In the first decade of the twenty-first century the Dutch film industry has developed into a small but well-organised sector. Each year around 30 feature films reach the cinema screens. Because the Dutch language area, with its sixteen0 million inhabitants in the Netherlands, is relatively small for the mass medium of film, almost all film productions are subsidised, and these subsidies are largely allocated by the Netherlands Film Fund. Judging by ticket sales and media coverage, in recent years public cinema has shown a similar blossoming as in the 1970s when director Paul Verhoeven, producer Rob Houwer and actors Jeroen Krabbé, Rutger Hauer and Monique van de Ven introduced an American-style star culture. Between 2000 and 2010, Dutch cinema succeeded in achieving an average market share of over ten percent, particularly striking in a period in which Hollywood released one record-breaking box office success after the other, with mega-productions such as Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and Avatar.
An important role in the regeneration of Dutch film is being filled by producer and director Johan Nijenhuis, who has succeeded in luring a new generation of young people to the cinema with films such as Costa! and Full Moon Party. Steven de Jong makes films for even younger audiences, and just as Nijenhuis he has come from the world of the TV soap and has been much maligned by serious film critics. The regional settings of De Jong’s films, such as Schippers van de Kameleon and De hel van ’63, mainly draw audiences from outside the large cities of the Netherlands.