L'olandesa is a historical short film set in the province of Bergamo, in Italy. It is an ambitious project, which puts the province of Bergamo, its history and its customs, often overlooked, on the big screen. Inspired by family events and fueled by the deep affection that binds the director to his homeland, the film sets out to tell Bergamo and its people through the medium of cinema. With this crowdfunding campaign, we want to ask for the support of the local community, without which we could not make this film, and involve it in our adventure.
1965. Katrien is a young Dutch woman who moved to the birthplace of her husband Sergio, in the province of Bergamo. She struggles to adjust to life in the small town, also having to face the distrust of the fellow villagers towards a foreigner. Living so far from her family often makes her feel lonely: she finds herself having to raise her two-year-old son, Dante, with little support. Sergio, seen by many in the village as a hothead, struggles to find employment. He is too absorbed in his own problems to understand the difficulties faced by his wife. Their already turbulent relationship turns sour when Sergio decides to ask the parish priest, Don Anselmo, to help him find a job. The priest sets a condition: Dante must be baptized within the Catholic Church, something Katrien has always opposed. After Sergio decides to comply to the priest's request, Katrien begins to question her choices and her future with Sergio.
Katrien (26) gave up her life in Amsterdam to marry Sergio and move to Italy. She's struggling to adjust to her new home, but she doesn't want to disown her culture and her values. Rather, she would like to pass them on to her son Dante.
Sergio (30) was born and raised in the province of Bergamo, but has never really fit in to life in the village. He is seen by many as a hothead and a troublemaker, particularly after a few episodes that led to him being ostracized by various employers.
Don Anselmo (50-60) is the parish priest of the village where Sergio and Katrien live. A very influential figure in local life. His apparently charitable attitude hides a conceited and self-righteous personality.
Although entirely fictional, L'olandesa is inspired by the experiences of my grandmother, who moved from the Netherlands to a small town in the province of Bergamo in the 1960s, after marrying my grandfather. Her stories inspired me to explore how a couple like them could find a way to live in those years, in a rural environment that was still closed to the outside world. The story of Sergio and Katrien fascinates me because they have to confront both the internal tensions of finding a balance between their two different cultures, and the external pressures that push them to conform to the culture around them. The heart of the story centers on two people who must rediscover how to rely on each other: they will have to learn that the harmony and affection that unite them are stronger than the conflicts and expectations that want to drive them apart.
L’olandesa tells a story full of meanings and certainly rich of original filmmaking ideas. It presents a crucial moment in the history of Italy, the 1960s, and it does so by choosing a geographical setting, the province of Bergamo, which is still almost completely unexplored on the screen. The film portrays it in the historical moment of passage from a peasant and rural society to the one with industrial and city-like traits that is still known today. The film lends itself to a production of high value, especially in terms of cinematography, production design and costumes. Nonetheless, the particularly attractive aesthetic opportunity that the production of this film represents is supported by a mature thematic variety. The dignity of work, the difficulties of marriage, mistrust, religion and social pressure are all subjects that the screenplay deals with from the perspective of a historical investigation and that yet also lend themselves to infinite connections to our present and imminent future.
With L'olandesa, we will stage the environmental and human aesthetics of a small town in the Province of Bergamo in those years: a simple and rural place, with its habits and its standards of dress, in which the figure of Katrien and her colourful clothes will stand out like a foreign body. The film will see a preference for internal locations, both public (church) and private (Sergio and Katrien's house), characterized in a realist way through a precise and detailed historical research. The production will see a coexistence of real locations, portrayed from life, which have remained unchanged over time, and more elaborate set pieces, which give light to the colours and functionality of the early 60s. The public spaces, permeated by the local culture and its expectations, will be contrasted with the private spaces, in which Katrien and her family must find their personal way of life amidst internal tensions and pressures from outside. It is in these private spaces that elements of Katrien's home culture will be seen, timidly embedded in a world that is not their own.
