Dutch writer-director Feike Santbergen and actors Lisa Smit and Jelmer Ouwerkerk are in Toronto for the world premiere of their 18-minute short “The Last Day Of Summer,” which was selected for the Short Cuts International Competition at TIFF. The
film premiered Sunday, September 7th at the Scotiabank Theatre.
In “The Last Day of Summer” three friends are spending a quiet day at the beach when one of them is
called with tragic news. “While making the film we examined what happens in those first few moments, when care and the inability to cope, connect
with each other; the result is intensely portrayed by the actors, the selection for Toronto a fantastic reward,” says Santbergen.
For Lisa Smit (20) it is the second time one of her movies is screened at TIFF. The first time she played a co-starring role in “Lena,” by
Belgian director Christophe van Rompaey, which had its world premiere at the Festival in 2011. Lisa also recently starred in the German drama ” Sources of Life“(Quellen des Lebens) by director Oskar Roehler, in a role for which she was
praised in Germany by the Süddeutsche Zeitung and in the US by the Hollywood Reporter, who labeled her and co-star Leonard Scheicher’s performance
as ‘something of a miracle’.
“I want to make movies that have an international appeal,” says Smit, who has been acting since age 10 and is already a star in her native Holland.
“I look for movies that explore human conflict among real people, and also translate that conflict into the characters themselves,” says Smit.
At TIFF the filmmakers are working hard to promote the short film, but also looking ahead. Together with American producer Sophie Kohn, they are
busy putting together the finances for Santbergen’s feature film debut, “Life is a Start,” which they hope will go into production next
year. The film will be shot mainly on a rural island in Greece and will be produced by Kohn, directed by Santbergen, while Smit will play a
“Life is a Start“
is about a young woman suffering from a nervous breakdown who travels alone to a remote Greek island. Like “The Last Day of Summer,” it is about overcoming mental agony through connecting to others.
Santbergen, Kohn and Smit are excited to continue their adventures at TIFF, and hope to be back in the future.