The Hague: International Film City?
You bet! It is not just peace, justice, politics and diplomacy here. There are many other facets to The Hague.
The Hague international city. The Hague creative city. The Hague fashion city…
And now The Hague film city. City’s marketing department is simply spewing out ideas. All in an effort to change the perception that The Hague is a boring city of civil servants and bureaucrats where nothing happens.
Local authorities are rolling out red carpet to film directors and producers. Not only are they welcomed with open embrace, they benefit from fast and easy filming permits procedures and all logistical support. A special film commissioner appointed in 2010 makes sure that there no hiccups in the process.
Add to that the city’s historic landmarks, ethnic neighbourhoods, quaint streets, impressive palaces, canals, modern skyline, the beach and the green areas — this package makes perfect film locations. Moreover, The Hague can be used as a base for production in the neighbouring cities with character like Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Antwerp.
According to the municipal website “over the past two years the city has served as the film location for 40 productions”.
All three Dutch submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film were shot in The Hague! And the blockbuster film ‘Ocean’s Twelve’, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Catherine Zeta Jones, was partially filmed here as well! So this city does have serious film credentials.
Deputy Mayor of The Hague Marjolein de Jong (Culture, City Centre and International Affairs) underlines that the City’s film policy has a dual objective: 1) to make city’s residents more aware of the unique nature of The Hague and make them proud ambassadors of the city; 2) attract exposure and, consequently, tourists.
She thinks that the two film festivals that the city hosts: Movies That Matter and The Indian Film Festival aptly reflect the uniqueness of The Hague as the city of peace and justice and the multicultural city, home to different communities & cultures.
Film crews, exposure, local or international, and more tourists is great for any city. It is a boost to local economy, local businesses and local talent. Let’s hope that this is a long term policy and not just a marketing gimmick. I also secretly hope that it will provide an injection of glamour and style to the otherwise uniform way of formal dressing here. And we’ll have occasions to dress up and show up