Netherland’s Sweet Dreams for the Oscars

Ena Sendijarević’s “SWEET DREAMS” has been chosen as The Netherlands’ official entry for the International Feature Film award at the 2024 Academy Awards.

SWEET DREAMS world-premiered in the Locarno Film Festival’s Concorso Intenazionale in August 2023, winning legendary Dutch actress Renée Soutendijk a Best Performance Leopard award, and will enjoy its North American premiere in Toronto as part of TIFF’s Centrepiece strand.

The film combines unforgiving satire with lavish aesthetics in an audacious tale of the tragic and delicious demise of European Colonialism.

On an Indonesian island, 1900, Dutch sugar plantation owner Jan and his wife, Agathe are at the top of the food chain. Until Jan upon returning from his nightly visit to his native concubine Siti, suddenly drops dead.

To keep her status quo, Agathe forces her son Cornelis and his pregnant wife Josefien, to travel from Europe and take over the family business. In the midst of a worker’s uprising, Cornelis displays his plans for progressive change. But when Jan’s will puts Siti at the forefront of the family estate, ideals prove to be idle and blood thicker than water.

Says Sendijarević “’What an honour and joy for Sweet Dreams to be chosen as the official Dutch selection for the Academy Awards. In this film I wanted to look at the demise of the Dutch colonial era through a satirical lens. I’m very happy with the support and the visibility it will create for our film and it’s subject.”

Sendijarević’s debut feature Take Me Somewhere Nice (2019) screened at numerous festivals worldwide, including ACID Cannes, sweeping up several awards among which the IFFR Special Jury Award for Exceptional Artistic Achievement and the Heart of Sarajevo (Sarajevo Film Festival). She made several short films, of which the latest, Import, was selected for Cannes’ Directors Fortnight and was the official Dutch entry for Live Action Short Film at the 2017 Academy Awards.

SWEET DREAMS is produced by Lemming Film (NL), in co-production with Plattform Produktion (SE), Film Ï Vast (SE), Talamedia (ID) in collaboration with TikTak Productions and broadcaster VPRO (NL). The film is supported by the Netherlands Film Fund, Netherlands Film Production Incentive, CoBo Fund, Swedish Film Institute, La Region Reunion, CNC Tax Rebate International Productions and Creative Europe Media. Heretic are handling international sales.

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