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Okthanksbye Okedoeibedankt

Nicole van Kilsdonk / Netherlands / 2023 / 92 min / Dutch / 11+

An adventurous coming-of-age drama about two young deaf girls who go on an unforgettable road trip together where they not only get to know each other better, but also themselves.

directed by Nicole van Kilsdonk, screenplay Lilian Sijbesma, Nicole van Kilsdonk, music Wilko Sterke, cinematography Jeroen Kiers, editing Michiel Boesveldt, igrajo Mae van de Loo (Jamie), Douae Zine El Abidine (Imane), Josephine Koning (Jamie's sister), Bente Jonker (Jamie's mother), Arjan Bouwmeester (Jamie's father), Petra Karlas (grandmother), producer Rogier Kramer 

festivals, awards NYICFF – New York 2023, BUFF Malmö 2023, Kristiansand 2023, Schlingel 2023, BIKY – Busan 2023

IMDb

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Shy, deaf Jamie (12) moves to the boarding school for the deaf to start her new school. She is reluctant to make new friends. When she is suddenly unable to go home at the weekend, an unexpected plan develops with her bold classmate Imane (13). Together they set off on a road trip to Paris, but soon things do not go as planned and the trip takes an adventurous turn. Jamie is forced to come out of her shell. The trip full of obstacles and special encounters becomes a journey to remember.

Nicole van Kilsdonk (1965) is a director and scriptwriter. After finishing School for Journalism, Nicole van Kilsdonk went to the Dutch Film Academy in Amsterdam and graduated in 1991. Especially the familyfilms Taking Chances and The day my father became a bush travelled around the world widely and won many prizes on international filmfestivals. Her work could be called ‘crossover’: stories about the times in which we live told in an accessible way, in which directing the actors is her first interest. She made films for grown-ups as well as for children. 

»Okthanksbye is an exciting, cool, light-hearted, and emotional coming-of-age road movie full of energy. An important premise is that our main characters' deafness and hearing impairment irrevocably help determine how the journey will or will not go, but above all, it is an adventure of two pre-pubescent kids. During the film, hearing viewers do learn more about deafness, Cochlear Implants (CIs), sign language, and life as a hearing-impaired person, but it is not the main subject but rather the arena. It is primarily a film that shows a friendship blossoming against the backdrop of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Paris and all the colourful people they meet on their journey.«
- Nicole van Kilsdonk

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