Netherlands Film Festival

September 27, 2019

Thinking of heading to Holland but fancy something different to the classic canal cruises, flower fields and cafes? This autumn the Netherlands Film Festival takes over the city of Utrecht, showcasing the very best in Dutch cinema. Get there on a DFDS ferry to Holland and immerse yourself in the cinematic splendour of Dutch film.

The nine-day film festival premieres some of the best independent and art-house films from the past 12 months as well as highlights disciplines that draw inspiration from cinema, including TV, music and visual arts. Read on to find out more about some of the events taking place at the festival which runs from 27 September – 5 October 2019.


Over 30 films will be screened throughout the film festival from a range of genres, from prison-based romances, to shape-shifting adventures, to coming of age road trips. Many short films are screened before the longer feature films which focus on subjects such as grief, dreams and family and often Q&As follow so you can get your chance to grill the director of the film.

The acclaimed English language film, Dirty God, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The film focuses on Jade who, after an acid attack has left her face, arms and upper body scarred, learns to regain her self-esteem. A moving film which will make you think.

For something lighter, About that Life follows three young people from the suburbs on their road trip across Amsterdam. A true coming of age novel, about the zest of life and future dreams.

Rafaël follows the lives of two partners who are separated by the refugee crisis, who desperately try to reunite in time for the birth of their son, Rafaël. A romance which gets to the heart of human relationships.

Whatever you choose to see, the wide choice of films will cater for all tastes. Plus, conventional films aren’t the only things at the Netherlands Film Festival. Dip your toe into the world of cinema in a masterclass or workshop or indulge in some music at one of the many performances during the festival.


A series of masterclasses are available with film industry professionals, from the Director of the new Downton Abbey film to the former Vice-President of Music Production for the Walt Disney Studios.

Learn how to convey an international TV hit to the big screen and discover how much freedom you have as a director of a TV programme with a fixed format with Director of the Downton Abbey film and numerous television programmes, Michael Engler.

Discover more about the role of music in cinema, finding out how to make ‘movie magic’ with the power of the perfect soundtrack with Andy Hill, former Vice President of Music for Walt Disney Studios.

If you’re looking for more interaction, there are plenty of installations and workshops available for you to flex your creative muscles.

Interactive Installations & Workshops

Immerse yourself in the 10 interactive media productions up for the prestigious 2019 Golden Calf award for Best Interactive. Play, experience and admire a selection of games, virtual reality films and multimedia productions free of charge at two locations across the city across the duration of the festival.

Rafaël Rozendaal’s Double Pressure uses websites, installations and prints to focus on the process of transformation, springing from a fascination of moving images and interaction. See his exhibition on the outside of the windows of the Centraal Museum throughout the festival from 8:00 – 23:00.

Take your interaction further on a two-day speculative storytelling workshop where you will work with other participants to create several stories around the theme of Feminist Futures and World Building.


Hear Dutch indie pop duo Donna Blue belt out their tunes influenced by 1960s music and movies, Hollywood romance and French chansons, on Friday 27th September at Winkel van Sinkel. Or enjoy a lazy Sunday on the 29th September with Robin Kester’s dreamy folk and The Visual’s dark pop. Spend Thursday evening indulging in some electropop from A.ROSE and dance all night on Friday to hip-hop duo GIAN.

With a wide range of films, music and interactive installations, the 39th Netherlands Film Festival will give an insight into the creative landscape of Holland and showcase some powerful, innovative work. Plus, with DFDS you can get there in comfort on one of our daily ferry crossings to the Netherlands.  __________________________________________________________________________________

You can get to Netherlands Film Festival easily with DFDS. Simply board one of its daily ferries to Holland and Utrecht is a short drive or train ride from Amsterdam. Find out more about DFDS’ ferries to Holland here.

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