MOVIE DIRECTORS ANGRY ABOUT COMIC BOOK

Many Dutch directors, producers and screenwriters oppose the use of their movies in a comic book, a project initiated by Dutch Movie Institute EYE, the Movie Foundation and the BKVB Foundation (Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture).

Fifty cartoon artists will each summarize one movie on a page in comic format. The book will be entitled “Filmfanfare” (Movie Fanfare) and is a sequel to the project “Beautiful!”, in which 57 novels, poems and plays renowned in Dutch literature were put into a comics book format.

The latest movie title on the list, the “New Kids Turbo” comedy was released in 2010. The oldest film processed into a comic is “Carmen of the North” dates from 1919. There will also be Dutch classics in the book such as “Flodder”, “Character”, “Lift”, “Soldier of Orange”, “The Assault” and “Turkish Delight”.

Dick Maas, director of “Flodder” and “Lift”, announces that he was upset that he did not know about the plans for Filmfanfare. “I own the format rights to all of my movies,” Dick Maas explains. “This is a commercial book that will be selling many copies. Strange that all these organizations assume that they can do anything with my material without my permission.”

The same goes for director and screenwriter Alex van Warmerdam, director of “Abel”. ”I think it is so silly and indecent, to say the least, and that nobody at the Film Institute EYE, the Film Foundation or the BKVB thought of approaching the moviemakers to ask for permission. If you make a movie based on a book, the first step is to ask the author for permission!”

Producer Rob Houwer, whose films “Soldier of Orange”, “Turkish Delight” and “The Fourth Man” have been selected for Filmfanfare, says he had “fallen off his chair” when he read about the cartoon project in the in the newspaper. ”It’s not that I do not like the idea”, explains Houwer. ”But if I am not consulted beforehand, I can not give my permission.”

The moviemakers are waiting for a response from the makers of Filmfanfare before they decide whether they will take further legal action against the project.

Spokesman Gert Jan Pos of BKVB recognizes that he underestimated the reactions caused by the project. “It is intended as an homage to the most important Dutch movies in history, and especially not intended as copyright infringement.” Pos will explain the situation to the directors and producers in writing.

Let’s hope Mr. Pos has hired a good copywriter/copyrighter to convince the moviemakers – Filmfanfare is supposed to appear in early 2012.