Still from 'INSTINCT' with Marwan Kenzari and Carice van Houten

Photo: Kris Dewitte

In the spotlight: Halina Reijn's film debut 'INSTINCT' is the Dutch Oscars submission

'INSTINCT' (2019), directed by Halina Reijn and written by Esther Gerritsen, is already receiving unprecedented international acclaim.

INSTINCT is the opening film of the Netherlands Film Festival and will be released in Dutch theatres on 3 October. The film attained international prominence at its world premiere in Locarno, Switzerland, when it was awarded the Variety Piazza Grande Award. The North American premiere took place in Toronto, Canada, and INSTINCT will also be screened at the BFI London Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival. Furthermore, INSTINCT was selected as the Dutch Oscars submission in the International Feature Film category.

Still from 'INSTINCT' with Carice van Houten and Marwan Kenzari. Photo: Kris Dewitte


In INSTINCT, Carice van Houten plays Nicoline, a psychologist working in a penal institution who finds herself trapped in a power play with her client Idris. Idris, portrayed by Marwan Kenzari, is about to go on his first unaccompanied probation. Nicoline is skeptical and tries to push his probation, which causes Idris to slowly transform into the manipulative man she had seen in him from the start.


Award-winning artists

Director Halina Reijn has received multiple awards for her work as an actress, author, director and producer. She works with director Ivo van Hove at the International Theatre Amsterdam. INSTINCT is her debut as a film director, aside from it being the first outing of Man Up, the production banner of Halina and Carice van Houten. Carice is one of the most celebrated Dutch actresses and winner of prestigious awards. She is perhaps best known for her role as Melisandre in Game of Thrones. Finally, Marwan Kenzari is an award-winning Dutch actor and was most recently seen as Jafar in Aladdin.


When and where to see INSTINCT?

27 Sept, 2019 – 5 Oct, 2019 at the Netherlands Film Festival, released in Dutch theatres on 3 October

2 Oct, 2019 – 13 Oct, 2019 at the BFI London Film Festival

16 Oct, 2019 – 27 Oct, 2019 at the Chicago International Film Festival

Still from 'INSTINCT' with Marwan Kenzari and Carice van Houten. Photo: Kris Dewitte

INSTINCT is produced by Topkapi Films in co-production with Man Up and BNNVARA. The film was realized with the support of the Netherlands Film Fund, the Netherlands Film Production Incentive and CoBO.

In the spotlight

Are you a Dutch or Netherlands-based artist performing abroad in the (near) future and would you like to be in the spotlight? Send us an email with detailed information and two horizontal high res images. The editing team will make a selection and get back to you.