First Competition titles; Lou Ye joins Tiger Award Jury

First Competition titles; Lou Ye joins Tiger Award Jury PRESS RELEASE 24 November 2006
  • First Competition selections; Lou Ye joins Tiger Award Jury
  • Artist in Focus: Knut Åsdam
  • Theme programmes: “Happy Endings” and “Speed of Light”

The International Film Festival Rotterdam has selected the first three films for the 2007 VPRO Tiger Awards Competition: How Is Your Fish Today? from China, Love Conquers All from Malaysia and Ex-drummer from Belgium. Film maker Lou Ye (Summer Palace) and Piers Handling, director of the Toronto International Film Festival, will be on the competition jury. In thematic programmes, the festival is focusing on the changing position of film festivals (Happy Endings), the role of light and projection in film and media art (Speed of Light) and the oeuvre of “Artist in Focus” Knut Åsdam.

In Competition
The Chinese film How Is Your Fish Today?, the feature début by the London-based writer and film maker GUO Xiaolu tells the dream-like voyage of a scriptwriter to the snow-covered Chinese-Russian border region, between reality and fantasy, between documentary and fiction.
Love Conquers All is the feature début by the Malaysian director Tan Chui Mui. Her film looks at a shy young woman who falls in love with a man who is not what he seems. The film won the New Currents Award during the Pusan Film Festival. Love Conquers All was made with contributions from Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund.
Ex-drummer by Koen Mortier from Belgium, brings to the screen famous Flemish writer Herman Brusselmans’ novel of the same title. Three ‘handicapped’ losers ask a well-known writer to join their rock band as a drummer. This sparks the writer’s curiosity in the life and habits of the working classes. Mortier’s début feature sees its world premiere in the Tiger Awards Competition. The full competition line-up will be announced by early January.

Tiger Awards Jury
Lou Ye and Piers Handling will be members of the VPRO Tiger Awards Jury at the coming Festival. The other jury members will be announced later. Lou Ye’s Summer Palace, a 2004 CineMart Project and Cannes 2006 selection, can be seen at the coming Festival. Lou Ye’s feature début Suzhou River won a Tiger Award in 2000 in Rotterdam.
Piers Handling joined the Toronto International Film Festival as a programmer in 1982, becoming Programming Director five years later, Deputy Director in 1990, Artistic Director in 1993, and Festival Director and CEO in 1994.

Theme programme: Happy Endings
In its thematic programmes, the International Film Festival Rotterdam puts the spotlight on topical developments in international film arts, focuses on social and cultural phenomena that emerge in films and inspires debate and reflection.
The 2007 sidebar Happy Endings looks at the changing ways in which film reaches its audiences and encourages debate on the position of international film festivals. The distribution of and access to films has changed drastically thanks to rapid developments in communication technology. In an unconventional way, Happy Endings presents these changes through special services and events. For instance a selection of the festival films can be viewed by audiences in a digital videothèque, film makers will offer their oeuvre on DVDs to those interested and a ‘futsal’ (indoor soccer) competition allows film makers, industry guests and audiences to meet in an informal and active way as participants or spectators. With Happy Endings the IFFR, as previously with initiatives such as Exploding Cinema and Tiger Online, will again pioneer into cutting-edge developments in cinema.

Theme programme: Speed of Light
Exploding Cinema looks at yet another specific part of film related visual arts. After sound, electricity, computer games and television in previous years, the returning festival section now focuses on light. Under the title Speed of Light, the central theme of its exhibitions, performances and a series of films will be light, light projection and the many changing opportunities on offer. Several Rotterdam institutions for the visual arts will join the Speed of Light theme with their own exhibitions and events.

Artist in Focus
In recent editions, the IFFR has taken a special look at the oeuvre of contemporary artists who manifestly exploit film culture. An Artist in Focus is given an opportunity to exhibit a selection from his or her work in one or more of the Rotterdam arts institutions. This edition the Artist in Focus will be Norwegian-born but internationally operating artist, photographer and short-film maker Knut Åsdam. His first solo exhibition in The Netherlands shows how he provides a powerful portrayal of the relationship between urban architecture and humanity. Knut Åsdam is the fifth Artist in Focus of the IFFR, after Isaac Julien, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Anri Sala and Sarah Morris.

Festival sections
Alongside both Tiger Awards Competitions for long and short films, the festival programme includes the regular programme sections Cinema of the Future: Sturm und Drang; Cinema of the World: Time & Tide, Maestros: Kings and Aces; the short-film programme (being screened from 25 to 29 January 2007) Short: As Long As It Takes, Cinema Regained, Hot Spots and Rotterdämmerung.

The programme of the 36th International Film Festival Rotterdam will appear on Thursday 18 January 2007 in Dutch as a supplement to the Dutch daily Volkskrant and at the same time online, in both Dutch and English versions, at >From Thursday 4 January, it is possible to buy tickets for a limited number of festival events: the regular ticket sales start on Saturday 20 January. The latest news about the programme and ticket sales can always be found at
Over International Film Festival Rotterdam

With nearly 330,000 admissions and over 2,400 film professionals attending, IFFR is one of the largest audience and industry-driven film festivals in the world, offering a high quality line-up of fiction and documentary feature films, short films, exhibitions, performances, masterclasses and talks.IFFR actively supports new and adventurous filmmaking talent through numerous industry initiatives including co-production market CineMart, the Reality Check conference, the BoostNL initiative, the Hubert Bals Fund and Rotterdam Lab. IFFR's 49th edition takes place from Wednesday 22 January to Sunday 2 February 2020. More information can be found at