72hrs The Hague Film Contest

72hrs The Hague Film Contest

Learn more about City Branding, The Hague's Best Citizen Engagement strategy.

Entered by City Branding, The Hague 

The young talent group is an important target for The Hague, which offers a genuine ‘city and sea’ lifestyle. Research has shown that this younger target group does not seem to have a clear idea about what The Hague represents, or only tends to associate it with politics. The goal was to change that image, so that young professionals and students would consider The Hague to be a potential city to visit, or in which to work, live or study. Following the successful campaign ’30 days as a Hagenees’ which earned the City Nation Place Award for best Communication Strategy in 2017, City Branding The Hague launched a second high profile event in order to strengthen the city’s image: The 72hrs The Hague film contest - creating a platform for young creative talent to show their skills in the field of film making, thereby providing original video content centred around The Hague, seen through the eyes of the city’s own residents.

The 72hrs The Hague film contest was designed for undiscovered, but talented, film makers to make a short dramatic film in record time using the city as their film set. They had 72 hours to get their team together and write a script, scout locations, film and edit. The entered films were judged by an expert jury, led by Martin Koolhoven, renowned film director of - most recently - the Oscar-nominated film “Brimstone”. This expert jury contributed greatly to the high quality of the contest and its popularity- to have your film judged by professional and renowned film makers/ directors is something that an aspiring film maker can proudly add to their resumé. The key goals were to provide a platform for talented film makers to showcase their abilities, to engage them with their city and to see the creative use of The Hague as the décor in the films. It also demonstrated that the city is well suited for professional film productions; which supported the acquisition efforts of City Branding The Hague to bring (inter)national film and TV production to the city.

Contestants were recruited through a promotional video, in which the city was shown as one big film studio, suited for an epic Game of Thrones type battle scene, a Walking Dead horror moment and/or great comedy. Schools and universities with educational programmes aimed at media and film promoted the contest for use on their social media channels. The jury members gave interviews on national and local radio and TV stations to recruit film makers to join. The selected participants were invited to personally collect the rules of the contest at the partnering Movie Theatre on the first day of the project with Martin Koolhoven, head of the jury, on-site to give them advice and tips before they got started. Several teams were filmed and interviewed by the local press during different stages of the film making process within those 72 hours. This way the whole process could be shared and followed, not just the end result.

Within two weeks of launching the promotion 40 entries had been received and 25 teams eventually competed. The top 10 were shown during an event at one of The Hague’s most beautiful cinemas with 400 people in attendance, including national and local press, city council members and stakeholders in the field of media and film. The winner – a 19 year old student - received €1,000 to spend on further developing her film career and she directed her own feature film later that year. The winning film was shown several times on local television and websites of media partners as well as on social media.

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