Vlissingen 2023: The FILM BY THE SEA Festival Has Its 25th Edition

Editor, Europe; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
Vlissingen 2023: The FILM BY THE SEA Festival Has Its 25th Edition
The city of Vlissingen lies in the South-West of the Netherlands, in the province of (Old) Zeeland. English-speaking regions sometimes refer to it as Flushing. It's a beautiful town, reachable by train, with old streets, a harbor, a beach... and, in September, a film festival.

The Film by the Sea festival shows a wide selection of drama films and documentaries, a large part of which come from the Netherlands or indeed from the region of Zeeland itself. It is an international film festival though, with roughly two-thirds of its selection dedicated to cinema from around the world. It's one of the largest film festivals in the Netherlands: about 40,000 tickets are sold each year while over a 100 titles are shown. And this year, the festival celebrates its 25th iteration with international guests and several world premières.

We haven't featured Film by the Sea a lot here at ScreenAnarchy. That's because Vlissingen is a bit out of the way and September is always gearing up to be extremely busy. But this year the festival simply cannot be ignored. It opens on Friday September 8th with Wim Wenders' drama Perfect Days, for which its star Kôji Yakusho won the Best Actor award in Cannes this year.

There are other highlights, like the international première of Thomas Stuber's drama Dark Satellites (Die Stillen Trabanten), with cast and crew present including genre-legend Nastassja Kinski. Anna van der Heide's warm relationship story Rocco & Sjuul will get a special 'avant première'. There are world premières of Lilian Sijbesma's drama Onder de Blote Hemel (which translates as 'Under the Bare Sky'), about a young girl living in a cabin having to take care of her disabled mother, and Guido van Driel's Toen We van de Duitsers Verloren (which translates as "When We Lost from the Germans") which shows the terrible hangover we suffered in the Netherlands the day after we lost the 1974 Soccer World Championship final from the (indeed) German team, as seen through the eyes of several teenagers who have several other reasons to feel worried. Also, Joost Kraan's dystopian comedy science fiction "sing-along" musical Aquarel the Movie will be shown.

blackmail.jpgAnd a very special screening is planned of Alfred Hitchcock's 1929 thriller Blackmail, which will be projected in a church, in its silent version, with live musicians providing the soundtrack.

The competition this year focuses on films adapted from books and features eight titles, out of which a jury led by actress Monic Hendrickx will choose the winner. Another section of the festival, called Vive le Cinéma, focuses on new films in the French language. There are musical performances by Mia Nicolai and Kid Creole and the Coconuts.

As the festival draws nearer, we will provide more news about it (you can check the festival's programme here), but already it looks like Vlissingen seriously warrants a few visits in September...

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