De Jong (Crystal Bear winner for Bluebird in 2005) presented her divorce drama Stages in Locarno last year, where it won a special mention in the Filmmakers of the Present section before winning several accolades in the Netherlands, including the Critics’ Award and Best Actress and Best Director at the Golden Calves, the Dutch national film prizes. Katia’s Sister will be presented in Locarno in International Competition.
Newcomer Betty Qizmolli plays the title character, a 13-year-old girl of Russian origin who loses her mother (Olga Louzgina) and her older sister Katia (Julia Seijkens) to prostitution in the Dutch capital. She tries to survive on her own in a world full of drugs and porn using the tools she knows best: optimism and unconditional love.
After its world premiere in Locarno, the film will have its Dutch premiere at the Dutch Film Festival, which kicks off September 24 in Utrecht. Amsterdam-based A-film Distribution will release the film domestically on October 2.
Katia’s Sister is produced by Hans de Wolf for Keyman Film, in co-production with Dutch broadcaster NPS. The film also received backing from the Dutch Film Fund, the Stimuleringsfonds and the CoBO Fund.
Boyd van Hoeij