The Netherlands, Belgium
OINK is a film about growing up and relationships and trust. The relationship between Babs and Grandpa, but also the one between Babs and Tijn. And Margreet’s relationship with her father, Grandpa Tuitjes. Everything is at stake all the time and that’s what makes the story so thrilling to me.
Also the Dutch element in OINK is very important. It should be recognisable as a typical Dutch landscape. It should possess a certain degree of cosiness while at the same time being structured and designed. I always remember Alex van Warmerdam’s DE NOORDERLINGEN. The last time I saw that film was twenty years ago, but I still remember that neighbourhood.
Tosca Menten’s book OINK’S REVENGE on which our film is based, reminds me of Roald Dahl’s works. The book touches a theme that runs through Dahl’s children’s oeuvre like a thread: nice, sweet and ‘normal’ children are at the mercy of untrustworthy, creepy and weird grown-ups, out of whose grip they subsequently have to struggle. Time and again this has turned out to produce very funny, but also exciting and touching drama. This is how it works in OINK, too. The idea of Grandpa wanting to turn Oink into juicy sausages with his meat mincing machine is horrifying. But the tone in which the script is written by Fiona van Heemstra is light and funny. And the world of Babs, the nine-year old main character, is turned upside down when she blindly trusts her seemingly funny and sweet grandfather, thus putting at risk her friendship with her best friend, and Oink’s life. Until she realises who her grandfather really is and then she has to give her all to stop him.
The film is also concerned with the unconditional love Babs has for Oink, her pet, and her struggle to save Oink from going into the meat mincing machine on the one hand and her parents who would rather have Oink removed at once on the other.
In the films I make I always try to find a combination of humour and drama. OINK is ideal because it contains all the necessary elements. I made OINK on the basis of a live-action interpretation, giving the puppets true emotions and narrating the story the way it does makes one forget one is watching an animation film.
In 2012 she directed the short animation film GOODBYE MISTER DE VRIES. Also in 2012 she made the 13-episode animation series PICKNICK WITH PIE adapted from Thé Tjong-Khing’s books, which was broadcast by the VPRO and awarded the Cinekid Kinderkast Fiction - Jury prize 2013. Her film MUNYA IN ME won the Grand Jury Prize of the BANFF World Media Festival.
In 2015, the Prodigy’s Liam Howlett asked her to make a music video for the song WILD FRONTIER. After that she directed several short films, the series FOX & HARE and the hilarious THE GREAT HUMMIMUMMI CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.
Her first feature film OINK premiered at the Berlinale in 2022 as Opening Film of the Generation K+ section. Currently she's finishing the short film KING SAUSAGE, a 20’ musical prequeling OINK.
Together with producer Marleen Slot she built Holy Motion, a 600m2 animation studio where they animated the stopmotion films OINK and KING SAUSAGE and where many more stopmotion films will be produced in the feature.
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Mascha Halberstad
Written by: Fiona van Heemstra
Main Producer: Marleen Slot, Dries Phlypo
Cinematography: Peter Mansfelt
Editing: Mascha Halberstad
Production Design: Mascha Halberstad
Original Score: Rutger Reinders
Sound Design: Jan Schermer
Animation: Jasper Kuipers, Marike Verbiest, Mirjam Plettinx, Iris Alexandre, Quentin Haberham
Casting: Elske Falkena, Danielle de Lange
Cast: Remko Vrijdag (Freddy Willekes), Hiba Ghafry (Babs), Kees Prins (Grandpa Tuitjes), Jelka van Houten (Margreet), Henry van Loon (Nol), Matsen Montsma (Tijn), Loes Luca (Aunt Christine), Alex Klaasen (Farmer Jan and puppy trainer), Johnny Kraaijkamp (Butcher Smak)
Nominations and Awards
- European Animated Feature Film 2022