Set under the bright sun of a long summer, the film will be a journey into the memory of a time past. Pastel tones, inspired by the faded photographs in our family albums, will transport us to the aesthetics of the 60s. To achieve this intimate and timeless look, we will shoot in digital format, on an Alexa Mini paired with a set of warm and soft textured lenses, with a preference for the handheld camera, bringing us close to the characters and immersing us, without being intrusive, in their intimate everyday life.
L'olandesa lends itself to a top-level festival circulation, both in Italy and abroad. The recent works by the director – Juri Ferri – have been selected and awarded at several festivals, including the oscar qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival in Los Angeles, the BAFTA qualifying Carmarthen Bay Film Festival, and the New Renaissance Film Festival in London and Amsterdam (where Meidagen won the "Best Historical Short Film" award). We aim to present L'olandesa at the major film festivals open to short films in our country. Internationally, we believe that L'olandesa can also be successfully presented in the Netherlands and in the United Kingdom where the director lives, as well as on the European festival circuit.
Once the diffusion of the short film on the festival circuit is concluded, we hope that L'olandesa will land on one or more VOD platforms to present the film to as wide an audience as possible, such as Meidagen – the director's previous short – which was shown on Shorts TV, the largest television channel in the world dedicated to short films, also present in Italy in the form of a VOD platform.
The distribution company Pathos Distribution (Rome), which distirbuted the short film L'Oro di Famiglia, by Emanuele Pisano, nominated for the David di Donatello in 2021, has expressed interest in represeting of L'olandesa at national and international festivals and VOD platforms.
Writer and Director
Born and raised in the province of Bergamo, he studied in the Netherlands before obtaining an MA in filmmaking the London Film School in London. His first short UB-13 (2018), shot in studio on 35mm, premiered at the legendary Chinese Theater in Hollywood during the 2018 HollyShorts Film Festival and screened at the Imperial War Museum in London. His second short Meidagen (2019), inspired by a family story and set in the Netherlands during WWII, premiered at Film by the Sea in Vlissingen and has since been shown and won awards at festivals from all over the world, including in Italy, Portugal, Australia and Brazil. In December 2022 he presented the documentary short Daniele Maffeis: Still Plenty of Music Within, on the figure of the Bergamasque composer Daniele Maffeis, during a special event in the Sala Alfredo Piatti in Bergamo.
After various experiences abroad, L'olandesa is the occasion for him to tell a story set in his homeland.
A graduate of Westminster Film School, he co-founded and directed the Brixia Film Festival (BRIFF). He works as an independent director, screenwriter and producer of short films and commercials, but also as an assistant in the production and distribution of feature films and documentaries. His recent works include writing and directing the science fiction short film Helium (2019), the 16mm action thriller Thieves (2019) and the Lovecraftian science fiction film set during World War II From Beyond (2023). He produced the London Film School graduation short Lo Sguardo in 2021.
After specializing in cinema and television at IULM, in 2007 she became co-artistic director of the international short film festival Cortopotere ShortFilmFestival (until 2010), in charge of documentary selection, fundraising and communication. Co-founder of Oki Doki Film and Oki Doki Rent, she has produced various documentaries including Gli Anni e i Giorni (2012), L'aria sul Viso (2018) and Il profumo dei fiori di carta (2019), and several short films such as Ferine (2019), previewed at Venice Critics' Week and winner of numerous international awards, Dove si va da qui (2020), 18 Marzo (2023), which premiered at the Bergamo Film Meeting, Il rimbalzo del gatto morto (2022) presented at Alice nella Città. On the desk, still on paper, the screenplay under development Io, Tommaso e la ragazza mela, finalist for the Solinas Prize.
He has been writing and directing since 2008. As a screenwriter, he was awarded at the 70th and 71st Venice International Film Festival (in 2003 and 2004 with the short films I Liv you and Rose rosse) and co-wrote Gaymers, an episode in the collective feature film Feisbum (2009) with Pietro Ragusa, Andrea Bosca and Caterina Guzzanti. As a director, after collecting several award-winning short films, he made his debut with the feature film Gli Anni E i Giorni (2012). In 2015 the screenplay Io, Tommaso e la ragazza mela written together with Mariano Di Nardo was a finalist for the Solinas Prize. Since 2010 he has directed music videos and commercials for many TV and digital platforms, and continues to write and direct short films, as well as produce shorts and documentaries directed by other directors (Ferine, Dove si va da qui, Il rimbalzo del gatto morto). Founding partner of Oki Doki Film - a film and television production company - and of Oki Doki Rent - a film technical rental company, he recently wrote and directed the short film 18 marzo, presented at the Bergamo Film Meeting.
