Dirty God, the new film from director Sacha Polak and producer Marleen Slot, opened the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) last week. A few hours after the opening the cast and crew were on their way to Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival. Dirty God is the first Dutch film to be nominated for an award at Sundance.
The thunderous applause from the IFFR audience was followed a day later by equally enthusiastic reviews. Dirty God perfectly reflects the theme of this year’s: ‘Feel’. In the film, we watch with an increasing sense of discomfort as Jade, the victim of an acid attack in London, has to deal with a series of setbacks. In the process, we gradually look beyond her scars and side with her in her struggle.
Polak and Slot (Viking Film) had the courage to take risks in making this film, their first English-language project, shot in London. They began with no funding and a female lead with no experience. The Netherlands Film Fund and the British Film Institute eventually provided funding, with smaller contributions from Belgium and Ireland. And leading actress Vicky Knight totally convinces in the role.
Producer Marleen Slot also succeeded in convincing Sundance, which usually insists on the world premiere, to allow Dirty God to premiere in Rotterdam. This is the first Dutch film to be nominated for the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at Sundance. Dirty God is being screened five times at different venues, and the winners will be announced on Saturday 2 February.
Photo: Viking Film