Netherlands Production Platform hands out awards during Holland Film Meeting.

Midway through the 33rd Netherlands Film Festival (25th Sept to 4th October) in Utrecht, Festival Director Willemien van Aalst has made an impassioned call for the film sector to fight back against the ongoing funding cuts.

The theme of the festival is “Naked.” This is partially a tongue in cheek tribute to one of Utrecht’s most famous film figures, Sylvia Kristel, who died last year and who is buried in the town. (Kristel’s most famous film Emmanuelle screened over the weekend.) However, van Aalst pointed out, “as a film community in the Netherlands at the moment, we are getting naked because of all the cuts.”

The Festival is running on a budget of €3.2 million, down from €3.6 million in 2012.

There have been job losses in the Festival organisation, which is now more streamlined and more dependent on freelancers and volunteers.

“This has been a difficult year and I am very proud that we’ve presented the festival in the way we’ve done it,” van Aalst said. She noted that many of the films screening at this year’s event went into production before the cuts began to be felt. Admissions are set to rise slightly on last year’s figure of around 140,000.

One part of the Festival that has remained largely unscathed is industry event, the Holland Film Meeting (26 to 29 September), which organises coproduction market, the Netherlands Production Platform (NPP).

“The Holland Film Meeting helps our (Dutch) producers to work on coproductions. At this time, that is so important,” van Aalst said.

The NPP awards were announced over the weekend.

The Binger Award went to Monk, written by Roosmarijn Roos Rosa de Carvalho, to be directed by Ties Schenk, and produced by Marleen Slot at Viking Film, Netherlands. The Camalot & Filmmore Cinema Emerging Talent Prize also went to Monk, one of the buzz titles at the coproduction market.

The WarnierPosta Prize went to Heartstone, written and directed by Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson, produced by Anton Mani Svansson, of Join Motion Pictures, Iceland.

There were also prizes in the new works in progress section.The Haghefilm International DCP Prize went to Europe’s Borderland directed by Jakob Preuss, produced by Jakob D Weydemann, of Weydemann Bros., Germany. The Filmmore Work-in-Progress Prize went to Land, directed by Jan-Willem van Ewijk, produced by Bero Beyer, of Augustus film in the Netherlands.

The Golden Calf awards, the most prestigious national prizes for Dutch cinema, will be announced at the end of the week.