After graduating in communication at the University of Milan, he moved to the United Kingdom to complete his studies at the London Film School. Over the next few years he worked in London in the art department for feature films and television productions, as well as designing various short films in Europe and Asia. In 2020 the short film directed by Rafael Manuel Filipiniana, for which he was production and costume designer, wins the Silver Bear in the short section of the Berlin International Film Festival. Recent works (as assistant art director and art director) include the independent feature film Cottontail directed by Patrick Dickinson, the second season of the series I Diavoli for Sky Italia and the series Criminal Record for Apple TV+.
Director of Photography
Director of photography, he divides his time between the United Kingdom and Italy. He's a London Film School alumnus, where he's now back as a part time visiting lecturer. His most recent work has won accolades at the Berlinale and Encounters - including a NAHEMI cinematography award - and toured the festival circuit, including selections at world-renowned festivals like Palm Springs and Clermont Ferrand.
Graduated in set design at the Santa Giulia Academy in Brescia and in interior & spatial design at the Milan Polytechnic, she works as a visual designer, graphic designer, set and costume designer for independent films and shorts. Among her latest works are Omolara (2021), set in the 1990s, shot in Venice and Los Angeles and produced by Film Independent (USA), and From Beyond (2023), a science fiction film based on the story by H.P. Lovecraft.
In 2005 he graduated from the University of Bologna and started working as an editor. In 2008 he moved to Buenos Aires, where he collaborated with the post-production house Superestudio. Here, he edited the short film Inactivo, which received a Special Jury Mention at the Berlin International Film Festival at Lakino 2010. In the same year, he returned to Italy, where he edited Onde Nostre, a 16mm film about the Italian surf scene . In 2018 he joined The 6 Tailors, a collective of editors based in Milan.
Composer for cinema, opera and theatre. He scored both the director's previous shorts, UB-13 (2018) and Meidagen (2019). The latter earned him the "Sergeant Cecil Thompson Award" for Best Music at the Veterans Film Festival in Australia. Among his works for stage, he collaborated with director Corina van Eijck and librettist Jonathan Levi for the new opera production After the Flood (Netherlands, 2022). He is also a prolific concert composer. We mention Tales of Asimov, for the Rosin Octet, Hymn to the Unknown Soldier, for the South Netherlands Philharmonic, and Sang de Tera, wity lyrics in Bergamo dialect, performed at the November Music Festival 2020 in the Netherlands.
The production company Oki Doki Film S.r.l. (Bergamo) offers its know-how in terms of fundraising and organization, as well as the contacts and all the production staff of the company. The technical rental company Oki Doki Rent S.r.l. will cover in kind almost completely the cost of renting equipment for making the film. The director, Juri Ferri, will contributw with his own private funds, while a further part of the financial plan is covered by investments from a private sponsor. We plan to raise the remaining part of the funds, equal to about 25% of the total budget, through this crowdfunding campaign, through which we hope to collect free donations from the local public as well as cinema admirers and supporters from Italy and abroad.
You can pledge your donation by visiting our Kickstarter campaing page!
L'olandesa is a technically very ambitious short film. The historical setting, fundamental for the telling of the story, is accompanied by demanding requests in terms of production design and costumes, both economically (illustrated in our budget above) and logistically (management of which will be entrusted to heads of department). It is to face this production challenges and embrace its peculiarities that we are launching this campaign on Kickstarter. Through it, we hope to complete the fundraising, but also, and above all, to make the project known among the local community, to facilitate the search for further partnerships with sponsors and local authorities in the Bergamo area.