International Film Festival Rotterdam 2023 First Short and Mid-length Titles + Competition Juries
Clockwise, stills from the films: Because We Have Each Other, The Long Voyage of the Yellow Bus, Wir sind dann wohl die Angehörigen, Cielo Abierto (IFFR)

New films along with the first titles in the Short & Mid-length strand have been confirmed for the 52nd edition of International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). The festival also announced the names of its competition juries which will include Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz amongst the Tiger Competition jurors, and IFFR 2023 filmmaker in focus Stanya Kahn as part of the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition jury.

Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic: “After launching our new visual campaign that celebrates our home city with our return in full force, the 52nd edition is now really taking shape. These latest confirmations are testament of the broadening and deepening of our program, from the delights of the Short & Mid-length program, to a vital delve into contemporary India – surprising our audiences with great films that underline relevant and pressing issues.”

In the non-competitive space for short and mid-length work, Finnish filmmaker Laura Rantanen reflects on the end of life through the books we leave behind in the wistful documentary Goodbye Words. Chinese filmmaker Gao Wei presents a photochemical, x-ray journey through the compositions of flowers and leaves in Flower Rain. Since 2008, Austrian filmmaker Siegfried A. Fruhauf has been showing his tactile explorations of cinematic frames and movement at IFFR. He returns to present the world premiere of his latest film Cave Painting.

Amsterdam-based Argentine filmmaker Sebastian Diaz Morales presents the festival world premiere of the mid-length Smashing Monuments, where members of the Indonesian art collective ruangrupa converse with city statues. Morales’s films and installations have been shown all over the world, including at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Tate Modern in London, and at IFFR since 2002.

In Focus: The Shape of Things to Come, IFFR presents a program of documentaries and fictional narratives that reflect on the socio-political development of India over the past 30 years, focusing on the institutional ascent of right-wing Hindu-nationalist groups and the persecution of dissenting voices.

The program stretches back to Sanjiv Shah’s 1992 musical political satire Love in the Time of Malaria, to the world premiere of Which Colour? by Shahrukhkhan Chavada. Survival in the first four months of the pandemic-induced lockdown in Mumbai is the focus of Mihir Fadnavis’s documentary Lords of Lockdown, which screens in Europe for the first time.

The Harbour program will include the international premiere of Australian documentary filmmaker Sari Braithwaite’s candid portrait of a neurodiverse family Because We Have Each Other. Also making its international premiere is Revolution der Augen, the cinematic comeback of Austrian 70s feminist video art and film legend Friederike Pezold – a tranquil, sound-free flow of images.

Brazil’s cinema marginal pioneer Júlio Bressane returns to IFFR to present the world premiere of an extensive reflection on his six decades of filmmaking, The Long Voyage of the Yellow Bus, made in tandem with Rodrigo Lima. In 2000, IFFR honored Bressane with one of the first comprehensive retrospectives on his work outside of Brazil.

The latest confirmation in the Limelight program is the international premiere of Wir sind dann wohl die Angehörigen – Hans-Christian Schmid’s film on the 1996 kidnapping of millionaire academic Jan Philipp Reemtsma.

In the Bright Future strand of debut features, Peruvian filmmaker Felipe Esparza Pérez brings the world premiere of the delicate Cielo abierto, after screening shorts at IFFR in 2020 and 2021.

The Tiger Competition Jury includes filmmaker Lav Diaz, producer and director of the Udine Far East Film Festival, Sabrina Baracetti, film critic Alonso Díaz de la Vega, and actress and filmmaker Anisia Uzeyman (Neptune Frost, IFFR 2022). Celebrated producer Christine Vachon (Safe, IFFR 1996; Boys Don’t Cry, IFFR 2000; The World to Come IFFR 2021), completes the lineup. Together they will choose the winners of the Tiger Award, worth €40,000, and the Special Jury Awards, worth €10,000.

The jury for the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition consists of writer, cultural programmer and organizer Simone Zeefuik, programmer, art curator and writer Herb Shellenberger, and film and video artist Stanya Kahn – whose work is also presented in a Focus program at IFFR 2023. The jury will determine which three titles will receive three equal Ammodo Tiger Short Awards, each worth €5,000.

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) 2023 Line-up (latest confirmations)

Bright Future

Cielo abierto, Felipe Esparza Pérez, 2023, Peru, France, world premiere

Focus: The Shape of Things to Come?

All Was Good, Teresa Braggs, 2022, India

Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Kabir Khan, 2015, India

Final Solution, Rakesh Sharma, 2004, India

Firaaq, Nandita Das, 2008, India

Follower, Harshad Nalawade, 2023, India, world premiere

I Am Offended, Jaideep Varma, 2015, India

A Knock on the Door, Ranjan Palit, 2023, India, world premiere

Lords of Lockdown, Mihir Fadnavis, 2021, India, European premiere

Love in the Time of Malaria, Sanjiv Shah, 1992, India

The Men in the Tree, Lalit Vachani, 2002, India

Sameer, Dakxinumar Bajrange, 2017, India

The Kali of Emergency, Ashish Avikunthak, 2016, India, Germany

Which Colour?, Shahrukhkhan Chavada, 2023, India, world premiere


2551.02 – The Orgy of the Damned, Norbert Pfaffenbichler, 2023, Austria, world premiere

Because We Have Each Other, Sari Braithwaite, 2022, Australia, international premiere

De noche los gatos son pardos, Valentin Merz, 2022, Switzerland

Geylang, Boi Kwong, 2022, Singapore, European premiere

The Long Voyage of the Yellow Bus, Júlio Bressane, Rodrigo Lima, 2023, Brazil, world premiere

Revolution der Augen, Friederike Pezold, 2022, Austria, international premiere

Stiekyt, Etienne Fourie, 2022, South Africa


Wir sind dann wohl die Angehörigen, Hans-Christian Schmid, 2022, Germany, international premiere

Short & Mid-length

Ashes By Name Is Man, Ewelina Rosinska, 2023, Germany, international premiere

Baba, Mbithi Masya, 2022, Kenya

Can’t Help Myself, Anna Ansone, 2022, Latvia, international premiere

Cave Painting, Siegfried A. Fruhauf, 2023, Austria, world premiere

DVA, Alexandra Karelina, 2023, Russia, world premiere

Flower Rain, Gao Wei, 2022, South Korea, world premiere (festival)

The Funeral of Spring, Gao Zee, 2023, Hong Kong, world premiere

Goodbye Words, Laura Rantanen, 2022, Finland, world premiere

Issues With My Other Half, Anna Vasof, 2023, Austria, world premiere

No Changes Have Taken In Our Life, Xu Jingwei, 2023, China, world premiere

Smashing Monuments, Sebastian Diaz Morales, 2023, Netherlands, Indonesia, world premiere (festival)

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