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Proud and honoured to receive a takeover from the most exciting writers rooms in the country: WINCHESTER MCFLY. Winchester McFly is an exciting, witty and funny collective of screenwriters composed of MICHAEL LEENDERTSE, JOOST REIJMERS, THOMAS VAN DER REE, MATTHIJS BOCKTING, PIETER VAN DEN BERG and SARAH OFFRINGA. Their credits list includes the upcoming Netflix series ‘Ares’, last Dutch entry to the Academy Awards and most seen Dutch film last year ‘Bankier van het Verzet’, TV series: ‘Smeris’, ‘Vliegende Hollanders’, ‘Judas’ and much more. Let’s find out all their secrets and how they work together, in this session.

PS: This is an emotional one for us, two of them are Shortcutz’ winners (<3 forever Thomas and Joost).


Michael (1982) graduated from the Dutch Film academy in 2008, specializing in screenwriting. His graduating film UITZICHT (View) won the Nassenstein Award for beginning filmmakers in the Best Fiction category. After this, Michael wrote the 100th NTR Short! ROSALINDA, and then turned his attention to writing drama series such as FEUTEN, the international series THE SPIRAL, several episodes of the show VAN GOD LOS, and four seasons of the cop show SMERIS.

Michael strongly believes in the principle of Showrunners and Writers rooms and was searching for writers who share his vision. Now as Winchester McFly, they have expanded their creative hub with shows like SMERIS, BUREAU RAAMPOORT and the NPO1 show VLIEGENDE HOLLANDERS. Nowadays, the guys have become friends as well as coworkers. It's in that chemistry that their true strength lies.

Michael was five years old when he was forced to watch JAWS, leaving him severely traumatized, but also with a lifelong love for Spielberg. His LEGO-fetish and love for STAR WARS have become the stuff of legend and luckily, ensures that Michael will never be taken too seriously at the office.


Even as a child, Joost (1982) was obsessed with movies and video games. When he was 15, he bought the video game THE DIRECTORS CHAIR, by Steven Spielberg. Playing this game was like hearing angels sing. He knew it then and there: he wanted to be a director. Joost is the only WinMaccer who graduated from the Dutch Film Academy, specializing as a director.

At the Film Academy, Joost became friends with Thomas van der Ree and the world hasn't been the same since. Together they made movies like A CURIOUS CONJUNCTION OF COINCIDENCES and PONY PLACE. They challenged each other when, for example, trying to push each other to greater heights. Together they made 55 episodes of the web series SCENARIOBESPREKINGEN.

Joost met Michael Leendertse, Pieter van den Berg and Matthijs Bockting through Thomas. Arriving at their joint office at the Lauriergracht is a party every day. Even when he forgets to ask the guys to not untie his shoelaces…one of the many bizarre rules the guys live by.


Thomas (1982) grew up in Nuenen, Noord-Brabant. He got the hell out of there on his 18th birthday and moved to Amsterdam. After watching MEMENTO and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM back to back one fateful night in 2001, he was certain: he wanted to be a screenwriter. He met director Joost Reijmers at the Dutch Film Academy, with who he created their graduation project A CURIOUS CONJUNCTION OF COINCIDENCES and the NTR Short! PONY PLACE.

Thomas' first writing job was on the show FEUTEN, where he met Michael and learned how to plot and write a tv show. Winchester McFly was officially formed in 2013: the best place to turn their bad ideas into good ones in a short time. Well, usually... sometimes one must play Mario Kart.

In 2016, RIPHAGEN, a miniseries, was released and sold to Netflix as a movie, to be seen internationally. This story gave Thomas a platform to display and combine his love for historical drama and thrillers. It also taught him much about the power of research. The aforementioned combination is also present in his current project, VLIEGENDE HOLLANDERS.


Matthijs (1987) studied Audiovisual Media at the HKU and graduated in 2013 from the Dutch Film Academy, specializing in screenwriting. He wrote his graduation film, MET EXCUSES VOOR HET ONGEMAK, which was directed by Eva Zanen. Eva and Matthijs became close friends during their time at the Film Academy.

Their vision to make radically stylized movies with a heart has payed off. Their film HOE HET ZO KWAM DAT DE RAMENLAPPER HOOGTEVREES KREEG won the Zilveren Krulstaart for Best Short film, the award for screenwriters in the Netherlands. Because Eva and Mathijs only received one, they share joint custody and are still amicably working together to this day.

After Winchester McFly was created and they found their office at the Lauriergracht, he can finally tell his mom he is working an office job. Matthijs likes to write as diversely as possible, ranging from Sinterklaas to the World War II. Moreover, with series like SMERIS, BUREAU RAAMPOORT and VLIEGENDE HOLLANDERS, he is able to create a base for his dream project: Amarcord in the Achterhoek.

Mathijs is also called the Hemingway of Hummelo, but mostly by himself.


Pieter (1981) graduated from the Film Academy. His graduation film SACRED DEFENSE was nominated for the Student Academy Awards. He was an intern at CTM LEC-pictures, where amongst other things, he came up with the structure for the documentary HOLLYWOOD BANKER.

After finishing the Film Academy, Pieter and his friends formed Winchester McFly, and the time has come to really start writing. Talking about movie classics, discussing several approaches, debating working together as a group, exchanging feedback: everything enriches Pieter as a writer and as a person.

Together with Winchester McFly, Pieter researches and writes on shows like SMERIS and VLIEGENDE HOLLANDERS. Besides this, Pieter is working on solo projects like the web series @Evert_45 and the VR tutorial BLACKJACK for Holland Casino. His personal dream scenarios contribute to finding his own style.

And if all this doesn't convince you.. Pieter can waste days on end trying to get 100% on any video game that dares come near him.


Sarah (1993) was Winchester McFly’s very first intern during her studies at the Netherlands Film Academy. After having spent six months with the boys, she was sure: this man-cave was the place for her. In 2016, Sarah wrote her graduation film Dark Machine, a neo-noir time travel short directed by frequent collaborator (and significant other) Sander van Dijk. Furthermore, she wrote two episodes for the whodunnit series, Dark Horse, and a thesis on predestination paradox in film. After graduating, she returned to Winchester McFly, where she has had a permanent place since 2017 and has worked on both LOIS and the group’s still untitled Netflix Original project.

Sarah is at the start of her career, but wants to make it big as a series writer. She has a passion for genre and is slightly obsessed with the idea of time travel. Her greatest ambition is to create the first Dutch time travel series - so don’t you dare beat her to the punch. Sarah feels very lucky to have five talented big brothers at the office and hopes to build a strong track record over the coming years.

At the Winchester offices, she has created the legendary Waffle Tuesday, the first step in her long-term plan of turning the boys to veganism.

In our Official Selection, you can watch and meet the teams of:


directed by Annabel Essink | Drama | 04:20 | PREMIERE

Jemyma is quite aggressive at school because of trouble at home. She discovers boxing as a way to control her temper, which lifts her up to great heights. But before she can participate at the Olympics she has to face one more challenge.


directed by Marieke Widlak | Documentary | 15:00

The doors of the only train are open. The platform at the Blankenberge railway station looks desolate. This is where filmmaker Marieke Widlak saw her sister for the last time. Slowly the doors close and the train takes off; we embark on a journey.

Now or never again shows the process of personal growth caused by an issue that people rarely give thoughts to. It displays an intimate portrait of a family, in which the openness around mourning is salient.

MAY WINNER: Screening and Announcement of our JURY TEAM favourite movie in MAY. This is the THIRD FILM to be nominated for Mr Zee Best Film and to join our international tour for the Audience Award.

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