Dutch films have taken a record 15.3% share of their localmarket in the first quarter of 2004.

Inthe first three months of this year, 952,000 people went to see a Dutchproduced film. Dutch films took Euros 6.7m at the box office, out of a total ofEuros 43.4m.

Two titles are largely responsible for the strongperformance.

Multicultural comedy Shouf Shouf Habibi!, has rackedup 306,000 visitors, and ranks as the most popular film after The Lord OfThe Rings: The Return Of The King in February.

Children's movie Pietje Bell 2 was released beforeChristmas but has still attracted 276.000 people to the cinema in the firstquarter of this year.

Other Dutch titles contributing to the record number were Feestje!(Party!), De Passievrucht (The Passionfruit), and Pipo En DeP-P-Parelridder, all reaching the box office top 10 in one of the firstthree months.

Other strong perfomers include Cloaca, Kees DeJongen, Grimm En Suske and Wiske: De Duistere Diamant.

Wilco Wolfers, chairman of the Dutch Federation for Cinematography(NFC) which represents distributors, theatres and producers, attributes thesteady rise in attendance of Dutch films since 2000 (when it was under 6%) to anumber of successful film initiatives, such as government tax breaks, thatboosted not only the number of productions but also their budgets.

The government's CV-tax scheme, which supports the filmindustry, expires in December