Sacred Beings - TheSculpture_02.jpg
  • jpg

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.

More info and first titles

Synergetic; GD thyself spirit strategy.jpg
  • jpg

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).

More info and titles

Communism and the Net or the End of Representative Democracy_Film Still 1.jpg
  • jpg

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. 

More info and titles

Zumiriki_Film Still 3.jpg
  • jpg

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.

More info and first titles  

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.

Receive exclusive news

Are you a journalist or do you work for a publication?
Sign up and request access to exclusive news.

Request access

Receive International Film Festival Rotterdam news on your RSS reader.

Or subscribe through Atom URL manually