Pierre Bokma (’T SCHAEP MET DE 5 POOTEN, BORGMAN, CLOACA), Rifka Lodeizen (OVERSPEL, PUBLC WORKS) and Chris Peters (THE POOL) will play the lead roles in the new film by director Paula van der Oest (LUCIA DE B., BLACK BUTTERFLIES) based on the novel TONIO by A.F.Th. van der Heijden, produced by Alain de Levita (NL Film) and Sytze van der Laan (Nanook Entertainment). The screenplay was written by Hugo Heinen (KNEELING ON A BED OF VIOLETS, NOVA ZEMBLA). Shooting will start in July.
Paula van der Oest: “Tonio will be a poignant film about mourning; about a writer in danger of losing himself in his desperate desire to turn back the clock; and about the power of love.”
On 23 May 2010, 21-year-old Tonio van der Heijden (played by Chris Peters) was hit by a car and taken to hospital in a critical condition. He died shortly afterwards. The lives of his parents (played by Pierre Bokma and Rifka Lodeizen), who had to watch their only son die in intensive care, are transformed drastically. His life leaves his parents with a phantom pain – everything around and in them reminding them of him. They mourn, but at the same time have to try to prevent their own lives being drawn into a downward spiral of sorrow.
A.F. Th. van der Heijden based his novel TONIO (published by de Bezige Bij) on the tragic accident that claimed the life of his only son. The book won the Libris Literatuur Prijs and the NS Publieksprijs awards, and the author was awarded the prestigious P.C. Hooftprijs. More than 200,000 copies of the book have now been sold.
The film is being produced with NTR, the Netherlands Film Fund, the Production Incentive and CoBO.
Distributor September Film will release TONIO in cinemas in 2016.