Company Profile

Topkapi Films is an Amsterdam based company run by producers Frans van Gestel, Arnold Heslenfeld and Laurette Schillings.


The company, well experienced in producing and co-producing feature films and television drama for the Dutch and international market, strives to build long-term relationships with writers and directors, with renowned and upcoming talent. With focus on new ways of storytelling Topkapi Films collaborates with Freedom Lab ( to develop a writers lab for innovative stories for different media.

Since 1996 Topkapi Films (co-)produced more than 85 feature films (arthouse as well as commercial) and drama projects, amongst others ‘‘BLACK BOOK’’ (2006, nomination BAFTA award and European Film Award), ‘‘JOY’’ (2010), ‘‘LOVE IS ALL’’(2007, remakes in Belgium and Germany), ‘‘R U THERE’’ (2010), ‘‘CODE BLUE’’(2011), ‘‘THE HEINEKEN KIDNAPPING’’ (2011), ‘‘BLACK BUTTERFLIES’’ (2011),‘‘FRAILER’’ (2014) and ‘‘PUBLIC WORKS’’ (2015). Currently in production are‘‘LAYLA M.’’ (NL-BE-GER, Mijke de Jong) and ‘‘OUT OF LOVE’’ (Paloma Aguilera Valdebenito).


In the past we’ve built a large international network, coproducing amonst others‘‘THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN’’ (2012; BE-NL; nomination Academy Award), ‘‘LAND AND SHADE’’ (2015; Camera d’Or Cannes), ‘‘SCHLAFKRANKHEIT’’(2011, Silver Bear Berlinale), ‘‘GIGANTE’’ (2009, Silver Bear Berlinale) and ‘‘POST TENEBRAS LUX’’ (2012; Best Director Award Cannes). We continue these collaborations with recent coproductions ‘‘AUF EINMAL’’ (Asli Özge), ‘‘BELGICA’’(Felix van Groeningen) and ‘‘THE COMMUNE’’ (Thomas Vinterberg).



Frans van Gestel is, in addition to his work as a producer, member of the board of the International Film Festival Rotterdam and he regularly gives marketing workshops for EAVE.

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Company Highlights


LAYLA M  2016

Genre:             Drama

Director:          Mijke de Jong

Screenplay:     Jan Eilander, Mijke de Jong

Cast:                Nora El Koussour, IIias Addab


18-year-old Layla, a Dutch girl with Moroccan roots, joins a group of radical Muslims. She encounters a world that nurtures her ideas initally, but finally confronts her with an impossible choice.


Philadelphia Film Festival : Toronto International Film Festival :
Special Jury Award - Nora El Koussour Platform Nomination
Narrative Award Nomination - Mijke de Jong
FilmFestival : Les Arcs European Film Festival :
Nomination Best Film Audience Award; Best Actress Prize
Chicago International
FilmFestival :
Cairo International Film Festival :
Golden Hugo Nomination Golden Pyramid Nomination


OUT OF LOVE  2016                             

Genre:             Drama

Director:          Paloma Aguilera Valdebenito

Screenplay:     Paloma Aguilera Valdebenito

Cast:               Naomi Velissariou, Danil Vorobyev


Out of Love encapsulates the sweltering and devastating dynamics of love in the turbulent relationship between Varya and Nikolai, where genuine love and hope, contend with destruction and despair.


Netherlands Film Festival : Golden Calf Nomination; Best Screenplay of a Feature Film
International Film Festival 
Rotterdam : Nomination Bright Future Award, FIPRESCI Prize and
KNF Award



Genre:             Drama

Director:          Felix van Groeningen

Screenplay:     Felix van Groeningen, Arne Sierens

Cast:               Stef Aerts, Tom Vermeir


Two brothers, Frank and Jo, have lost each other out of sight… until Frank starts to work at Jo’s café. It turns out to be a golden move, Belgica very quickly becomes thé hotspot of nightlife. A self declared den of sin, where rock ’n roll splashes of sweaty walls. The sky seems the limit, at least for a while, for night life is an addictive trip and the world keeps on spinning.


Sundance Film Festival : Directing Award  / Istanbul International Film Festival : Lumiere Award
Film Festival Oostende / Semaine De La Critique Cannes / Jeruzalem Film Festival / Munich Film Festival / San Sebastian Film Festival



Genre:             Comedy, Drama

Director:          Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth

Screenplay:      Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth

Cast:                Peter Van den Begin, Titus de Voogdt, Lucie Debay, Bruno Georis


The King of the Belgians is on a state visit in Istanbul when his country falls apart. He must return home at once to save his kingdom. But a solar storm causes airspace and communications to shut down. No planes. No phones. With the help of a British filmmaker and a troupe of Bulgarian folk singers, the King and his entourage manage to escape over the border. Incognito. Thus begins an odyssey across the Balkans during which the King discovers the real world – and his true self.


Venice Film Festival Hamburg Film Festival
Busan IFF Valladolid International Film Festival
International Film Festival Rotterdam Palm Springs

European Producer's Club • 42 Rue du Fbg du Temple • 75011 Paris, France

Tel: +33 1 44 90 06 13     •     Fax: +33 1 44 90 03 19 


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