Twin brothers Lazlo and Dylan Tonk (1982) started their film company Dyzlo Film in 2004. Based in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands, Dyzlo Film tells the unique stories of ordinary people, with subjects ranging from healthcare and education to art, music and video games.
Lazlo and Dylan both graduated as Master of Arts in film studies at Utrecht University. Upon graduation they produced the awardwinning documentary JAN MESDAG SINGS BREL and the short dance film EXPLORE, which was selected for several European film festivals.
In choosing the subjects for their films, Lazlo and Dylan focus on social relevant issues such as human rights, equality and sustainable development. Their recent work includes a series of short films documenting the build of several preschools in the townships of Cape Town, South Africa.
The Netherlands has always been known for its liberal views on homosexuality. It was the first country that legislated gay marriage and celebrates its diversity at the annual Gay Pride in Amsterdam, which is visited by 300.000 people each year. We are proud to live in a country that values its gay citizens.
In recent years tolerance seems to be deteriorating. Gay related violence is increasing and current numbers show that in schools, one out of three pupils doesn’t want to sit next to a gay peer. We feel that the battle for social acceptance is an ongoing process, even in the Netherlands.
We grew up in the province town of Arnhem in the rural east of the Netherlands. At our high school of 1500+ pupils, no one was openly gay, including the teachers. We were unsure if homosexuality would be accepted and how our group of friends would react to it. Both of us waited until our college years to come out.
In writing Caged, we drew from our own experiences in creating the friendship between David and Niels. Although they are best friends, a lot is left unspoken. David is oblivious to the inner struggle that Niels is going through and Niels knowingly conceals his secret. What is the value of friendship without honesty?
Caged explores what happens when a friendship is put to the test. Niels’ coming out not only confronts David with the truth about his best friend, but he also has to face his own prejudices on homosexuality. Our film shows the struggle of staying true to yourself despite insecurities and peer pressure.
– Lazlo and Dylan Tonk
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