Dutch filmmakers deem the general quality of Dutch feature films mediocre. On an international scale, Dutch feature film is lagging behind.
These are the outcomes of a survey organised by ‘Filmmakers Initiative 2018’ among directors, scriptwriters and actors to probe how Dutch filmmakers think about the content and quality of their work: Dutch film. Hereby 87% judges the quality of Dutch feature films generally of average (54%) to substandard (33%) quality. Asked about the cultural significance of Dutch feature film, 75,2% judges that to be insufficient (43,1%) to average (32,1%). 83,5% indicates that Dutch feature film is lagging behind on an international scale.
Dutch documentaries are doing significantly better, as a majority (65,5%) judges their level to be good. Television-series are in the middle: 76,4% judges them to be average (45,8%) to good (30,6%).
Of the questioned filmmakers, 64,7% states that under the current Dutch film climate, the possibilities for developing and executing their own ideas are inadequate. Over half (59,3%) of the filmmakers calls the artistic freedom to make what they deem qualitivily important or meaningfull limited (42,6%) to very limited (16,7%).
This morning the results of the survey, along with causes and possible solutions, were presented and discussed at the Filmmakers Symposium ‘Where do we set the bar?’ in a packed main venue of Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, in attendance of the Dutch minister of Culture, Mrs Ingrid van Engelshoven and over 300 Dutch filmmakers.
Filmmakers Initiative 2018 came into being last autumn out of an urge for a debate about the quality and cultural significance of Dutch film. Filmmakers Initiative 2018 is an initiative of Arno Dierickx (director, scriptwriter), Maarten Treurniet (director, scriptwriter), Gijs Scholten van Aschat (actor), Sytske Kok (scriptwriter, director) and Karin Wolfs (filmjournalist). The Filmmakers Symposium is made possible by Eye Filmmuseum and the Society of Arts.
The survey has been spread under members of the Dutch Directors Guild, the Dutch Scriptwriters Guild (Netwerk Scenarioschrijvers) and actors interest group ACT. Of the 292 respondents, 48,3% is actor, 44,1% is scriptwriter and 42,0% director - where the fact that respondents could indicate multiple disciplines is causing overlap. Almost half (47,8%) of the respondents had been working in the filmsector for over 20 years; a little under a quarter (22,5%) between 10 and 20 years; and over a quarter (29,8%) less than 10 years. The majority of the respondents (73,3%) is making feature films.