Paris-based genre specialist Reel Suspects has boarded sales on Dutch artist, musician and filmmaker Dick Verdult’s black comedy If Yes, Okay about a teenager who goes to extreme lengths to reject her obscenely wealthy background.
Verdult has near cult status in parts of Latin America and Asia, where he is known as Dick El Demasiado, for his electronic revival of traditional folklore music from Colombia, following an upbringing in Argentina.
Now based back in the Netherlands, If Yes, Okay marks Verdult’s feature directorial debut, after the medium-length work Viva Matanzas, which played at IDFA in 2018.
Lola Koppen stars as the 15-year-old daughter of an extremely rich and toxic family. She escapes the pressure of the poisonous environment by processing her life through a venomous Kabuki-style theatre.
This process reshapes her world radically and even imagines her killing her father as a temporary solution, but does not prevent her from slipping away into the night and entering a whole new level of insanity.
“It took visible poverty, social-media coverage and Covid to make very perceivable to nearly everybody, that billionaires are an anomaly and they have to be called back,” says Verdult, explaining the inspiration for the film.
“If we agree it is a problem, we may suppose their own children have a very difficult role to play in this process. Either they conform and wallow in expensive stupidity, or they resist it,” he added. “As one of the actors says: ‘You can buy a president… but not the soul of your daughter’.”
The cast also features live performance artist Peter Fengler as the father and classical singer and harpist Ekaterina Levental as the mother.
Annemiek van Gorp and René Goossens at Amsterdam-based De Productie lead produce, with Harro Presser as associate producer and the support of the Netherlands Film Fund.
“We are excited to start working on the sales of this exhilarating black comedy,” said Reel Suspects founding head Matteo Lovadina.
“I am sure that the international industry will be charmed by Verdult surreal vision, It’s a contemporary and captivating tale stuffed with funny elements, far from the classic holland cinema.