News / The Network


The Network - 22/01/2016


Europa Cinemas Awards 2015 - Best Programming


Of all the film theatres in the Netherlands, few offer a programme as broad and diverse as Filmhuis Den Haag. Each new initiative is driven by a strong love of cinema.

Filmhuis Den Haag rediscovered the important and impressive oeuvre by Valerio Zurlini and Joseph Strick. The Filmhuis not only brought their films to The Hague but, as so often in the past few decades, also arranged for a selection of films to tour the many other film houses throughout the country. It has made Filmhuis Den Haag a film icon in itself for the Dutch film world. The Filmhuis is world cinema, screening films from over 60 countries including many European countries, and with 140 premieres a year.

Many actors, directors, composers, producers and set designers have featured in the programmes and have visited the Filmhuis, at the heart of the city on the North Sea coast. Audrey Hepburn, Isabelle Huppert, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Ken Loach are just some of the prominent filmmakers who enjoy or enjoyed coming to the Filmhuis to share their work with the audience. Writers, musicians and other artists, too, are frequent visitors. Anton Corbijn is a regular guest, and the well-known Dutch writer Arnon Grunberg presents a periodic programme on film and politics, for which he selects a particular film and then engages the audience and politicians in a debate. 


The Filmhuis is, after all, located in the political capital of the country and the City of Peace and Justice. It therefore incorporates these themes in its innovative and topically relevant programming, and it frequently undertakes activities in collaboration with the many embassies in town as well as the European Commission. Renowned museums such as the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Mauritshuis are regular partners, as is the pop music venue 't Paard van Troje, which brings in a young and trendy target group as well. With the Montesquieu Institute, devoted to politics and democracy, the Filmhuis hosts talk shows in the café to help the public connect more deeply with films and to encourage their contribution to the programming. Festivals such as Movies that Matter (originally created by Amnesty International) and Writers Unlimited draw yet another type of audience, while country-oriented festivals like Eastern Neighbours and the Indian Film Festival bring together very diverse target groups. All of these programmes together form a huge open window on the world.

Film education and talent development play a significant role in the Filmhuis. Over 12,000 school pupils learn to watch and make films here, and the Filmhuis offers a venue where local film talents (young film makers and artists) can gather and show their work to each other and to another audience, and can curate film programmes with the Filmhuis staff. This latter opportunity is offered to many communities in The Hague, for instance the hip-hop community, but special programmes are also developed jointly with students, skaters, the politically engaged and senior citizens. In all cases, their own wishes and ideas are pivotal.

The many special programmes, sometimes tailor-made for a third party, form a natural component of the entire programming at the Filmhuis. New releases, classic films, introductions, public lectures and debate evenings intrinsically connect to the various target groups, from toddlers to pensioners and from native Dutch to new arrivals, via any of the many routes to enter this country and become part of Dutch society and Filmhuis Den Haag.

Film is the most wonderful discipline, with a power unlike any other medium to comprehend the world and to communicate what moves and motivates people. This power resides in the idiom of film itself, but also in its association with music, art and literature. The tales that play out on the silver screen are tales that uncover our world to us. A world gone by, a world yet to come, a beautiful world, or a horrendous one. Film helps viewers to understand different worlds. Indeed, is film not the vehicle of empathy par excellence?

In the coming years, the Filmhuis Den Haag team will take a further step toward designing and positioning the film theatre as the place to go for a total experience. Whatever you like to do: to ‘simply’ catch a movie, to contemplate art, to eat and drink, to meet other people, to exchange experiences, to learn about film history or film technology, or to develop your own film-making skills – it’s all possible at Filmhuis Den Haag. At every hour of the day, the venue offers film and film-related programming that threads together creativity, inspiration, knowledge and entertainment. This will make the task and therefore the programming of the Filmhuis more relevant than ever. And hence, more than ready for the future.

Géke Roelink, Director