The Dutch film industry has turned to European films as a source for re-makes in an attempt to foster local production. Three titles - 14 Tage Lebenslaenglich and Sex Oder Liebe (both German) and the Swedish comedy Gossip - have been selected to be given a Dutch make-over.

The Dutch industry body - Film Fonds, has commissioned three young directors to make their debut based on adapted foreign screenplays. Initiated by Jean van de Velde the project is intended to give young directors and screenwriters a chance to gain experience with existing stories that they can modify. "Usually young moviemakers are very insecure in writing their first screenplay. Using an already made project should give them more confidence.''

Out of fourteen contenders the chosen projects are: 14 Dagen (based on 14 Tage Lebenslaenglich), by screenwriters Paul Ruven and Thomas Acda, director Victor Löw to be produced by Moviemaster. Mata Hari (based on Gossip), by screenwriter Jane Waltman, director Floor Maas and produced by Egmond Film & Television and Vlinders (Sex Oder Liebe), by screenwriter and director Pim van Hoeve, producede by NL - Nijenhuis en de Levita Films.

The Dutch Film Fonds is putting up Euros 20,425 development cash for every project. The final-script versions will judged later this year by the Long Features committee for final support.

All three production companies have first-look deals with local distributors. UIP is interested in Mata Hari and Independent will deal with Vlinders. Exact budgets are not yet available. If everything goes according to plan the producers are aiming to start shooting in 2003. The producer of 14 Dagen, Bob Hubar, is already aiming for the Dutch Filmfestival in 2003.

Remakes are still a rarity in the Netherlands; George Sluizer remade Spoorloos as The Vanishing, Dick Maas recently redid The Lift as Down while the biggest success was the 1984 remake of the 1955 classical family picture Ciske De Rat.