339241 sacred%20beings%20 %20thesculpture 02 890096 original 1574864182

The Sculpture of Place & Time by Utagawa Tatsuhito (theme programme: Sacred Beings)

49th International Film Festival Rotterdam

22 January – 2 February 2020

Rotterdam, 27 November 2019

Collectives, Asian queer, octogenarians and a waiting room

Four theme programmes of IFFR 2020

The (red) Perspectives section is where you’ll find the theme programmes of International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). Here we approach the medium of film from specific angles. IFFR announces four of the theme programmes of 2020 below.

Festival director Bero Beyer: “These theme programmes bring together works that pose relevant and urgent sociopolitical questions through film. They surprise us by bringing out new connections and stimulating new ways of seeing.“

Sacred Beings

Non-binary experiences of gender have existed in Asia and elsewhere long before western LGBTQ culture emerged. Sacred Beings explores contemporary queer culture by reexamining gender-fluidity and spiritualities in Asian cultures. Short films, installations and live performances will connect the past, present, and possible future of Asian queer culture. Sacred Beings is the result of the inaugural edition of Young Curators, an initiative to open up IFFR’s programme to young talent.

339242 synergetic%3b%20gd%20thyself%20spirit%20strategy d212fd large 1574864534

G/D THYSELF: Spirit Strategy On Raising Free Black Children by The Ummah Chroma (theme programme: Synergetic)


Working together is the future. Synergetic shows the potential of collectives that challenge the mainstream narrative with alternative ways of working and seeing. The multidisciplinary programme features, among many others, the installation G/D THYSELF: Spirit Strategy On Raising Free Black Children by The Ummah Chroma (in collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut) and IFFR-commissioned films by African collectives.

The programme looks back, examining the evolution of the independent cinema and exhibition scene in Europe (in collaboration with the Kino Climates network), and to the future, with workshops in The Collective Space (a collaboration with the Ghetto Film School, the Netherlands Film Academy and Rotterdam-based communities).

339243 communism%20and%20the%20net%20or%20the%20end%20of%20representative%20democracy film%20still%201 53d0bf large 1574864748

Communism and the Net or the End of Representative Democracy by Karel Vachek (theme programme: The Tyger Burns)

The Tyger Burns

The Tyger Burns is a contemporary film programme about the gaze of the old filmmaker, comprising a wide variety of new films by directors who were already active when IFFR first started in 1972. From Hara Kazuo's film about a Japanese cross-dressing politician, Reiwa Uprising, to Andrei Smirnov's 1950s Russian bohemia drama The Frenchman and Annette Apon's account of the mysterious Leonie Brandt, Leonie, actrice en spionne – all films show a creative urge still burning brightly. Because our times, our Zeitgeist, does not only belong to the young. 

339260 zumiriki film%20still%203 aa8579 original 1574865137

Zumiriki by Oskar Alegria (theme programme: Wait and See)

Wait and See

Waiting for a film to start, it has already begun – in our mind. This programme cultivates the viewer’s patience, both in the cinema and beyond. Next to feature films and short-film compilations dealing with the productive notion of ‘waiting’, there will be a waiting room (magazines included) where short films are screened at irregular intervals. A few times per day, a door opens to another space for a surprise event.

The fifth and final theme programme will remain a secret for a little longer, until 18 December to be precise, when we reveal the entire film programme.

Download PDF
Download PDF
About 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 IFFR.com.