50th International Film Festival Rotterdam1

1 – 7 February | 2 – 6 June 2021

Rotterdam, 22 December 2020

IFFR reveals competitions and February lineup for expanded 50th edition

Highlights include Tiger Competition, Big Screen Competition, Ammodo Tiger Short Competition, opening film and Big Talks

During today’s press conference, International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announced the sixteen films selected for the festival’s Tiger Competition, as well as the Big Screen Competition and Ammodo Tiger Short Competition selections. Also revealed: the Limelight lineup and more announcements for the first part of IFFR 2021, taking place from 1 to 7 February, including opening film Riders of Justice by Anders Thomas Jensen and the Robby Müller Award recipient Kelly Reichardt who will also be part of IFFR Talks, next to Benoît Jacquot, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Dea Kulumbegashvili and Nicolás Jaar.

Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic: “In a year like no other, filmmakers have gone above and beyond to complete works in challenging circumstances, and there has been no shortage of great films looking for a home at IFFR. This edition’s revised Tiger Competition and Big Screen Competition, as well as the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition, encapsulate IFFR’s spirit as a platform for the discovery of visions that pique our curiosity and capture our imagination. The sheer determination of these striking new voices is exhilarating, and I’m proud that we can bring an outstanding selection to our film-loving audiences in new ways that captivate the collective spirit.”

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Stills from the Tiger Competition selection

Tiger Competition

The festival’s flagship Tiger Competition is IFFR’s unrivalled platform for emerging film talent and features a larger selection than in previous editions, sixteen titles in total. The jury will grant three prizes: the Tiger Award, worth €40,000, and two Special Jury Awards, worth €10,000 each. The Tiger Jury consists of filmmaker and visual artist Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, artistic director of International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Orwa Nyrabia, visual artist and filmmaker Hala Elkoussy, screenwriter and critic Helena van der Meulen and film producer Ilse Hughan. Read more about the Tiger Jury here

Tiger Competition 2021 selection

  • Agate mousse, Selim Mourad, 2021, Lebanon, world premiere
  • Bebia, à mon seul désir, Juja Dobrachkous, 2021, Georgia/UK, world premiere
  • Bipolar, Queena Li, 2021, China, world premiere
  • Black Medusa, ismaël, Youssef Chebbi, 2021, Tunisia, world premiere
  • Destello bravío, Ainhoa Rodríguez, 2021, Spain, world premiere
  • The Edge of Daybreak, Taiki Sakpisit, 2021, Thailand/Switzerland, world premiere
  • Feast, Tim Leyendekker, 2021, Netherlands, world premiere
  • Friends and Strangers, James Vaughan, 2021, Australia, world premiere
  • Gritt, Itonje Søimer Guttormsen, 2020, Norway, international premiere
  • I Comete − A Corsican Summer, Pascal Tagnati, 2021, France, world premiere
  • Landscapes of Resistance, Marta Popivoda, 2020, Serbia/Germany/France, world premiere
  • Liborio, Nino Martínez Sosa, 2021, Dominican Republic/Puerto Rico/Qatar, world premiere
  • Looking for Venera, Norika Sefa, 2021, Kosovo/Macedonia, world premiere
  • Madalena, Madiano Marcheti, 2021, Brazil, world premiere
  • Mayday, Karen Cinorre, 2021, USA, international premiere
  • Pebbles, Vinothraj P.S., 2021, India, world premiere

Read more about the Tiger Competition selection here

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Stills form the Big Screen Competition selection

Big Screen Competition

The Big Screen Competition is a diverse competition bridging the gap between popular, classic and art house cinema. This year, fifteen titles have been selected; which is more than previous years. IFFR invites an audience jury to grant the VPRO Big Screen Award. The winning film receives a guaranteed theatrical release in the Netherlands and will be broadcast on Dutch TV by VPRO and NPO. In addition, a €30,000 prize is awarded, equally shared between the filmmaker and the distributor who releases the film.

Big Screen Competition 2021 selection 

  • Archipel, Félix Dufour-Laperrière, 2021, Canada, world premiere
  • Aristocrats, Sode Yukiko, 2020, Japan, international premiere
  • As We Like It, Chen Hung-i & Muni Wei, 2021, Taiwan, world premiere
  • Aurora, Paz Fábrega, 2021, Costa Rica/Mexico, world premiere
  • Carro Rei, Renata Pinheiro, 2021, Brazil, world premiere
  • The Cemil Show, Bariş Sarhan, 2021, Turkey, world premiere
  • Drifting, Li Jun, 2021, Hong Kong, world premiere
  • The Harbour, Rajeev Ravi, 2021, India, world premiere
  • The Last Farmer, M. Manikandan, 2021, India, international premiere
  • Lone Wolf, Jonathan Ogilvie, 2021, Australia, world premiere
  • The North Wind, Renata Litvinova, 2021, Russia, world premiere
  • El perro que no calla, Ana Katz, 2020, Argentina, European premiere
  • Sexual Drive, Yoshida Kota, 2021, Japan, world premiere
  • Les Sorcières de l'Orient, Julien Faraut, 2021, France, world premiere
  • The Year Before the War, Dāvis Sīmanis, 2021, Latvia, world premiere

