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Silent Snow

Hallgatag Hó
The Netherlands
Director: Jan Van Den BERG
71 min. 2011, Colour,
with dialogue, English, Danish, Hindi, Luo, Spanish, Inuktitut, English subtitled
Producer: drsFILM
Screenplay: Jan van den Berg & Pipaluk Kndusen-Ostermann
Cinematographer: Jan van den Berg & Viraj Singh
Music: selected by Paul Oomen
Editor: Boris Everts
Narrated by: Pipaluk Knudsen-Ostermann
Pipaluk Knudsen-Ostermann, Ole Jorgen Hammeken, Ellady Muyambi, Shweta Narayan, Don Timoteo Jackson.

The white Arctic plains are an eminent example of nature’s untouched beauty: an endless nothing in which only few know how to survive. But a silent assassin is destroying the Inuit community in Greenland. Chemical residues from all over the world accumulate here invisibly, poisoning the inhabitants. By ocean currents and attached to snow, pesticides like DDT are carried northbound, causing illness and premature death. In Silent Snow, a group of experienced Inuit starts out on a dangerous dog-sledge expedition through their barren land. Interwoven with the polar expedition, the film follows a young Greenlandic woman (Pipaluk Knudsen-Ostermann) on her journey around the world to find the local causes of the contamination that is quietly poisoning her people. Her journey takes her to three different continents, where she is confronted with conflicting interests when it comes to short-term gains and healthy solutions for agriculture, industries and health care.


Major screenings, presentations:
  • World premiere UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Movies that Matter Festival, The Hague, The Netherlands
  • Tallahassee Film Festival, US
  • Tropic Cinema, Key West, US
  • Conference Stockholm Convention, Geneva, Switzerland
  • ARGUS film-forum, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Parnu International Film Festival, Estonia
  • HCH and Pesticide forum, Azerbaijan
  • Dutch Film Festival, Utrecht
  • Int. Film Festival Hamburg, Germany
  • Ekofilm, Czech Republic
  • Pariscience, Paris, France
  • Planet in Focus Environmental Film Fest, Toronto, Canada
  • Inconvenient Film Festival, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Biovision Symposium Zurich, Switzerland
  • Thusis International Film Festival, Switzerland
  • Golden Calf (the Netherlands)
  • Golden Snail (Bologna)
  • Golden Key (France) for short version of Silent Snow (2007)
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Jan Van Den BERG

Writers, artists and filmmakers are working together in this production company, founded by Jan van den Berg, who in the early seventies started making films from his original field of study, cultural anthropology. Since that time drsFILM made many documentaries and drama productions. The films are mostly about people at the cutting edge between cultures. Jan van den Berg made several earlier films on environmental issues, like Gallow Creek (2009) and Taming the Floods (1999).

2007: SILENT SNOW (Short film)
Short film on the silent poisoning of the Artic. Was screened in many countries after its premiere on IDFA 2007. Stop Global Warming Award and J-Wave Audience Award, Short Shorts Film Festival In Japan / First Prize Planet in Focus, Toronto / Best International Film, HRAFF Australia / Prix du meilleur court métrage, FIFFEL, Lausanne / Children Earth Vision Award, Japan / Golden Snail, Slow Food on Film Festival Bologna / Honorable Mentions at INKAFEST Peru and HR Film Fest. Buenos Aires / First Prize Green Film Fest Seoul. See: www.silentsnow.org.
“The film is visually striking and uses the subtle, delicate and unsentimentally-told story of two young girls in an isolated and unfamiliar land to shed light on a powerful story of global significance”
- Jury Slow Food on Film Festival, Italy

A girl, fighting to preserve a unique forest comes up against a real estate developer in Limburg, The Netherlands. See: www.hetgalgenven.nl .
“The nature and cinematography of Gallow Creek resembles the documentary work of David Attenborough. The amazing acting qualities of the local theater ensemble and use of the local dialect, address your imagination. The film can be called non-Dutch in that way.”
- Michelle Lentz in XI mediasite

Landscape architect Jan Dijkstra has a dream: the introduction of new nature on a large scale. When he is sent to Poland he grabs his chance and starts to work on creating a large river reserve on which man will exert no control. But he has not taken into account the needs and wishes of the local farmers. Nominated for a Dutch Academy Award. The jury: “A fascinating film on a fascinating topic.”

Human Rights:
Human rights are also an important theme in the work of Jan van den Berg. The series of “War after Peace” are an excellent example. It shows how people from different cultural backgrounds still fight the war in there minds, long after the actual war is over. Jan van den Berg made several films in a.o. Afghanistan, Sudan, East Timor and Cambodia for this series.

• 2004: DEACON OF DEATH, Looking for justice in today’s Cambodia.
Looking for justice in today's Cambodia. A Golden Calf at the Dutch Film Festival. The jury: "a moving story in which a Cambodian woman dares to confront the man whom she holds responsible for the death of her family. Convincingly and with respect the director has depicted this almost classic drama of good and evil, crime, punishment and forgiveness."
"A tale so intimate and suspenseful that is has the feel of a novel."
- Anne-Marie O'Connor in de Los Angeles Times

Documentary on the fight against hunger in Brazil.

A series of portraits of Utrecht born artists e.g.; author and illustrator Dick Bruna, violinist Janine Jansen and architect Gerrit Rietveld. The start of the international distribution is planned in 2013, just before the celebrations of three hundred years Peace of Utrecht.

Film about Dutch actress Fien de la Mar.

many awards on international film festivals, a.o. a Golden Calf for Deacon of Death, looking for justice in today's Cambodia (Dutch Film Festival), Golden Snail for the short Silent Snow film (Bologna) and a Golden Key for Bye Jan (Lorquin, France).

More information on these films and drsFILM:
www.drsfilm.tv en www.silentsnow.org

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