The Bright Future 2012 program section in which the International Film Festival Rotterdam presents debut or second feature films, will include thirteen world premières as well as fourteen international premières from all corners of the world. Four films were supported by the IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund and six films were presented as projects at CineMart. The number of films in Bright Future has been brought back from eighty-four in IFFR 2011 to sixty-eight during IFFR 2012. The festival is expecting nearly all directors in this section to attend the festival.
World Premieres in Bright Future 2012
Argentina: TO LA CANTÁBRICA by Ezequiel Erriquez is a coming of age film set in the outskirts of Buenos Aires during the economic crisis of the late 1990’s.
Canada: THE ULTIMATE PRANX CASE by Influenz films. In 2010, three boys had a prank with a girl at school and streamed it live on Internet. What started as an innocent joke soon got completely out of hand.
Colombia, Argentina, France: CORTA by Felipe Guerrero. The hypnotic rhythm of the timeless (but rapidly disappearing) craft of harvesting sugarcane is masterfully reflected in this 16mm film, resulting in a contemplative and pure cinematic experience. Hubert Bals Fund-supported film.
France: PAR EXEMPLE, ELECTRE by Jeanne Balibar & Pierre Léon. In this eclectic homage to the Greek tragedy, Balibar and Léon are free of any convention.
India: CARNIVAL by Madhuja Mukherjee. Exciting film shot in overcrowded Kolkata during a Hindu festival merges documentary and fiction, evoking notions of joy and sadness.
Indonesia: PARTS OF THE HEART by Paul Agusta. Eight contemplative short films show stages in the love life of Peter, a gay in Jakarta.
Israel: ROOM 514 by Sharon Bar-Ziv. In this realistic and disturbing debut, a young female soldier fights against the abuse of power in the army.
The Netherlands: WAVUMBA by Jeroen van Velzen. A debut that follows an old fisherman in Kenya who immerses himself in a world of stories.
Spain: DRESS REHEARSAL FOR UTOPIA by Andrés Duque. Autobiographical drama is mixed with general, politico-cultural concepts. It all starts with a trip to Mozambique to seek film material shot there.
Switzerland, Azerbaijan: HE WAS A GIANT WITH BROWN EYES by Eileen Hofer.
Having grown up in Switzerland all her life, Sabina is now ready to return home to her father in Azerbaijan. Adolescence, separation and self-discovery.
Ukraine: GAAMER by Oleg Sentsov. The protagonist is a young Gamer who is great at shooting enemies in Quake but not so successful in real life.
USA : NOW, FORAGER: A FILM ABOUT LOVE & FUNGI by Jason Cortlund & Julia Halperin.
A couple is picking wild mushrooms to sell to chic restaurants. One of them offers her a job. While her culinary star is rising, their relationship goes downhill; THE GREAT NORTHWEST by Matt McCormick. Fifty years after four women embarked on a journey through the Northwest of America, director McCormick finds their scrapbook in a thrift shop and decides to repeat their journey.
(See full list of Bright Future premieres below, see complete line up of Bright Future on www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com)
As you might expect from a section that focuses on the discovery and promotion of new talent, the films are highly diverse in terms of their form, style, subject matter, budget and place of origin. Strikingly, however, they often share a playful, eclectic approach to their subjects, in which the filmmakers are not afraid to mix different styles. This can lead, for example, to a combination of animation and documentary (as in GRANDMA LO-FI: THE BASEMENT TAPES OF SIGRÍDUR NÍELSD by Ori Jónsson, Iceland/Denmark) or ego-fiction and animation (AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY by Terence Nance, USA).
In the Philippines, a hothouse of young talent for several years now, Jet Leyco made his self-assured debut EX PRESS, which is ‘part documentary, part dream’. Actress and singer Jeanne Balibar, a member of the Tiger Awards Jury in 2010, made PAR EXEMPLE, ELECTRE with Pierre Léon – an inimitable, often humorous combination of improvised theatre and modern communication. In CARNIVAL, Indian director Madhuja Mukherjee presents her main character’s emotions upon returning to his hometown as a multi-level, enchanting trip.
Less hybrid cinematic forms are also very much alive and kicking, however, and offer many perspectives for innovation and expression, as is demonstrated by the successful way in which Felipe Guerrero (Argentina) in CORTA associates the work of sugar cane harvesters with the process of 16mm filmmaking. This film is a beautiful, cinematic meditation reminiscent of the work of Sharon Lockhart or Ben Russell. For his first feature-length film, THE GREAT NORTHWEST, Matt McCormick (USA) travelled through the northwest of the USA, retracing a journey depicted in a photo album from 1958. Sharon Bar-Ziv from Israel directed the claustrophobic, critical story ROOM 514, about power relations within the Israeli military machine. Ezequiel Erriquez made A LA CANTÁBRICA, a sensitive film about growing up during the crisis years in Argentina.
