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Polaroids by Robby Müller © Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam

49th International Film Festival Rotterdam

22 January – 2 February 2020

Rotterdam, 30 October 2019

First titles of IFFR 2020 and new Robby Müller Award

Also announced: Tiger Competition jury, new Reality Check conference and Young Curators programme

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), the Netherlands Society of Cinematographers (NSC) and Andrea Müller-Schirmer, the late cinematographer Robby Müller’s wife, have launched the Robby Müller Award. The award honours an ‘image maker’ (cinematographer, filmmaker or visual artist) who, in the spirit of Robby Müller, has created an authentic, credible and emotionally striking visual language throughout her/his oeuvre. The first award goes to Diego García and will be presented at IFFR 2020.

Festival director Bero Beyer: “In a world dominated by homogeneous big-budget entertainment, IFFR stands behind the truly original voices in cinema. The new Robby Müller Award testifies to our ambition of promoting filmmakers who challenge conventions and bring something new to the table.”

The Robby Müller Award is an initiative of NSC. Richard van Oosterhout, chairman of the NSC board: “Müller pioneered new ways of storytelling and visualisation. His style was modest, spot on, simple and lucid. The new award aims to foster and encourage this type of attitude among today’s filmmakers.”

A jury of six film experts annually chooses a winner who receives the Robby Müller Award: a print of one of Müller’s exquisite polaroid photos. These polaroids will be showcased during the festival. IFFR will also screen Alex Cox’s Repo Man as a prime example of Robby Müller’s legacy.

The first-ever recipient of the award, Mexican cinematographer Diego García, has had a remarkable and distinctive career so far, working with filmmakers like Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Cemetery of Splendour), Gabriel Mascaro (Neon Bull) and Carlos Reygadas (Nuestro tiempo). Accompanying the ceremony at IFFR on Monday 27 January, García will give a masterclass.

On behalf of the jury, Andrea Müller-Schirmer had the following to say about García: “The beautiful long takes of Diego García’s camera make for moving encounters with the characters and settings. Like Robby’s, García’s visual language is credible, convincing and not constructed. It is supportive to the story but also carries its own signature. Both tell stories using the poetry of light.”

Click here to read more about the Robby Müller Award, its inaugural winner Diego García and the jury members of the award.

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Left: Diego García, right: Darunee Terdtoontaveedej

Young Curators

IFFR launched the Young Curators programme this year to open up its programme to young talent. Darunee Terdtoontaveedej has been selected among 100 applications from around the world to be the first-ever Young Curator. She will present her proposed thematic programme at IFFR 2020, which aims to reimagine pre-colonial gender fluidity. Read more about her programme here.

Tiger Competition jury

The Tiger Competition is the festival’s flagship for exciting new filmmakers who stir up the rules of cinema. In 2020, the jury will consist of Dutch-Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad, artistic director of Vision du Réel Emilie Bujès, Indonesian filmmaker Hafiz Rancajale, South Korean-born American filmmaker Kogonada and Dutch filmmaker Sacha Polak. Read more about the jury members here.

Reality Check

The theme of the third edition of the Reality Check conference will be: originality. The event will take place on Sunday 26 January. How can original voices stand out from the monolithic culture dominated by global giants? How do we find originality in storytelling and form? And what are original ways to reach audiences?

Reality Check relies on input from industry experts to keep the discussion relevant, with keynote speakers, panel discussions and an immersive workshop for industry experts. We therefore welcome any ideas for topics around originality. All the latest on Reality Check can be found here.

IFFR Pro x VR Days

Celebrating the fourth year of our partnership, IFFR is presenting eleven XR projects at the next VR Days Europe, which takes place on 13 and 14 November in Amsterdam. IFFR Pro x VR Days creates opportunities for financing, distribution, and connection to potential partners for the selected makers. Out of the selected projects, four will be invited to IFFR Pro x VR Days during the IFFR Pro Days at IFFR 2020. Read more about the selection here.

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IFFR 2019

First titles

The first confirmed titles are here! They include the world premiere of Artem Aisagaliev’s Babai, the international premiere of Oda Kaori’s Cenote, and the European premiere of Nigina Sayfullaeva’s Fidelity. To browse all confirmed films, click here.

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Left: Babai, middle: Cenote, right: Fidelity

The entire film programme for IFFR 2020 will be published on our website by 18 December. This is earlier than the years before, allowing guests and visitors extra time to plan ahead.

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