05  July  2017

2017 Obel Scholarships

Sven Peetoom (Netherlands) and Marie de Barthés (France) are each recipients of this year’s Obel Family Foundation Scholarships. European Film College are happy to award the two students with DKK 83,980 each for outstanding contributions to both the professional and the social life at the college during the 2016-17 programme.

European Film College are happy to announce that once again, the Obel Family Foundation has made it possible for the college to grant two students with almost full scholarships shortly after the end of their 8½-month programme.

The selection criteria
Shortly before the 2016-17 programme ended in May earlier this year, 32 students from the 2016-17 programme applied for the Obel Family Foundation scholarships, and so it was not an easy decision; the European Film College had to take a lot of factors into consideration when choosing the two recipients. Principal Nadia Kløvedal Reich says:

‘When selecting Obel scholars we look for students who have contributed to their stay both professionally and socially and who have made a special effort in a way that has benefited the whole student group. We also considered gender, financial status and commitment and achievement as an EFC student. Sven and Marie have very much lived up to these criteria, and as they both want to continue their journey as filmmakers, it is also nice to know that the Obel Family Foundation scholarships will help make that possible.’

Marie de Barthés
Marie de Barthés is 25 years old and comes from France. She says about receiving the scholarship and about being a student at the European Film College:

‘I would like to express how grateful I am for this scholarship, but more importantly, for the year I just experienced, with all the EFC staff, teachers and students. I never expected this school would change my career path so drastically, and for the better. Like many other students, I now know I want to become a filmmaker and the EFC gave me the tools to feel confident enough to pursue this dream.

I am planning to use the money in 2 ways. Firstly, for the several film projects I have for the coming year. One of them is a feature documentary I will direct about two friends of mine who decided to help prostitutes get out of the networks by producing their music. Forced prostitution with women from Africa and Eastern Europe is a huge problem in France and the film would use this intimate and artistic story to create awareness about this dark business. I'm starting to spend time with the women, and there are many safety and ethical questions already, since showing recognizable faces on film would reveal the fact that they escaped from the prostitution network, which can threaten their lives and their families. Sound and music will then be very important characters. The second way will be to use the money as support during times when I will be volunteering at film festivals in order to better understand the film world and meet filmmakers.

Aside from all this, I am greatly looking forward to working again with fellow EFC students in the future and continue being part of the EFC family.’

Sven Peetoom
Sven Peetoom is 23 years old and comes from the Netherlands. He says about receiving the scholarship and about his time as a student:

‘Looking back at the EFC from my room in Rotterdam I can’t recall the whole experience. Every single day from breakfast until I collapsed to sleep I was working on film, being in an almost constant creative flow, working with new people every other week. Learning from the greatest guest teachers, Jan Harlan, Nick Fraser, Fabian Wagner, Camilla Nielsson. They taught me to be kind and to make films with an urgency; stories that really matter to me.

And after a hard train ride back there was only one thing I wanted: to continue this creative flow, to keep on making films, watching films, being inspired and to do what I love to do most. But outside the safe bubble of the EFC life is tougher. Practical problems and money issues sometimes prevent me from realising that dream.

The Obel Foundation is a catalyst, which removes some of my obstacles, clearing the road towards my greatest ambitions. I would love to keep on making films for the rest of my life working together with many of the people from the European Film College and hopefully do my part on researching possibilities for a better future or revealing some more of it’s beauty and complexity. I’m intensely grateful to the Obel Family for giving me this possibility and I will do everything to spend it on the right causes.’

About the scholarships
Since the 2008-09 programme The Obel Family Foundation has generously supplied the European Film College with an annual amount to be split into two almost full scholarships for students at the European Film College. Students are invited to apply towards the end of the school year and the college awards the scholarships soon after.

The Obel Family Foundation is situated in Northern Jutland and is a business owner foundation, which supports science, education and culture. It is the main shareholder in the company C.W. Obel A/S.

Mrs. Asta Obel established the foundation in 1956. After the death of her husband she was sole owner of C.W. Obel, until the company was converted into a family shareholder company in the 70's.