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Still from 3 Logical Exits by Mahdi Fleifel

49th International Film Festival Rotterdam

22 January – 2 February 2020

Rotterdam, 4 December 2019

IFFR announces Ammodo Tiger Short Competition 2020

Also revealed: Short Profiles on Leonardo Mouramateus and Kiluanji Kia Henda

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announces the 21 short films selected for the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition: 15 (festival) world premieres, 5 international premieres and a European premiere. A jury consisting of Nathanja van Dijk, Safia Benhaim and Greg de Cuir Jr. decides the winners of three equal awards.

The selection is made up of work by newcomers as well as filmmakers who have longer histories with the festival. Among the films by IFFR regulars are Mahdi Fleifel’s 3 Logical Exits, Laure Prouvost’s They Parlaient Idéale, and Erik van Lieshout’s Beer, which was borne out of him winning the Heineken Prize for Art. 

In addition, Wong Ping presents Wong Ping’s Fables 2, the sequel to his 2019 Ammodo Tiger Short Award-winning film, and Ben Rivers competes with Look Then Below. Next to appearing in competition with her new short film Aggregate States of Matters, Italian artist Rosa Barba is also part of IFFR’s Frameworks programme.

Other familiar names in contemporary art include Ismaïl Bahri with Apparition, Michael Portnoy with Progressive Touch and Thao Nguyen Phan with Becoming Alluvium.

French filmmaker Isabel Pagliai is making her IFFR debut with the only mid-length in competition, the 43-minute film Tendre, and Ana Vaz is selected with Apiyemiyekî?. Melisa Liebenthal, whose feature film Las lindas won the Bright Future Award at IFFR 2016 and who received HBF support in 2017, presents her short film Aquí y allá. Chinese filmmaker Lei Lei’s A Bright Summer Diary is also selected. His upcoming feature-length Ningdu previously featured at CineMart 2017 and received HBF support in the same year.

The jury for the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition consists of the recently appointed director of Kunsthal Rotterdam Nathanja van Dijk, French filmmaker and previous Tiger Award for Short Films winner Safia Benhaim (La fièvre, IFFR 2014), and Los Angeles-born, Belgrade-based film curator and writer Greg de Cuir Jr. 

Ammodo, an organisation supporting art and science, became official partner of the competition in 2018. The three Ammodo Tiger Short Awards come with €5,000 each, and will be presented on Sunday 26 January in WORM.

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Clockwise: Apiyemiyekî?Wong Ping's Fables 2TendreBeer,  Aquí y alláA Bright Summer Diary

More short films at IFFR

Brazilian filmmaker Leonardo Mouramateus has also been selected for the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition, with A chuva acalanta a dor. Next to showing this competition film, IFFR 2020 dedicates a Short Profile to Mouramateus in the festival’s Deep Focus section, showing his earlier and recent short films. At 28 years of age, the Fortaleza-born filmmaker has established a strong personal style, always searching for new forms of narrative cinema and often chronicling big-city life in Brazil in unexpected ways.

IFFR organises a second Short Profile on the work of Angolan filmmaker and visual artist Kiluanji Kia Henda. His short films are deeply rooted in Angolan politics and history, but at the same time contain surprising magical elements. There Is No Light Inside the Mirror for example, follows a man suffering from war-related traumas who tries to flee his own shadow, and in Havemos de voltar a historical artifact becomes sentient and refuses to be an object in the service of history any longer.

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A chuva acalanta a dor by Leonardo Mouramateus

Deep Focus Short also features two Artist Talks: one by Brazilian filmmaker Bárbara Wagner, whose Swinguerra, co-directed with Benjamin de Burca, screens in Bright Future Short; and one by American filmmaker Zachary Epcar, who presents his film Billy in Bright Future Short. 

IFFR presents a wide range of short films in all corners of its programme. Bright Future Short shows short films leaning to the more experimental and artistic side of the spectrum. Meanwhile, Voices Short is the place for short films with a more narrative emphasis. Many short films can also be found in the Perspectives section, as part of different theme programmes. IFFR’s short films screen ahead of feature films, in short-film compilations and in the annual Short Film Marathon in KINO. 

The entire short film programme will be announced on Tuesday 10 December.

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Left: Swinguerra by Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Right: Billy by Zachary Epcar

All films selected for the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition 2020:

3 Logical Exits, Mahdi Fleifel, 2020, Denmark/UK/Lebanon, world premiere

Aggregate States of Matters, Rosa Barba, 2019, Peru/Germany, world premiere (festival)

Apiyemiyekî?, Ana Vaz, 2020, France/Netherlands, world premiere

Apparition, Ismaïl Bahri, 2019, France, world premiere

Aquí y allá, Melisa Liebenthal, 2020, France/Argentina, world premiere

Becoming Alluvium, Phan Thao Nguyen, 2019, Vietnam/Spain, world premiere (festival)

Beer, Erik van Lieshout, 2019, Netherlands, world premiere (festival)

A Bright Summer Diary, Lei Lei, 2020, USA, world premiere

A chuva acalanta a dor, Leonardo Mouramateus, 2020, Portugal/Brazil, world premiere

Communicating Vessels, Maïder Fortuné/Annie MacDonell, 2020, Canada, world premiere

The Eyes of Summer, Rajee Samarasinghe, 2019, Sri Lanka/USA, international premiere

Look Then Below, Ben Rivers, 2019, UK, world premiere

The Lost Procession, Bani Abidi, 2019, United Arab Emirates/Germany/Pakistan, world premiere (festival)

the names have changed, including my own and truths have been altered, Onyeka Igwe, 2019, UK, international premiere

Progressive Touch, Michael Portnoy, 2019, Austria/Netherlands/USA, international premiere

Sayōnara, William Andreas Wivel, 2019, Denmark, international premiere

Sun Dog, Dorian Jespers, 2019, Belgium, world premiere

Tendre, Isabel Pagliai, 2020, France, world premiere

They Parlaient Idéale, Laure Prouvost, 2019, France/Belgium/Italy, world premiere (festival)

Tyrant Star, Diane Severin Nguyen, 2019, Vietnam/USA, international premiere

Wong Ping's Fables 2, Wong Ping, 2019, Hong Kong, European premiere

In memory of Madiha Aijaz

Last year, Pakistani filmmaker Madiha Aijaz was part of the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition 2019 with her film These Silences Are All the Words. On 2 February 2019, shortly after returning from IFFR to Karachi, Aijaz passed away. As a small remembrance to her life and work, IFFR opens the screenings of compilation 'Ammodo Tiger Short Competition 1' with her 3-minute short film Memorial for the Lost Pages (out of competition).

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