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East Coast Premiere


Country: Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands
Language: Dutch
Subtitles: English
Original Title: DE SURPRISE

Running Time: 111min
Film Year: 2015
Category: Cinema 360º

Eccentric multimillionaire Jacob (Jeroen van Koningsbrugge) has had enough of his lavish lifestyle. In fact he’s had enough of living altogether: Jacob’s father disappeared when he was only four years old, and ever since he has existed as a void of human emotion. Seeing no other way out of his sad waste of a life, Jacob hires a company that will snuff it out without him knowing precisely when or where.

While selecting his coffin, Jacob meets the beautiful Ann (Georgina Verbaan), who just happens to be shopping for her coffin as well—and has also made arrangements for her own demise. When, to their great surprise, Jacob and Georgina fall in love, they realize that each now has a reason to keep living and must scramble to cancel the contracts they have on their lives before it’s too late.

Based on a short story by Dutch writer H.J. Schönfeld, this latest feature from Mike van Diem—whose 1997 film Character took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film—is a dark romantic comedy brimming with fiendish plot twists. At the heart of The Surprise is a story of love—but the stakes are strictly life and death. – Andres Castillo


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Director: Mike Vam Diem
Producer: Hans de Weers, Mike van Diem, Els Vandevorst
Screenwriter: Mike Vam Diem

Cinematographer: Rogier Stoffers
Editor: Jessica de Koning

Cast: Jeroen van Koningsbrugge, Georgina Verbaan, Jan Decleir, Henry Goodman

Mike Vam Diem

Mike van Diem was born in Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands. He is a graduate of the Netherlands Film and Television Academy. His directorial credits include Alaska (1989), Character (97), which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and The Surprise (2015).