience, such as Blue Movie (Wim Verstappen), Turks fruit, and Soldaat van Oranje (both by Paul Verhoeven). Between 1972 and 1977, one in four cinema tickets sold in the Netherlands was for a Dutch feature film, which was a peak in Dutch film history.

Oscar winners and international co-productions

In the last few decades, the Netherlands has seen a steady increase in the production of feature films, with popular genres such as children's films, book adaptations, and films about the Second World War. The successes include Oscar winners such as De aanslag (Fons Rademakers), Antonia (Marleen Gorris), and Karakter (Mike van Diem). If one also includes foreign co-productions, the Netherlands now produces about sixty feature films every year.

New productions added to the vaults

The vaults of Eye contain material from most of the Dutch feature films. These materials range from a single, unfinished print to complete films with negatives, audio material, and working copies. Today, producers are required to give a copy of their film to Eye if they have received funding from the Filmfonds (the Netherlands Film Fund).