In a surprise move, it was announced last week that DickWillemsen's contract as director of the Maurits Binger Film Institutewill not be renewed.

Willemsen is on six month's notice and will be leavingthe Institute in early August.

Founded in 1995, the Amsterdam-based Binger Film Instituteoffers project-driven training for screenwriters, directors, producers andscript editors.

In recent months, there have been complaints in certainquarters that the Institute is not serving the specific needs of the Dutchindustry.

Willemsen rejects this charge. "If you look at 2004,around 48% of all people participating (at the Binger Institute) are filmmakersfrom within the Dutch film industry - either Dutch or foreigners living in theNetherlands," the outgoing Binger boss told

Willemsen,who joined Binger in 2001, helped give Binger an international outlook. Amongthe initiatives he hatched was Project 10: Real Stories From A Free SouthAfrica, a documentary training programme in South Africa. Several films fromthe programme were screened at international festivals.

The Institute is funded mainly by the Dutch Government. Lastyear, the Government's advisory council, The Raad Voor Cultur, expressedsome disquiet that the Institute hadn't made up its mind whether itsprimary focus was on education or filmmaking.

Willemsen was striking a philosophical note about hisforthcoming departure from the Institute. "They (the Board) are entitledto change heads. It can be good for an organisation to be shaken up again byanother person who might look at management or content or finance in adifferent way," he said.

Willemsen's successor is expected to be named shortly andwill take up the reins at the Institute in the early autumn.