Ronald Plasterk, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, is expected to announce plans for a major shake-up of Dutch film with the launch of a single national film agency.

Under the plans, a number of existing film bodies would be merged to create the Dutch Film Institute. These would include the Filmmuseum, promotional agency Holland Film, The Dutch Institute for Film Education (NIF) and Filmbank, which promotes and support experimental film. National film financing agency The Netherlands Film Fund will retain its independence.

The plans aim to create a single platform for Dutch film that could operate at both a national and international level.

Plasterk had presenting the film bodies’ merger as “budget neutral”, although the agencies involved have been lobbying for extra funding. Yesterday (October 12), the minister is understood to have agreed a modest increase in the overall budget for the merged body to enable it to engage in new activities.

Filmmuseum boss Sandra Den Hamer is being tipped as the frontrunner to lead the new agency, which is expected to launch on January 1. The agency will eventually be housed at the new building of the Filmmuseum / Dutch Film Institute, which is under construction and is due to open at the end of 2011.

The boards of the agencies involved in the merger were due to meet today (October 13).