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46ste International Film Festival Rotterdam

25 januari - 5 februari 2017

Rotterdam, 28 December 2016

IFFR announces first Voices titles

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has announced the first titles in its selection for the Voices section at IFFR 2017. In Voices – one of the festival’s four programme sections – IFFR shows films driven by their story or theme, many of which are by established directors with a distinct, assured voice. IFFR will announce the nominees for the Big Screen Competition and the rest of the Voices selection in early January.  

Alongside this main programme, Voices is made up of the programme elements LimelightScopitone and IFFR Live.


In Voices, IFFR presents a harvest of interesting recent films – future arthouse cinema classics. Hakim Belabbes’ Sweat Rain (Morocco, 2016), about a man who will do anything to keep his family’s land, will have its European première in Rotterdam. Belabbes, originally a documentary maker, retains his poetic style in this fiction film. New Wave director Amir Muhammad made Voyage to Terengganu (Malaysia, 2016) – an at times surreal portrayal of colourful characters from Terengganu in East Malaysia – with Badrul Hisham Ismail. Filmmaker Milagros Mumenthaler also returns to IFFR with her playful family drama La idea de un lago (Switzerland/Argentina/Qatar, 2016), in which photographer Inès wants to know the identity of her vanished father but has only an old photograph to go on. Alongside fiction films, series will also be shown. These include the Swedish/French series Midnight Sun (2016) – a dark new mystery from the makers of The Bridge

The Voices main programme also includes the Big Screen Competition. The eight titles nominated for the VPRO Big Screen Award will be announced in early January.

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Sweat Rain, Voyage to Terengganu, La idea de un lago, Midnight Sun 


The Limelight programme section gives an overview of international award winners, festival favourites and remarkable films that will screen in Dutch cinemas after the festival. For example, the poetic, committed documentary Burma Storybook (the Netherlands, 2017) by filmmaker Petr Lom will have its world première this edition. With the award-winning Sieranevada, Cristi Puiu has created an impressive, darkly comical sketch of the family and friends of a person who has died, meeting for a dinner. A whirlwind of themes, frustrations and arguments tears through the apartment where the film is set. The Hubert Bals Fund supported the mystical Wolf and Sheep (Afghanistan, 2016) by filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat, which deals with old traditions, customs and stories that are still a vital component of a small shepherding community in the mountains of Afghanistan.

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Burma Storybook, Sieranevada, Wolf and Sheep


The Scopitone programme (admission free) shows remarkable music documentaries in the Kleine Zaal of the Rotterdam Schouwburg. The fifth edition of this series of film will again be introduced by music connoisseur and film collector Fenno Werkman, and includes the documentaries Blackhearts (Norway, 2016) and Cairo Jazzman(Germany, 2017).

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Blackhearts (left), Cairo Jazzman (right)


IFFR announced the first five titles of IFFR Live, which screens film premières in Rotterdam simultaneously in dozens of cinemas elsewhere in the world, in mid-December. The programme is now complete – the sixth and final title is Prevenge (GB, 2016) by Alice Lowe, the directorial debut from the British actress and screenwriter. A humorous, feminist horror film about a pregnant widow who loses herself in a bloody string of murders on behalf of her unborn child.

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An overview of the titles already confirmed for the Voices section is given below. The rest of the selection, as well as the Big Screen Competition titles, will be announced early in January. 

VOICES: Voices


Atrás hay relámpagos, Julio Hernández Cordón, Mexico/Costa Rica, world premiere

A Bride for Rip Van Winkle, Iwai Shunji, Japan, European premiere

Fake, Mori Tatsuya, Japan, European premiere

The Mole Song – Hong Kong Capriccio, Miike Takashi, Japan, European premiere

Sweat Rain, Hakim Belabbes, Morocco, European premiere

Town in a Lake, Jet Leyco, the Philippines, European premiere

Voyage to Terengganu, Amir Muhammad, Badrul Hisham Ismail, Malaysia, European premiere

