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Piercing by Nicolas Pesce, with Mia Wasikowska and Christopher Abbott

47st International Film Festival Rotterdam

24 January- 4 February 2018

Rotterdam, 9 January 2018

IFFR unveils Hivos Tiger Competition 2018

Eight films selected for the festival’s most prestigious award 

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announces the eight titles selected for the Hivos Tiger Competition: seven world premieres and one international premiere. The prestigious Hivos Tiger Award includes a cash prize of €40,000, to be divided between filmmaker and producer. An international jury of five filmmakers and film professionals also chooses an exceptional artistic achievement within the Tiger selection to receive a Special Jury Award worth €10,000.

Festival Director Bero Beyer: "This year’s Tiger line-up features daring filmmakers who boldly venture into new territories. All of them combine relevant stories and themes – like Israeli/Palestinian relations as seen through the eyes of two lovers, the consequences of the Olympic Games in downtown Rio, or the concept of the imminent end of the world – with outspoken cinematic form."

Three of the films to world premiere in the Hivos Tiger Competition 2018 were supported by the Hubert Bals Fund. Nervous Translation by Philippine filmmaker Shireen Seno (which was also selected for CineMart in 2014) is a sparkling and at times surreal film which quietly shows the politically unstable climate of the Philippines in 1987 as seen through the dreamy eyes of an eight-year-old girl.

The Reports on Sarah and Saleem by Muayad Alayan (also selected for BoostNL in 2016) is a story of the impossible affair between a Jewish woman and a Palestinian man which attracts the attention of security services, and was supported by the Hubert Bals Fund in 2017. And Sultry, Brazilian filmmaker Marina Meliande’s combination of social realist drama and body horror, recounts the struggle of a young lawyer in the oppressive heat of Rio de Janeiro against the all-encompassing influence of the Olympic Games on the city. This is the second time Meliande has been supported by the Hubert Bals Fund; in 2011 she co-directed Cannes entry 

The Joy (with Felipe Bragança).

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Left The Reports on Sarah and Saleem by Muayad Alayan, right Mormaço by Marina Meliande

The world premiere of the fascinating cinematic essay Possessed reflects on the ways humans obsessively search for connections in a digital age. For this film, the filmmakers from the Amsterdam-based Metahaven collaborated with Dutch graphic designer and documentary filmmaker Rob Schröder, who also has a connection to IFFR – his short films screened at IFFR in 1998 and 2000. 

The Hivos Tiger Competition also includes Djon África, a first fiction by documentary filmmakers João Miller Guerra and Filipa Reis portraying the playful odyssey of a 25-year-old Portuguese Rastafarian in search of his father and his own identity;

I Have a Date with Spring by South Korean director Baek Seungbin, a mysterious black comedy in which a filmmaker struggles with a script revolving around the hypothetical question of what to do on your last day on earth; and The Widowed Witch by Chinese filmmaker Cai Chengjie, which is a complete re-edit of the award-winning Chinese film Shaman and wryly details the life of an unfortunate woman who suddenly seems to possess magical powers. Finally, the competition includes the international premiere of the US film Piercing by Nicolas Pesce, a playful psycho thriller in which a sadomasochistic game of cat-and-mouse unfolds between a man and the call girl he planned to murder. 

Click here for a video of Festival Director Bero Beyer and Hivos Executive Director Edwin Huizing discussing the Tiger line-up.


The jury for the Hivos Tiger Competition 2018 consists of British filmmaker

Anthea Kennedy (The View from Our House), Mexican producer Paula Astorga

(La caridad), Dutch editor Job ter Burg (Elle), German filmmaker Valeska Grisebach (Western), and South Korean filmmaker Kim Kyungmook (Stateless Things). Both the Hivos Tiger Award and the Special Jury Award will be presented on Friday, 2 February 2018 during the Awards Ceremony.

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Clockwise: Possessed by Matahaven and Rob Schröder, Djon África by João Miller Guerra and Filipa Reis, right I Have a Date with Spring by Baek Seungbin, The Widowed Witch by Cai Chengjie

All films selected for the Hivos Tiger Competition 2018:

Djon África, João Miller Guerra/Filipa Reis, 2018, Portugal/Brazil, world premiere

I Have a Date with Spring, Baek Seungbin, 2018, South Korea, world premiere

Nervous Translation, Shireen Seno, 2018, Philippines, world premiere

Piercing, Nicolas Pesce, 2018, USA, international premiere

Possessed, Metahaven/Rob Schröder, 2018, Netherlands/Croatia, world premiere

The Reports on Sarah and Saleem, Muayad Alayan, 2018, Palestine/Netherlands/Germany/Mexico, world premiere

Sultry, Marina Meliande, 2018, Brazil, world premiere

The Widowed Witch, Cai Chengjie, 2018, China, world premiere

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