Meet the Fokkens

Gabriëlle Provaas, Rob Schröder, The Netherlands, 2011, color, video, 75'
Synopsis

Twin sisters Louise and Martine Fokkens have been working in the red-light district of Amsterdam for 50 years. Despite many setbacks and a great deal of negativity from those outside the world of prostitution, these strong, optimistic and humorous women have managed to survive all those years with verve. In Meet the Fokkens, the viewer gets to visit places in Amsterdam where the sisters' memories reside. Candid interviews and conversations with the two women, a daughter of Louise, and local residents help to recount Louise and Martine's life story. The twins tell amusing tales of how they came to be in this line of work, how they eventually went into business for themselves, and how relationships in the world of prostitution have changed over the years. Their stories are full of spicy details about their clientele, some of whom come from unexpected walks of life. One such client was a chaplain: "Don't you remember, we even had a little confessional!" And they talk about the tricks they used to help satisfy their clients more quickly. While some of the reminiscences are upsetting, the sisters speak with a great sense of compassion and even affection for their clients. Louise stopped two years ago, but Martine is still working - she also wants to quit, but her financial situation won't allow for it, she claims.

IDFA Awards given out in Durban, Montevideo and Sarajevo August 27, 2015 | Three IDFA Awards were handed out over the summer to promising projects pitched at three international film markets. As part of the awards, all winners will attend IDFA in November.
IDFAcademy Summer School report July 8, 2015 | Emerging filmmakers from all over the world came together for an uncharacteristically hot week in Amsterdam to work on their documentary projects with renowned tutors such as Victor Kossakovsky and Cecilia Lidin.
IBF announces May selection July 7, 2015 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded the second selection round for 2015. Eleven documentary projects from countries like Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, South Sudan, Uruguay and Georgia will be supported by the fund in its classic scheme.
New Media at IDFA 2015 July 7, 2015 | For those interested in the creative potential of digital technology, virtual reality and interactive media, this year's IDFA will have more to offer than ever before.
Errol Morris central guest at IDFA 2015 June 30, 2015 | Renowned filmmaker Errol Morris will compile this year's Top 10 program at IDFA. The festival will also be screening a retrospective of Morris's work.

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