EXCLUSIVE: Dutch company working on big budget historical family film dramatising the events behind the Reformation of 1517.

Dutch company Bijkers TV (the outfit behind local box office hit Cool Kids Don’t Cry) is developing an ambitious, big budget new historical family film, Falko, that will dramatise the events behind the Reformation of 1517.

The new film is to be directed by Dennis Bots [pictured], and is scripted by Karen van Holst Pellekaan - the team behind Cool Kids Don’t Cry and Secrets of War. The producer is Harro van Staverden.

Falko will be coproduced with German partner Flying Moon.

The film, which is budgeted at €6m, is aimed at family audiences

It tells the story of Falko Voeten (12), the son of printer Klaas Voeten, who secretly prints banned literature about the new religious movement. When his father is arrested, Falko unwittingly becomes the focal point in the hunt for an important letter written by Martin Luther.

Threatened by the Inquisition and helped by Marieke (12), a Catholic orphan from the underground ruins of the underground canal/sewage system, he faces a race against the clock to save his father from execution as a heretic.

Falko is set in Antwerp at a time when printing is first becoming popular. “Without printing, the Reformation never would have been spread,” points out writer van Holst Pellekaan. She compares the growth of printing to today’s internet and social media revolution.

Producer Harro van Staverden is at the Berlinale looking to appoint an international sales agent. German and Belgian funders are already circling the project.

The idea is that Falko will shoot in the summer of 2015 and then receive its world premiere in 2017, possibly at the Berlinale. It is one of several projects expected to be made to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

During the EFM, van Staverden will also be drumming up interest in another new Bijker film, Secrets of War, also directed by Bots and coproduced with Rinkel Films.