International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) will celebrate the close of its 50th edition with a full lineup of programs from June 2 to 6, extending on demand until June 9.
The lineup will comprise of the new program Harbour, alongside Bright Future, Cinema Regained, and the Short & Mid-length program, with a festive selection of outdoor open-air screenings of IFFR classics. The Art Directions program completes the physical offering with live performances, Virtual Reality, a traveling installation, and 50th specials, which altogether offer the chance to celebrate the close of this anniversary edition together in person.
Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic: “As we witness small signs of society gradually opening up, we are incredibly proud to celebrate cinema in June during the closing chapter of our 50th edition. If cinemas reopen we will be there to welcome audiences to the big screen. Like in February, we will also be present online with our full program and Q&As accessible via IFFR.com. We are excited to share a wide range of works, from the discovery of cinematic gems in Cinema Regained to first features of Bright Future hand-picked by each of our programmers. As well as an eclectic selection of commissioned works in Art Directions and of course our new main program Harbour. No matter what, we will be here both for our audiences and filmmakers to offer fresh perspectives and a great plurality of voices.”
IFFR’s newest and largest program Harbour will host the world premiere of French filmmaker Samuel Doux’s feature debut Dune Dreams and the European premiere of The Blue Danube, the latest feature by Tiger Award-winning Japanese director Ikeda Akira depicting overbearing bureaucracy that Japan and many other countries suffer from. Brazil’s Júlio Bressane, whose debut feature was released in 1967, returns to IFFR with Capitu and the Chapter. Mexican director of Mixtec origin Ángeles Cruz portrays her home village in debut feature Nudo Mixteco. Portuguese director Cláudia Varejão is selected for her documentary on intimacy and relationships, Amor fati. Spanish director Agustí Villaronga, whose work was the subject of an IFFR retrospective in 2011, returns with a mix of theatre and film that recounts the 1816 La Méduse shipwreck in El ventre del mar.
- Amor fati, Cláudia Varejão, 2020, Portugal/Switzerland/France
- Birds of America, Jacques Lœuille, 2021, France
- The Blue Danube, Ikeda Akira, 2020, Japan, European premiere
- Bottled Songs 1-4, Chloé Gailbert-Laîné/Kevin B. Lee, 2020, Germany/France/USA
- Capitu and the Chapter, Júlio Bressane, 2021, Brazil, world premiere
- Davos, Daniel Hoesl/Julia Niemann, 2020, Austria
- Death on the Streets, Johan Carlsen, 2020, Germany/Denmark/Greece, international premiere
- Decameron, Rita Hui Nga Shu, 2021, Hong Kong, world premiere
- Dune Dreams, Samuel Doux, 2021, France/Belgium, world premiere
- Fan Girl, Antoinette Jadaone, 2020, Philippines
- Homeless, Lim Seung-hyeun, 2020, South Korea, international premiere
- Hotele Lerallaneng, Charlie Vundla, 2020, South Africa, world premiere
- A Man and a Camera, Guido Hendrikx, 2020, Netherlands
- MINAMATA Mandala, Hara Kazuo, 2020, Japan
- Nudo Mixteco, Ángeles Cruz, 2021, Mexico
- Only the Winds, Karim Kassem, 2021, Lebanon/USA
- Persona Non Grata, Lisa Jespersen, 2021, Denmark
- Scarecrow, Dmitry Davydov, 2020, Russia, international premiere
- A Song for You, Dukar Tserang, 2020, China, European premiere
- An Unusual Summer, Kamal Aljafari, 2020, Palestine
- El ventre del mar, Agustí Villaronga, 2021, Spain
Bright Future features the world premieres of documentary Damascus Dreams by Montreal-based visual artist and filmmaker Émilie Serri, Slovenian mountain-set BERG by the Dutch theatre and filmmaker Joke Olthaar and Phoenix by Belgian artist, musician and filmmaker Bram Droulers. Indian filmmakers Pooja Shetty and Neil Pagedar are selected for their six-part science fiction comedy ;OK Computer, along with China’s Wang Qiong for the world premiere of All About My Sisters.
