TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding

Frans van Gestel

Frans van Gestel




Decision Maker 2017


Frans has been a film producer since 1996 with an impressive list of awards, including Golden Calves for Best Feature Film with “LOVE IS ALL”, BLACK BOOK”, “JOY” and “BLACK BUTTERFLIES”. In the last 20 years, he has produced over 90 features, drama series, short films and international co-productions. In 2011 he established Topkapi Films, together with Arnold Heslenfeld and Laurette Schillings. Topkapi develops, produces and co-produces feature films and television drama, striving to build long-term relationships with writers and directors. In recent years van Gestel (co)produced films as Layla M., A Noble Intention, Land and Shade, The Commune, The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Family Way and Post Tenebras Lux.

Before Topkapi van Gestel established Motel Films in 1996 and lead IDTV Film from 2008 until 2011. Successful films van Gestel (co)produced in the past include titles as Black Book, Stellet Licht, The Heineken Kidnapping, Code Blue, Black Butterflies, Love is All, The Misfortunates, Joy, Gigante and In Orange.

Next to producing films Frans van Gestel is member of the board of the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

company profile

Topkapi is an Amsterdam based company run by producers Frans van Gestel, Arnold Heslenfeld and Laurette Schillings.
The company, well experienced in producing and co-producing feature films and television drama for the Dutch and international market, strives to build long-term relationships with writers and directors, with renowned and upcoming talent.
With focus on new ways of storytelling Topkapi Films recently started to collaborate with documentary company Moondocs and other documentary film makers (Robert Oey).
In 2016 Topkapi established a distribution company; Topkapi Films Distribution.
In 2017 Topkapi established an official TV branch: Topkapi TV.

Since 1996 Topkapi (co-)produced more than 100 feature films (arthouse as well as commercial) and drama projects, amongst others BLACK BOOK (2006, nomination BAFTA award and European Film Award), LOVE IS ALL (2007, box office hit in the Netherlands, remakes in Belgium and Germany), THE HEINEKEN KIDNAPPING (2011), BLACK BUTTERFLIES (2011), A NOBLE INTENTION (2015, Netflix worldwide sales) and LAYLA M. (2016, Toronto, London and Rome selection main competitions).

In the past we’ve built a large international network, coproducing amonst others THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN (2012; BE-NL; nomination Academy Award), LAND AND SHADE (2015; Camera d’Or Cannes), SCHLAFKRANKHEIT (2011, Silver Bear Berlinale), and POST TENEBRAS LUX (2012; Best Director Award Cannes). We continue these collaborations with coproductions BELGICA (Felix van Groeningen, Sundance 2016 Best Director Award), THE COMMUNE / KOLLEKTIVET (Thomas Vinterberg, Berlinale 2016), KING OF THE BELGIANS (Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth, Venice 2016) and LAND (in production, Babak Jalali).