Eight films have been selected for the Big Screen Competition at the 2018 International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR): three world premieres, one international premiere and four European premieres.
The three world premiere nominees are: Nina, Polish filmmaker Olga Chajdas’s feature film debut in which a couple’s love is tested as they struggle to find a surrogate mother for their child; Father to Son, the third feature by Taiwanese filmmaker Hsiao Ya-chuan (Mirror Image), a story of reconciliation in which a 60-year-old man goes to Japan to look for his father who abandoned him when he was 10, and An Impossibly Small Object by Dutch filmmaker David Verbeek, which confronts the relationship between maker and subject. In this meditative film, Verbeek himself plays a Dutch photographer transfixed by a picture he took of a girl in a Taiwanese parking lot. IFFR has screened many of Verbeek’s films in the past. His Shanghai Trance and Dead & Beautiful were both selected for CineMart.
The Big Screen Competition also includes the international premiere of Night Comes On, Jordana Spiro’s debut feature about an 18-year-old woman who takes her 10-year-old sister on a journey that could destroy their futures.
Lastly, the four European premieres. British filmmaker Jim Hosking’s comedy An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn stars Aubrey Plaza as a woman whose unsatisfactory marriage is shaken when she sees a performance piece by a mysterious man from her past. Danish filmmaker Gustav Möller’s intense feature debut The Guilty revolves around one emergency phone call – an initially disinterested police officer quickly jumps into action when he hears a woman being kidnapped. Pity by Greek filmmaker Babis Makridis (selected for CineMart in 2014) is about a man with such need for pity he’s willing to do absolutely anything to get it from others. IFFR previously screened Makridis’ film L, in 2012 in the Tiger Awards Competition. Sebastián Hofmann’s second feature Tiempo compartido was also selected for CineMart in 2014, and also received a grant from the Hubert Bals Fund. This satire follows the struggle of two paranoid men against the ever-smiling staff of an all-inclusive resort. Hofmann made his debut at IFFR 2013 with Halley, which also competed in the Tiger Awards Competition.
In 2013, the VPRO Big Screen Award was inaugurated to promote the presence of quality films on the big screen and public television in the Netherlands. Of the €30,000 in prize money, €15,000 is spent towards the winning film’s theatrical release and €15,000 towards the production of the filmmaker’s next project. In 2017 the award was won by Kirsten Tan’s Pop Aye. Earlier winners were Les ogres by Léa Fehner in 2016, Second Coming by Debbie Tucker Green in 2015, Another Year by Oxana Bychkova in 2014 and Bellas mariposas by Salvatore Mereu in 2013.
A jury of five experienced festival-goers picks the winner of the VPRO Big Screen Award, worth €30,000. The winning film will be released in Dutch cinemas and will be purchased by the Dutch public broadcasting network NPO to screen on national television.
Full selection Big Screen Competition:
An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, Jim Hosking, UK/USA, 2018, European premiere
Father to Son, Hsiao Ya-chuan, Taiwan, 2018, world premiere
The Guilty, Gustav Möller, Denmark, 2018, European premiere
An Impossibly Small Object, David Verbeek, Taiwan/Netherlands/Croatia, 2018, world premiere
Night Comes On, Jordana Spiro, USA, 2018, international premiere
Nina, Olga Chajdas, Poland, 2018, world premiere
Pity, Babis Makridis, Greece/Poland, 2018, European premiere
Tiempo compartido, Sebastián Hofmann, Mexico/Netherlands, 2018, European premiere