We The Workers, Huang Wenhai, Hong Kong/China, world premiere

The World of Wubbe, Jan Louter, the Netherlands, world premiere

Also confirmed

Au-delà des murs, Hervé Hadmar, France, TV series

Beau séjour, Nathalie Basteyns, Kaat Beels, Belgium, TV series

The Donor, Zang Qiwu, China

Ember, Zeki Demirkubuz, Turkey

Gimme Danger, Jim Jarmusch, USA

The Girl with All the Gifts, Colm McCarthy, Great Britain

Hermia & Helena, Matías Piñeiro, Argentina/USA

La idea de un lago, Milagros Mumenthaler, Switzerland/Argentina/Qatar  

Jean of the Joneses, Stella Meghie, USA/Canada   

Lola Upside Down, Ulrika Bengts, Finland, TV series

Midnight Sun, Björn Stein & Måns Mårlind, France/Sweden, TV series

National Treasure, Marc Munden, Great Britain, TV series

A Quiet Dream, Zhang Lu, South Korea

La ragazza del mondo, Marco Danieli, France/Italy

The Road to Mandalay, Midi Z, Taiwan/France/Germany/Myanmar   

The Eye's Dream, Sato Hisayasu, Japan/USA 

Three, Johnnie To, Hong Kong/China

The Wedding Ring, Rahmatou Keïta, Niger

A Woman from Jawa, Garin Nugroho, Indonesia

VOICES: Limelight


Burma Storybook, Petr Lom, the Netherlands/Myanmar, world premiere

Het doet zo zeer, Heleen van Royen, the Netherlands, world premiere

De keuze van mijn vader, Yan Ting Yuen, the Netherlands, world premiere

Knife in the Clear Water, Wang Xuebo, China, European premiere

Also confirmed 

After the Storm, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Japan

American Honey, Andrea Arnold, Great Britain/USA  

Asura: City of Madness, Kim Sungsoo, South Korea

Beyond the Mountains and Hills, Eran Kolirin, Israel/Germany/Belgium

Free Fire, Ben Wheatley, Great Britain

The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, South Korea   

Harmonium, Fukada Koji, Japan/France 

Jackie, Pablo Larraín, USA 

Lady Macbeth, William Oldroyd, Great Britain  

The Night of a 1000 Hours, Virgil Widrich, Luxembourg/Austria/Belgium/the Netherlands

Orpheline, Arnaud des Pallières, France 

Paterson, Jim Jarmusch, USA  

Personal Shopper, Olivier Assayas, France  

Porto, Gabe Klinger, France/Poland/Portugal/USA   

Raw, Julia Ducournau, France/Belgium

La región salvaje, Amat Escalante, Mexico/Denmark/France/Germany/ Norway/Switzerland

Réparer les vivants, Katell Quillévéré, France/Belgium

Sieranevada, Cristi Puiu, Romania/France/Bosnia and Herzegovina

Train to Busan, Yeon Sangho, South Korea

Tramontane, Vatche Boulghourjian, Lebanon

White Sun, Deepak Rauniyar, Nepal/USA/Qatar/the Netherlands

Wolf and Sheep, Shahrbanoo Sadat, Afghanistan/Denmark/Sweden/France

VOICES: Scopitone


Cairo Jazzman, Atef Ben Bouzid, Germany, world premiere

New Voices in an Old Flower, Quino Piñero, Ethiopia/Spain/Great Britain, European premiere

War of Words, Craig Tuohy & Tom Worth, United Kingdom, international premiere

Also confirmed

Blackhearts, Fredrik Horn Akselsen & Christian Falch, Norway   

Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape, Zack Taylor, Great Britain   

Placebo: Alt.Russia, Charlie Targett-Adams, Great Britain

Two Trains Runnin', Sam Pollard, USA

The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev, Noam Pinchas &Tal Barda, France/Israel



The Man, Charlotte Sieling, Denmark, world premiere

Also confirmed 

The Giant, Johannes Nyholm, Sweden/Denmark

Home, Fien Troch, Belgium

Mister Universo, Tizza Covi & Rainer Frimmel, Austria/Italy

Prevenge, Alice Lowe, Great Britain

A Wedding, Stephan Streker, Belgium/France/Luxembourg/Pakistan

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