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The International Film Festival Rotterdam has selected 196 short films from more than 3,500 submissions for its main programme Spectrum Shorts, which can be seen from Thursday 26 through Monday 30 January in LantarenVenster. This year, Spectrum Shorts encompasses no less than 42 world premières; many of these films that have been made by young filmmakers and video artists from all over the world. Short films can also be seen in the IFFR’s Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films; screening in advance of feature films; in the themed Signals programmes and during the Short Film Marathon on Saturday, 4 February.

Spectrum Shorts, the IFFR’s short film programme this year is not quite as extensive as in previous years. This means that both festival audiences and the many filmmakers and film professionals that come to Rotterdam specially for this have more time to meet one another before and after the film screenings.

The Shorts programme screens at a single festival location: LantarenVenster in the Kop van Zuid area of Rotterdam. From Thursday 26 January through Monday 30 January, the short films can be seen here in carefully compiled compilations. The IFFR short films selection committee was made up of Juliette Jansen, Erwin van ’t Hart, Sacha Bronwasser, Peter Taylor and Theus Zwakhals, and was headed by festival programmer Peter van Hoof.

On the morning of Monday, 30 January, from 22.00 hours in Worm (Boomgaardsstraat 71, Rotterdam) the Shorts programme will conclude with the award of the Tiger Awards for Short Film. As well as the award itself, each of the three winners will receive an amount of 3,000 Euros.

Spectrum Shorts has close ties to the rest of the festival. For example, this year six projects by filmmakers who have previously attended the festival or who are showing their work this year have been selected for CineMart. These include Christelle Lheureux (France), who returns with her mid-length film LA MALADIE BLANCHE; Benjamin Naishtat (Argentina, HISTORIA DEL MAL) and Gabriel Abrantes (Portugal, PALÁCIOS DE PENA). Their new film projects have been selected for CineMart.

This year, Spectrum Shorts features a lot of brand new work, including 42 world premières, 41 international premières and 33 European premières, often by talented young filmmakers and video artists. In addition, the IFFR is now also showing new short works by experienced and world-famous filmmakers such as Nathaniel Dorsky (Filmmaker in Focus at the IFFR in 2011), Jay Rosenblatt, Pedro Costa, Amit Dutta, Henry Hills, Ben Russell and the latest films from former Tiger Awards winners Ben Rivers, Mati Diop and Lewis Klahr.

The Dutch presence in the Spectrum Shorts programme is particularly strong this year, with the world premières of VEXED, the new project by Rotterdam’s own Telcosystems; 7 PEAKS by Anna Abrahams, the long-expected third part of her trilogy; LIGHTHOUSE by Wouter Venema; THICKER THAN PAINT THINNER by Babak Afrassiabi, TAMINO by Eveline Ketterings and THE BUNKER – THE HABITUATION – THE WAIT – THE LIGHT by Jonas Staal in which he gives an absorbing depiction of the worldview of Fleur Agema, a member of the Dutch parliament for the PVV (‘Freedom Party’). New works by Johan Rijpma (TAPE GENERATION); Esther Urlus (DEEP RED); Roderick Hietbrink (LIVING ROOM) and one of the artists from the Soundtrack City Rotterdam project, Katarina Zdjelar (RISE AGAIN), all also deserve special attention.

Anyone who has missed the regular screenings of the short films during the first festival weekend will have another chance to see them on Saturday, 4 February, as all the highlights will be screened again (without intervals) in the Short Film Marathon, from 10 in the morning to 1 a.m.

After the festival, every month, throughout the year, a new selection of short films will be shown online (for free) on the IFFR’s YouTube channel.

The IFFR’s festival program consists of three main sections: Bright Future – idiosyncratic and adventurous new work by novice makers, including the Tiger Awards Competitions -, Spectrum and Spectrum Shorts – new and recent work by experienced film makers and artists who provide, in the opinion of the IFFR, an essential contribution to international film culture -, and Signals, a series of thematic programs and retrospectives offering insight in topical as well as timeless ideas within cinema.

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