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International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) reveals first programme overview and launches 2018 campaign
Last year we set foot on Planet IFFR, this year it’s time to meet its inhabitants. The 47th edition of IFFR solicits close investigation into the complex animals commonly referred to as humans. Five thematic programmes, many events, and other festival elements make up the scientific apparatus with which to dissect these weird and wonderful creatures.
“International Film Festival Rotterdam is the place where alternative visions of film are celebrated,” says Festival Director Bero Beyer. “We call this place Planet IFFR, and as we descend onto its surface and look closer we find it is teeming with fascinating creatures.” The programme of IFFR 2018 scrutinises these creatures – the humans of Planet IFFR– in all their flaws and complexities.
As in recent years, the programme will be divided into four distinct sections, each with its own colour and feel: Bright Future (work by ambitious filmmakers at the beginning of their careers, and featuring the Hivos Tiger Competition); Voices (big themes as interpreted by filmmakers with an assured voice); Deep Focus (an in-depth look at filmmaking, including masterclasses and retrospectives); and Perspectives (different theme programmes investigating urgent social and political issues in cinema).
A History of Shadows investigates the function of cinema in re-evaluating, recovering, and re-enacting the past and the position of history’s losers. Reflecting on contemporary topics, the series comprises historical fiction, documentaries, essays and installation work: from big budget to experimental; from Italy to Paraguay; from Robert Schwentke's The Captain to a Jörn Donner double bill of Fuck Off! Images from Finland (1971) and Fuck Off 2 (2017). By programmer Gerwin Tamsma and guest programmer Gustavo Beck.
Maximum Overdrive is a celebration of the revival of maximalism. Works with delirious aesthetics and an eclectic, pop-culture style show us the mash-up of disciplines that came to full bloom in the 1990s. Dizzying examples are the international premiere of the frantic 8-hour/10-episode series The Eyeslicer by American creators Dan Schoenbrun and Vanessa McDonnell, and Team Hurricane, a punk chick flick by Danish filmmaker Annika Berg. By programmer Inge de Leeuw.
Pan-African Cinema Today (PACT) highlights films from Africa and the African Diaspora, historically connected through Pan-Africanism: a deep dive into this movement and its relevance today as captured in cinema. PACT includes collaborations with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Nest Collective from Nairobi. The programme also hosts an IFFR Live session from post-Mugabe Zimbabwean capital Harare. By programmers Tessa Boerman and Peter van Hoof.
House on Fire explores how recent radical political changes have spawned a new and internationally overlooked wave of politically engaged cinema from one of India’s most progressive states: Tamil Nadu. This hotbed has brought forth a number of angry voices that are taking the nation by storm. Among other films, IFFR 2018 screens I Am God by Bala, Wage War by Mysskin, and Arena by Vetri Maaran. By guest programmer Olaf Möller.
Curtain Call questions the human obsession with progress. It invites artists to reflect on mankind’s relentless ambition and the way this shapes our future (if we have one). Confirmed are the video installation The White by Kurt d’Haeseleer and Franck Vigroux and the VR installation Orbital Vanitas by Shaun Gladwell from VR collective Badfaith. By programmer Edwin Carels.
IFFR increases its focus on the Masterclasses programme, which provides specialised talks to all humans interested – among the confirmed speakers coming to Rotterdam is filmmaker Lucrecia Martel, whose film Zama will be screened within the theme programme A History of Shadows. IFFR’s extensive short film selection boasts over two hundred gripping titles, with works by artists such as Korakrit Arunanondchai, Adrian Paci and Zhou Tao. And the Art Directions trajectory leads visitors along artworks in the public space, as well as the many art institutions IFFR has partnerships with.
IFFR explores new distribution initiatives with a fresh edition of IFFR Live. Participating film theatres and VOD platforms will host multiple IFFR Live screenings from a line-up of six titles, creating simultaneous satellite festivals across the globe. Local audiences can join in interactive talk shows with filmmakers and cast members through social media.
As part of its IFFR PRO activities, IFFR organises a new curated distribution conference called Reality Check. This two-day conference is just one of the many ways in which IFFR is trying to secure the future of independent cinema. In the same vein, IFFR’s international co-production platform CineMart has been restructured to better serve film professionals in finding the right connections to finance their projects.
Registration for press accreditation is now open. Those registering before 23 December pay a reduced early bird fee of €50. If you have not received an invitation to attend the festival but would still like to visit as accredited press, please fill out the press accreditation request form.