A graduate of Amsterdam's acclaimed Film Academy, Morlang marks Penning's directorial debut, a project for which he also takes a co-writer credit.
After graduating in 1992, he directed episodes of several Dutch drama series for most of the major networks.
The frustration this caused resulted in a short film made in 1995; the horror-spoof The Bitch is Back, his first collaboration with producer Petra Goedings. This 15 minute film became an unexpected festival hit and was shown at more than 50 film festivals internationally, at which it won two prizes.
The short film The Oath, made in 1997, surpassed its predecessor by winning 11 prizes and two nominations. This considerably more serious 10 minute film has now also been through the festival circuit and both films have been sold to various foreign television channels (The British channel 4 among them).
Between '97 and '99 Penning directed a number of commercials until he started production for Morlang, shooting in 2000.
Morlang was released in Dutch cinemas in November 2001. The screenplay was nominated for the 'Gouden kalf' (the Dutch Academy Awards) and at the Cairo International Film Festival lead actor Paul Freeman won the Best Actor award. On top of that, Penning received the award for Best First Film from Abas Kiostorami, the head of the jury.
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