**Winner of the Audience Choice Award at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival 2014**
HOW GREAT IT WAS (Mooi Geweest) is a film about an aging men's field hockey team from the south of the Netherlands that has been playing together for over 50 years. Most of the guys are approaching the age of 70 and now they decided to play their very last game together. It is a film about male friendships, aging and not being able to do all the fun stuff anymore. But fortunately, growing older is a bit easier when you are doing it together. It is a portrait of a team of friends with all their different personalities. The film evolves around the very last field hockey game of their lives...
First time Independent Filmmaker
This film started off as a birthday-present for Ilja's- father's 70th birthday. There was initially no plan to make something more serious out of this 'video'. But during the 3-day filming process and mostly while editing this 'birthday present', Ilja realized that this was quite a unique group of men and that their friendship was very special. How great it Was is about playing field hockey together, life itself and 'the third half'. After years of working for prominent broadcasters, this is Ilja's very first independent, self-produced short documentary. She approached the making of this film as a 'trial project' for future documentaries by doing almost everything herself: from editing to clearing music rights and from fundraising to promoting it. A truly priceless experience and a wonderful document about Dutch field hockey culture.