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Memoria directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Memoria directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announced the first confirmed titles for its 51st edition which takes place in Rotterdam from January 26 to February 6, 2022. The festival is planned as a physical event that celebrates the reunion of audiences, filmmakers, industry and press with a full festival program. As IFFR veterans including Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Tan Chui Mui return, there are world premieres for feature debuts by Alberto De Michele and David Easteal.

Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic: “With huge excitement, we’re announcing the return of our filmmaking community to Rotterdam. This is an opportunity to fully demonstrate the revamped program structure which we announced last year, but more importantly, it’s the chance to finally celebrate the collective experience of cinema again. The program we’re building for IFFR 2022 will be one worthy of a full return to cinemas and venues in Rotterdam, and this mix of exciting debuts and seasoned come-backs in our first announcement reflects that perfectly. As we move towards the physical return of our festival, we remain determined and ready to adapt to whatever the circumstances require.”

The Limelight lineup of avant-premieres and cinematic highlights from the year’s festival circuit will include Thai director and IFFR-regular Apichatpong Weerasethakul with his Hubert Bals Fund-supported Memoria, which won the Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Other filmmakers returning with celebrated work include Japanese director Hamaguchi Ryūsuke with Drive My Car, French-Argentine filmmaker Gaspar Noé with Vortex, British director Clio Barnard with Ali & Ava, and Norwegian director Joachim Trier whose The Worst Person in the World won Renate Reinsve the award for Best Actress at Cannes. Also confirmed are Freaks Out by Italian director Gabriele Mainetti, and Audrey Diwan’s Venice Golden Lion winner L’événement from France.

Italian director Fabrizio Ferraro returns to IFFR in the festival’s program Harbour, home to the broadest range of contemporary cinema found at the festival, which presents the world premiere of his 1944-set Alpine drama I morti rimangono con la bocca aperta. Tiger Award-winning Malaysian filmmaker Tan Chui Mui demonstrates her martial arts skills in her most recent film, Barbarian Invasion. Brazilian director Anita Rocha da Silveira is selected for Medusa, a former CineMart project that was awarded the Sebastiane Latino Award for best representing sexual and gender diversity at this year’s San Sebastián International Film Festival. Russia’s Lado Kvataniya is selected for his serial killer film The Execution, and is joined in the lineup by Jordanian filmmaker Bassel Ghandour with his debut feature The Alleys.

The first titles in the Bright Future program, dedicated to young and emerging film talent, are announced. With a previous selection in the Tiger Short Competition, Dutch-Italian director Alberto De Michele will world-premiere his debut feature The Last Ride of the Wolves, a heist-drama inspired by the life of his father. Spanish director Julián Génisson world-premieres his curiously cheerful Inmotep, as does Australian director David Easteal whose fixed-camera debut feature The Plains is set almost entirely during daily car commutes in suburban Melbourne. Danish director Tea Lindeburg is also selected after she won the Silver Shell for best director at San Sebastián earlier this year for her 19th century-set drama As in Heaven.

First confirmations in full:

Limelight

Ali & Ava, Clio Barnard, 2021, UK

Drive My Car, Hamaguchi Ryūsuke, 2021, Japan

L’événement, Audrey Diwan, 2021, France

Freaks Out, Gabriele Mainetti, 2021, Italy/Belgium

Love After Love, Ann Hui, 2020, China

Memoria, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2021, Colombia/Thailand/UK

Vortex, Gaspar Noé, 2021, France

The Worst Person in the World, Joachim Trier, 2021, Norway

Harbour

The Alleys, Bassel Ghandour, 2021, Jordan/Qatar/Egypt

Barbarian Invasion, Tan Chui Mui, 2021, Malaysia/Hong Kong

The Execution, Lado Kvataniya, 2021, Russia

Il buco, Michelangelo Frammartino, 2021, Italy/Germany/France

Kinorama – Beyond the Walls of the Real, Edgar Pêra, 2021, Portugal, international premiere

Let Me Hear It Barefoot, Kudo Riho, 2021, Japan, international premiere

Medea, Alexander Zeldovic, 2021, Russia

Medusa, Anita Rocha da Silveira, 2021, Brazil

I morti rimangono con la bocca aperta, Fabrizio Ferraro, 2022, Italy/Spain, world premiere

On the Job: The Missing 8, Erik Matti, 2021, Philippines

Quién lo impide, Jonás Trueba, 2021, Spain

Tralala, Jean-Marie Larrieu, Arnaud Larrieu, 2021, France

Bright Future

As in Heaven, Tea Lindeburg, 2021, Denmark

Brotherhood, Francesco Montagner , 2021, Czech Republic/Italy

Eles transportan a morte, Helena Girón, Samuel M. Delgado, 2021, Spain

Inmotep, Julián Génisson, 2022, Spain, world premiere

The Last Ride of the Wolves, Alberto De Michele, 2022, Netherlands/Italy , world premiere

The Plains, David Easteal, 2022, Australia, world premiere

Zalava, Arsalan Amiri, 2021, Iran

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