For the past 17 years, Vlissingen becomes the stage of international film festival Film By The Sea. Every year in September, film lovers from all over the world come together in Zeeland to celebrate the wonderful medium of film. At the end of the festival, awards are distributed to the best films. There is a Literature Jury (also called the “Big Jury”, because these members are the big guys in the art scene), a Youth Jury and – for the first time this year! – an International Student Jury.
I am so happy to say that I am a member of the first edition of the International Student Jury.
Amuse & Press Presentation
At 5:00 PM, members of the International Student Jury came together at the Hogeschool Zeeland to meet each other and to receive more information about the program. As is to be expected of an International Student Jury, we all come from different backgrounds, speak different languages and have different takes on film. But soon one resemblance became apparent: we all love film.
After our first meeting, we travelled to the cinema in which Film By The Sea will take place in September. Here, we met our colleagues, the members of the Youth Jury. This is a group of 25 young adults, who will be staying a full week in Vlissingen during the film festival. Just like us, they will watch and review films, but their program also consists of workshops on filmmaking.
Together, we went outside to take pictures for the press and social media. The results of this rather chilly endeavor (the cinema is located right next to the beach) can be find below and on the official Facebook page of Film By The Sea.
Around 7:30 PM, it was time for the more official part of the evening: the Amuse of Film By The Sea. Here, the 17th edition of Film By The Sea was introduced by director of the festival, Leo Hannewijk. Not only did he reveal the poster of this year’s edition (you can see the festival poster below), he also revealed the film that will be screened after the Opening Gala on September 11, 2015: A Royal Night Out.
Furthermore, the members of the “Big Jury” were nominated by the chairman of the jury, Dutch author Adriaan van Dis. The jury is a mixture of authors, filmmakers and actors. At the end of the festival, these members will name the best film of Film By The Sea 2015.
Following the poster release, we were guided towards the cinema halls, were we sat down to watch the premiere of the new (and so, so beautiful!) teaser trailer of Film By The Sea. More information on the teaser trailer, can be found on the Facebook page.
“Ruth & Alex” (2014)
After the Amuse, “Ruth & Alex”, starring Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton, was screened. I had no idea what to expect, but what I got was one of the most heartfelt, sweet and moving films I have seen in a long time. The film follows the story of Ruth and Alex, an elderly couple who have been living in their sunlit, “hipster” apartment for 40 years. They both love their home, but there is only one problem: the five flights of stairs they have to climb to get home. Because of their old age, Ruth and Alex think it would be wise to move to an apartment with an elevator.
What was really striking about “Ruth & Alex”, is that the couple’s storyline is intertwined with that of a terrorist in New York City and that of their dog, Dorothy, as she struggles with surgery. The simple and ordinary story of Ruth and Alex stands in sharp, yet brilliant contrast with the manhunt on a terrorist, which is broadcasted on the couple’s television.
Another thing I absolutely loved about this film, was that it portrays old age in a “cool” way. Ruth and Alex have lived a long, beautiful and full life, and they are okay with the fact that they are now retired and “old”. This film actually makes me want to become old, to live with the one you love like elderly hipsters in a cool apartment. And that is the strength of “Ruth & Alex”: it makes you want things you never knew you wanted.
That was it for the International Student Jury until September, where we will attend the Opening Gala of Film By The Sea. I am already planning my outfit…