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Paula van der Oest to direct 'TONIO' for NL Film

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"TONIO is the most significant Dutch novel of recent years. We are proud that the author has placed his confidence in NL Film to turn this poignant story into a feature film."

Paula van der Oest will direct the new film based on A.F.Th. van der Heijden’s requiem novel ‘TONIO’, for which NL Film has obtained the film rights. The novel revolves around a tragic accident that took killed the only son of the author and his wife, Mirjam Rotenstreich. The screenplay is by Hugo Heinen. ‘TONIO’ is to be produced by Alain de Levita and Sytze van der Laan of NL Film. The lead actors are to be confirmed. The film’s shooting period is planned for 2015.

Quote Alain de Levita: “TONIO is the most significant Dutch novel of recent years. We are proud that the author has placed his confidence in NL Film to turn this poignant story into a feature film. In Paula van der Oest, we believe we have the ideal director to realise this.”

Story: In ‘TONIO’, 21-year-old Tonio van der Heijden is hit by a car and taken to hospital in a critical condition. The hospital is unable to save him. The lives of his parents, who have seen their only son die in intensive care, are suddenly turned upside down: they are grief-stricken, and have to struggle to prevent their own lives descending in a downward spiral of sorrow and anguish.

Paula van der Oest directed the recent cinema hit ‘Lucia de B.’, the feature film ‘Black Butterflies’ which won a Golden Calf, and the Oscar-nominated ‘Zus & Zo’ , among many others.

Screewriter Hugo Heinen’s previously scripts include such films as ‘Nova Zembla’ and the television series ‘De Zomer van ‘45’ .
A.F.Th. van der Heijden’s autobiographical novel ‘Tonio’ (De Bezige Bij) won both the major Dutch literary award the Libris Literatuurprijs and the Dutch Rail readers’ award, the NS Publieksprijs. He has received various awards for his oeuvre, including the prestigious literary awards the P.C. Hooft Award and the Constantijn Huygens Prize.

NL Film’s previous feature films include ‘Men in the City’, ‘The Storm’, ‘Lang & Gelukkig ’ and ‘Taped’. Series such as ‘Penoza’, ‘Mother, I Want to Join the Cabaret ’ and ‘In Treatment’ have been produced by NL Film. For further information on NL Film, see www.nlfilm.tv.