49th International Film Festival Rotterdam

22 January – 2 February 2020

Rotterdam, 18 December 2019

IFFR reveals full film lineup 2020

Tiger Competition, Bright Future Competition and Big Screen Competition announced

In today’s press conference, International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) revealed the full film lineup of 2020, including the 10 films selected for the Tiger Competition. Also revealed: the selections of the Big Screen Competition and the revamped Bright Future Competition, the 2020 opening and closing films, the fifth theme programme Ordinary Heroes and a special screening of David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996) with a live musical score by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Images from the Tiger Competition selection

Tiger Competition 

Festival director Bero Beyer: “I’m thrilled we can present ten films in Tiger Competition this year. From experimental millennial autofiction to Spanish class consciousness, from hard-boiled Korean crime to life in Hindu-nationalist Tamil Nadu, from the jungles of Venezuela to the streets of Greece – all films in Tiger Competition radiate a strong sense of personal urgency and cinematic relevance, fuelled by boundary-pushing directorial visions.”

All films selected for Tiger Competition 2020:

El año del descubrimiento, Luis López Carrasco, 2020, Spain/Switzerland, world premiere

Beasts Clawing at Straws, Kim Yonghoon, 2020, South Korea, world premiere

The Cloud in Her Room, Zheng Lu Xinyuan, 2020, France/China, world premiere

Desterro, Maria Clara Escobar, 2020, Brazil/Portugal/Argentina, world premiere

Drama Girl, Vincent Boy Kars, 2020, Netherlands, world premiere

La fortaleza, Jorge Thielen Armand, 2020, Venezuela/France/Netherlands/Colombia, world premiere

Kala azar, Janis Rafa, 2020, Netherlands/Greece, world premiere

Nasir, Arun Karthick, 2020, India/Netherlands, world premiere

Piedra sola, Alejandro Telemaco Tarraf, 2020, Argentina/Mexico/Qatar/UK, world premiere

Si yo fuera el invierno mismo, Jazmín López, 2020, Argentina, world premiere

Read more about the Tiger Competition selection here

The Tiger jury consists of Dutch-Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad, artistic director of Visions du Réel Emilie Bujès, South Korean-born American filmmaker Kogonada, Dutch filmmaker Sacha Polak and Indonesian artist, curator and filmmaker Hafiz Rancajale. Read more about them here. They will choose the winners of the Tiger Award, worth €40,000, and the Special Jury Award, worth €10,000.

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Images from the Big Screen Competition selection

Big Screen Competition 

The Big Screen Competition, part of IFFR’s Voices section, features nine films which, according to IFFR programmers, deserve to hit the big screen after the festival. A jury consisting of five audience members picks the winner of the VPRO Big Screen Award. This film gets a guaranteed theatrical release in the Netherlands and will be broadcast on Dutch TV by VPRO and NPO. The prize comes with €30,000, half of which goes to the distributor who buys the film.

All films selected for Big Screen Competition 2020:

El cazador, Marco Berger, 2020, Argentina, world premiere

Eden, Ágnes Kocsis, 2020, Hungary/Romania, world premiere

Énorme, Sophie Letourneur, 2019, France, international premiere

The Evening Hour, Braden King, 2020, USA, international premiere

Fanny Lye Deliver'd, Thomas Clay, 2019, UK/Germany, international premiere

Mosquito, João Nuno Pinto, 2020, Portugal/France/Brazil, world premiere

A Perfectly Normal Family, Malou Reymann, 2020, Denmark, world premiere

Synapses, Chang Tso-chi, 2019, Taiwan, international premiere

A Yellow Animal, Felipe Bragança, 2020, Brazil/Portugal/Mozambique, world premiere

Read more about the Big Screen Competition selection here

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Images from the Bright Future Competition selection

Bright Future Competition 

The Bright Future Competition comprises a selection of 15 feature-length film debuts, screening in world or international premiere. IFFR’s competition for first-time filmmakers presents a variety of innovative, cutting-edge and promising discoveries from all over the world. The Bright Future Award is chosen by a jury of three film professionals.

All films selected for Bright Future Competition 2020:

Babai, Artem Aisagaliev, 2020, Russia/USA, world premiere

Chaco, Diego Mondaca, 2020, Bolivia/Argentina, world premiere

Los fantasmas, Sebastián Lojo, 2020, Guatemala/Argentina, world premiere

Fellwechselzeit, Sabrina Mertens, 2020, Germany, international premiere

For the Time Being, Salka Tiziana, 2020, Germany/Spain/Switzerland, international premiere

I Blame Society, Gillian Wallace Horvat, 2020, USA, world premiere

Moving On, Yoon Dan-bi, 2019, South Korea, international premiere

My Mexican Bretzel, Nuria Giménez Lorang, 2019, Spain, international premiere

Ofrenda, Juan María Mónaco Cagni, 2020, Argentina, world premiere

Panquiaco, Ana Elena Tejera, 2020, Panama, world premiere

A Rifle and a Bag, Isabella Rinaldi/Cristina Hanes/Arya Rothe, 2020, India, world premiere

Sebastian springt über Geländer, Ceylan-Alejandro Ataman-Checa, 2020, Germany, world premiere

The Trouble with Nature, Illum Jacobi, 2020, Denmark/France, world premiere

Truth or Consequences, Hannah Jayanti, 2020, USA, world premiere

Wisdom Tooth, Liang Ming, 2019, China, international premiere

Read more about the Bright Future Competition selection here

The Bright Future jury consists of Beatriz Navas, director of ICAA in Spain; Zsuzsanna Kiraly, head of development at German production outfit Komplizen Film; and Mexican filmmaker and director of FICUNAM Film Festival, Michel Lipkes. They will choose the winner of the Bright Future Award, worth €10,000.

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Left: We Have Boots by Evans Chan, Right: Crash by David Cronenberg

Ordinary Heroes

IFFR had already announced four theme programmes in its Perspectives section. The fifth and final one is called Ordinary Heroes, and views cinema as a key part of the lifeblood of Hong Kong. As the city is shaken to its roots by political and social turmoil, Hong Kong’s cinematic history and present illuminate the tensions it faces today. Read more here.

Crash with Rotterdam Philharmonic

On Friday 31 January, IFFR presents a special screening of David Cronenberg’s cult classic Crash (1996), with the film’s musical score performed live by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. The score was composed by long-time Cronenberg collaborator Howard Shore and the screening will take place in de Doelen’s Grote Zaal.

This film is being offered to IFFR by producers Jeremy Thomas and Robert Lantos.

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Left: Mosquito by João Nuno Pinto, Right: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by Marielle Heller

Opening film

Portuguese filmmaker João Nuno Pinto’s Mosquito can be described as a ‘war film without war’, and sheds new light on an often-overlooked episode from World War I. It follows a 17-year-old Portuguese recruit who gets lost in the African wilderness in 1917. A feverish, hallucinatory journey ensues. In addition to being the opening film, Mosquito also competes in the Big Screen Competition.

Read more about the opening film

Closing film

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by American filmmaker Marielle Heller will bring IFFR 2020 to a feel-good close. The film follows journalist Lloyd Vogel (played by Matthew Rhys) who is tasked to write an article on the beloved American television icon Fred Rogers (played by Tom Hanks). Vogel is cynical at first, but the journalist’s encounters with Mister Rogers eventually teach him how to handle his carefully hidden feelings.

Read more about the closing film

The full film lineup for IFFR 2020 is now online. Click here to browse.

Note to the editor, not for publication:

Download film stills via the links below

Tiger Competition

Big Screen Competition

Bright Future Competition

Opening film / Closing film / Specials

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