Welcoming a world-leading conference for the media industry

Each autumn, the world’s electronic media professionals converge on the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre for IBC, one of the industry’s biggest gatherings. Amsterdam, of course, is no stranger to the world of film and TV, being home to many established media companies, and producing some of the world’s most famous TV shows. Movie experts and Amsterdam lovers alike will have caught a glimpse of the city on the silver screen, too.

When IBC 2019 kicks off this September, it continues a long-running tradition. Founded in 1967 as the International Broadcasting Convention, IBC has been held in Amsterdam since 1992. In the years in which the convention has called Amsterdam its home, it has developed into the world’s leading electronic media, entertainment and technology show, attracting more than 55,000 industry professionals from over 170 countries. “What we look for is the best event base,” IBC’s CEO Michael Crimp told I amsterdam. “People come from over 170 countries, so for us it’s about having the hub that can provide the best venue, the best support, the best facilities – and Amsterdam has always managed to provide that.”

Amsterdam’s starring role in films

Of course, it also helps that the city offers a great experience for visitors, with a wealth of culture, restaurants and nightlife. And the city’s historic 16th-century canal buildings, modern architecture and lush green parks make the Dutch capital an iconic international destination. As a result, Amsterdam plays a starring role in a number of films, from Hollywood exploits to cult classics.

Five films set in Amsterdam you really should see

Amsterdamned, 1988

This classic horror film features excellent boat chases, camp acting and gruesome gore, as it tells the story of a murderer who hides in Amsterdam’s canals in full scuba gear before appearing to make his terrible kills. Enough to strike the fear into anyone strolling along the canals at night – until you imagine the killer attempting a getaway on flippers.

Diamonds are Forever, 1971

In Diamonds are Forever, Sean Connery’s Bond saunters around the canal ring pretending to be a diamond smuggler. Bond girl Tiffany Case lives in a gorgeous canal mansion on Reguliersgracht 36, though Amsterdam visitors staying in an upper storey of such a house will be disappointed to note that the depicted lift is rather untypical for canal houses and is indeed nothing more than a work of fiction.

Ocean’s Twelve, 2004

The all-star follow-up to Ocean’s Eleven sees George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon swing through Amsterdam to pull off a major heist, wear snazzy suits and hang out at the Pulitzer. None of them, however, have cycling skills half as good as Rutger Hauer (see below).

The Fault in our Stars, 2014

Amsterdam provided several romantic backdrops for this tear-jerking story of two terminally ill teenagers. In one of the most poignant scenes, the two profess their love for each other on a bench overlooking Leidsegracht. Less romantically, that bench then was stolen shortly after the film’s release. It has since been replaced.

Turkish Delight (Turks Fruit), 1973

Turks Fruit is one of the most acclaimed Dutch films of all time and a true cult classic. A turbulent love story, it features a young Rutger Hauer in one of cinema’s most iconic cycling scenes: a newlywed Hauer cycles through busy traffic with his bride, brandishing a bouquet, on the back of the bike. The couple – she is played by Monique van de Ven – steal an ice-cream off a passer-by, drive a car off the road and then cycle straight into a liquor shop for champagne. Do not attempt to copy – unless you’re really good on a bike.