- All About My Sisters, Wang Qiong, 2021, USA, world premiere
- BERG, Joke Olthaar, 2021, Netherlands, world premiere
- Damascus Dreams, Émilie Serri, 2021, Canada, world premiere
- Faya Dayi, Jessica Beshir, 2021, Ethiopia/USA/Qatar
- A felicidade das coisas, Thais Fujinaga, 2021, Brazil, world premiere
- Lumina, Samuele Sestieri, 2021, Italy, world premiere
- OK Computer, Pooja Shetty/Neil Pagedar, 2020, India
- Phoenix, Bram Droulers, 2021, Belgium/France/UK, world premiere
- Rock Bottom Riser, Fern Silva, 2021, USA
- The Son, Noushin Meraji, 2021, Iran
- Thomas der Hochspringer, Leri Matehha, 2020, Germany, international premiere
- Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: a History of Folk Horror, Kier-La Janisse, 2021, USA
Cinema Regained is IFFR’s program dedicated to film history. It presents recent restorations and films dedicated to exploring aspects of cinema’s heritage. The festival marks its first ever restoration contributions in collaboration with Kobe Planet Film Archive: the internationally celebrated resurgence of early Walt Disney’s Neck ‘n’ Neck – which introduces the character of Oswald, precursor to Mickey Mouse – and Sea Palace, a live action film by pioneering Japanese animator Masaoka Kenzō. Experimental investigations into the seventh art remain a fixture of the program, represented among others by Stephen Broomer’s Fat Chance, a darkly comical tribute to Hollywood heavy Laird Cregar. Iranian director Shahram Mokri’s latest work, Careless Crime, evokes the 1978 burning of a cinema during a screening of The Deer by Masoud Kimiai – an event that instigated the Iranian Revolution. Both films are selected for the program.
Art Directions: 50th edition specials and more
Art Directions is IFFR’s adventurous program dedicated to uniting the realms of art and cinema, doing so in June with live performance works, installations, Virtual Reality, alongside a pop-up museum and photography series. The Four Performances program comprises live performance works that explore what the art of film means in all its dimensions, developed with artists who have their roots in the short film section of IFFR. They include Berlin-based artist duo Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, presenting (No) Time, German-Italian visual artist and filmmaker Rosa Barba’s Voice Engine, multidisciplinary Angolan artist Kiluanji Kia Henda with Resetting Birds’ Memories and Taiwanese visual artist Su Hui-yu with Revenge Scenes.
The UBIK space at WORM will host a Virtual Reality program of four works including the world premiere of The Subterranean Imprint Archive by South African duo Francois Knoetze and Amy Louise Wilson. The Hangman at Home – VR by Israeli-origin filmmakers Michelle and Uri Kranot, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best VR Immersive Work at the 2020 Venice Biennale, is also selected. Image Technology Echoes by Australian artist Lauren Moffatt and To Miss the Ending by British artists Anna West and David Callanan complete the selection.
Mobile installation The Werner − Guerilla Cinema, created together with Atelier Van Lieshout, will travel throughout Rotterdam screening local cinematic portraits. As 50th edition specials, Art Directions presents pop-up museum IFFR Time Machine, which invites audiences to look back at the festival’s history and imagine its future with historic photography, archival materials and paraphernalia, while Picture This continues from February presenting the second part of a photography series of fifty festival portraits taken throughout IFFR’s history.
Short & Mid-length
June’s Short & Mid-length selection celebrates the program’s focus on artists’ moving image and experimental film with 40 film titles. Five compilations that foreground storytelling speak to the most urgent challenges and opportunities of our times, featuring Syrian-American Ramzi Bashour with The Trees, Peruvian Felipe Esparza Pérez with The Old Child and Argentine-Dutch filmmaker Jaime Levinas with PINPIN. Five mid-length titles are also selected, including Bela by Indian director Prantik Basu who returns to the festival after winning a Tiger Short Award at IFFR 2017.
The Short & Mid-length section presents a special one-off Dutch Panorama program of 11 short titles, including Amsterdam-based former Tiger Short Award winner Daniel Jacoby ;who is selected for No One Cried, alongside IFFR regular Erik van Lieshout for Art Blasé and Jasper Coppes showing Aasivissuit. A Short Profile of four films will feature artistic duo Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, who represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale in 2019 with Moving Backwards, which will be screened in the profile, along with Charming for the Revolution, I Want and Silent.