Up Close Again

Melanie drives a taxi in Amsterdam. She likes the work for the independence and freedom it offers her, and generally she likes interacting with her passengers. But on this night she picks up someone she knows. Dennis, who she was once intimate with but who went way too far and abused her trust and her body. In the safety of her own cab Melanie seizes the opportunity to have a conversation she would otherwise never have dared to initiate. A conversation about boundaries, about consent, about differing interpretations of the same evening.

  • Kristjan Knigge
    Silence undone, The Right Juice, Resting Place, Exposure
  • Alice Eefting
  • Frank van den Heuvel
  • Alice Eefting
    Key Cast
  • Ayrton Kirchner
    Key Cast
  • Esther van der Werf
    Key Cast
  • Luuk de Kok
  • Nick Verschoor
  • Jessy Pérukel
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Op de Huid
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 57 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 23, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Alexa
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kristjan Knigge

Kristjan Knigge was born in Denmark. He grew up in Portugal and England and now lives and works in Amsterdam. He started his career in film as a runner and has gained experience in production management, 1st Ading, editing, special effects and directing. As a director his work includes commercials, corporate films, music videos, a full-length documentary, three feature films and many, many short films. He currently works as a director for a Content Marketing Agency.

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Director Statement

From the moment writer and lead actress Alice approached me with this story I knew I wanted to be involved in creating this film. Based on her own lived experience, this film is about consent, about sexual abuse, and about how hard it often is to define boundaries and respect them.

In this film a young woman gets to have the conversation with the man who abused her. The conversation she always wanted to have but never dared to initiate. That conversation creates a space for both to grow and learn. It is not necessarily about forgiveness, rather it is about closure, responsibility and learning.

I see myself as the target audience for this film. I’m a man. When I was young I enjoyed flirting and chatting up women. I wasn’t shy, and I was, in locker room vernacular, fairly successful with the ladies. To my knowledge I never overstepped the line. But I might have, unknowingly. I might have been too forceful in my approach, I might have missed the cues and ended up sleeping with someone against their will. I hope not, but I can not be sure. Explicit consent was considered unsexy. Now I know better. Explicit and enthusiastic consent is vital.

I approached the film almost as if directing a play. We wanted to create a stage for the two characters to engage with each other with minimal distraction. So the film takes place in a taxi at night. One character driving, one a passenger in the back of the car. This added an immensely dramatic dynamic to the action. The characters can’t look at each other directly, and yet are in an enclosed, intimate space.

The film is an invitation to the audience to challenge their own views on what constitutes sexual abuse and on the nature of consent.