Tonio by Oscar nominated director Paula van der Oest, has been chosen as the official entry from the Netherlands for the 2017 Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
This represents the third time one of Paula van der Oest films will be the Dutch submission for the Oscars. In 2014 Accused was the Dutch entry and in 2002 Zus&Zo earned a nomination, but did not win.
Tonio is based on the bestselling novel by renowned Dutch author A. F. TH. van der Heijden, and tells the true story of the tragic accident that claimed the life of the writer’s only son. Hugo Heinen wrote the screenplay and the film is produced by Alain de Levita, Sytze van der Laan and Sabine Brian.
On 23 May 2010, 21-year-old Tonio van der Heijden (played by Chris Peters) was hit by a car and taken in a critical condition to hospital, where he died. A tragic event that drastically changed the lives of his parents (played by Pierre Bokma and Rifka Lodeizen), who watched their only son pass away in intensive care. Reminded of his life by everything around and inside them, Tonio’s life left a legacy of phantom pain for his parents who mourn, and struggle to prevent their own lives from being dragged into a downward spiral of sorrow.
The nominations in all categories for the Academy Awards will be announced on 24 January 24 2017. The 89th Oscars ceremony will take place February 26 2017.