Latin America & Asia
The IFFR is also the first international platform to present MALAVENTURA, the feature debut of Michel Lipkes (Mexico). Other Latin-American selections include LA JUBILADA, Jairo Boisier’s gripping drama about a former porn actress who returns to her home village in Chile; the atmospheric RÂNIA by Roberta Marques (Netherlands/Brazil), about a young, ambitious dancer from a poor neighbourhood in Fortaleze, and the fascinating documentary THE HYPERWOMEN by Fausto Carlos, Leonardo Sette and Takuma Kuikuro (Brazil), about the rituals of an Indian tribe. The versatility of independent film production in Asia also remains great, as can be seen at the IFFR in Wu Quan’s claustrophobically designed SENTIMENTAL ANIMAL (China) or the rural Japanese drama SOUND OF LIFE by Hirayama Shiho, to name just two.
From Hubert Bals Fund and CineMart to Bright Future
Naturally, Bright Future also screens a selection of the most successful debut and second films of the past film year. Including works from directors already associated with the festival, such as Ben Wheatly’s KILL LIST (United Kingdom, the follow-up to his feature debut DOWN TERRACE, which screened at IFFR 2010); Milagros Mumenthaler’s ABRIR PUERTAS Y VENTANAS (made with support from the Hubert Bals Fund, launched as a project at CineMart and a winner of the Golden Leopard in Locarno); Helvécio Marins & Clarissa Campolina’s GIRIMUNHO (Brazil, also supported by the Hubert Bals Fund); Nicolas Provost’s THE INVADER (Belgium, launched as a project at CineMart some years ago) or THE PATRON SAINTS (USA/Canada), the documentary debut of Canadian filmmakers Melanie Shatzky & Brian Cassidy.
IFFR 2012 Bright Future: list of films with premiere status, alphabetically by production country:
(see complete Bright Future list on www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com)
A la Cantábrica (To La Cantábrica), Ezequiel Erriquez, Argentina
Corta, Felipe Guerrero, Colombia, Argentina, France
The Ultimate Pranx Case, Influenz Films, Canada
Par exemple, Electre (Electre, for instance), Jeanne Balibar & Pierre Léon, France
Carnival, Madhuja Mukherjee, India
Parts of the Heart, Paul Agusta, Indonesia
Room 514, Sharon Bar-Ziv, Israel
Wavumba, Jeroen van Velzen, Netherlands
Ensayo final para utopia (Dress Rehearsal for Utopia), Andrés Duque, Spain
He Was a Giant with Brown Eyes, Eileen Hofer, Switzerland, Azerbaijan
Gaamer (Gamer), Oleg Sentsov, Ukraine
Now, Forager: A Film about Love & Fungi, Jason Cortlund & Julia Halperin, USA
The Great Northwest, Matt McCormick, USA
Black & White & Sex, John Winter, Australia
Rânia, Roberta Marques, Brazil
As hiper mulheres (The Hyperwomen), Fausto Carlos & Leonardo Sette & Takuma Kuikuro, Brazil
Sentimental Animal, Wu Quan, China
La jubilada (The Retired), Jairo Boisier Olave, Chile
L’ anabase (The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and the 27 Years Without Images), Eric Baudelaire, France
Die Räuberin (Rough), Markus Busch, Germany
Amma Lo-fi (Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsd), Orri Jónsson & Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir & Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, Iceland, Denmark
Valley of Saints, Musa Syeed, USA/India
Hikari no oto (The Sound of Light), Yamasaki Juichiro, Japan
Malaventura, Michel Lipkes, Mexico
Ex Press, Jet Leyco, Philippines
Chapiteau-show, Sergey Loban, Russia
Akataka (That Small Piece), JOSEph S KEN, Uganda
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Terence Nance, USA
The Whirlpool, Alvin Case, USA
The Patron Saints, Melanie Shatzky & Brian M. Cassidy, USA/Canada
Un nuage dans un verre d’eau (A Cloud in a Glass of Water), Srinath C. Samarasinghe,
Momoiro sora wo (About the Pink Sky), Kobayashi Keiichi, Japan
Padang besar (I Carried You Home), Tongpong Chantarangkul, Thailand