Read more about the Big Screen Competition selection here

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Stills from the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition selection

Ammodo Tiger Short Competition

IFFR has announced 22 short films selected for the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition, including ten world premieres, eight international premieres and two European premieres. The jury consists of audiovisual curator Anna Abrahams, curator and writer Amira Gad, and artist and filmmaker Vincent Meessen. They will determine which three titles will receive three equal Ammodo Tiger Short Awards, each worth €5,000.

Ammodo Tiger Short Competition 2021 selection

  • 80 000 ans, Christelle Lheureux, 2020, France, international premiere
  • earthearthearth, Daïchi Saïto, 2021, Canada, world premiere
  • Er is een geest van mij, Mateo Vega, 2021, Netherlands/Peru, world premiere
  • Erde essen, Laura Weissenberger, 2021, Austria, world premiere
  • The Eternal Springtime, Việt Vũ, 2021, Vietnam, world premiere
  • Flowers blooming in our throats, Eva Giolo, 2020, Italy, international premiere
  • For the Sake of Calmness, Newsha Tavakolian, 2020, Iran, international premiere
  • Happy Valley, Simon Liu, 2020, Hong Kong/USA, international premiere
  • The Hole’s Journey, Ghita Skali, 2020, Netherlands, world premiere (festival)
  • Lemongrass Girl, Pom Bunsermvicha, 2021, Thailand, world premiere
  • Letter From Your Far-Off Country, Suneil Sanzgiri, 2020, USA, international premiere
  • Luces del desierto, Félix Blume, 2021, France/Mexico, world premiere
  • Maat Means Land, Fox Maxy, 2020, USA, world premiere (festival)
  • Manifesto, Ane Hjort Guttu, 2020, Norway, international premiere
  • Plant (879 pages, 33 days), Ruth Höflich, 2020, Australia, European premiere
  • Sunsets, everyday, Basir Mahmood, 2020, Italy, international premiere
  • Surviving You, Always, Morgan Quaintance, 2021, UK, world premiere
  • Tellurian Drama, Riar Rizaldi, 2020, Indonesia, European premiere
  • Terranova, Alejandro Pérez Serrano/Alejandro Alonso Estrella, 2021, Cuba, world premiere 
  • Tracing Utopia, Catarina de Sousa/Nick Tyson, 2021, Portugal, world premiere
  • Who Is Afraid of Ideology? Part 3 Micro Resistances, Marwa Arsanios, 2020, Colombia/Germany, world premiere (festival)
  • The Women’s Revenge, Su Hui-yu, 2020, Taiwan, international premiere

Read more about the Ammodo Short Competition selection here

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Opening film: Riders of Justice by Anders Thomas Jensen

Limelight lineup and opening film

A selection of thirteen Limelight titles will feature next to the competitions, making up the film lineup for February. The Limelight selection of avant-premieres and cinematic highlights includes the world premieres of Mitra by Kaweh Modiri and Dead & Beautiful by David Verbeek, both by Dutch filmmakers. And the opening film: the international premiere of absurdist tragicomedy Riders of Justice by Danish filmmaker Anders Thomas Jensen, starring Mads Mikkelsen.

  • Beginning, Dea Kulumbegashvili, France/Georgia, 2020, Dutch premiere
  • Dead & Beautiful, David Verbeek, Netherlands/Taiwan, 2021, world premiere
  • Dear Comrades!, Andrei Konchalovsky, Russia, 2020, Dutch premiere
  • First Cow, Kelly Reichardt, USA, 2020, Dutch premiere
  • Mandibules, Quentin Dupieux, France, 2020, Dutch premiere
  • Mitra, Kaweh Modiri, Netherlands/Denmark/Germany, 2021, world premiere
  • La nuit des rois, Philippe Lacôte, France/Côte d'Ivoire/Canada, 2020, Dutch premiere
  • Quo vadis, Aida?, Jasmila Žbanić, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2020, Dutch premiere
  • Riders of Justice, Anders Thomas Jensen, Denmark, 2020, international premiere 
  • Septet: The Story of Hong Kong, Sammo Hung/Ann Hui/Patrick Tam/YuenWoo-ping/Johnnie To/Ringo Lam/Tsui Hark, Hong Kong/China, 2020, Dutch premiere
  • Shorta, Anders Ølholm/Frederik Louis Hviid, Denmark, 2020, Dutch premiere
  • Suzanna Andler, Benoît Jacquot, France, 2020, international premiere
  • Sweat, Magnus von Horn, Poland, 2020, international premiere

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Left to right: Kelly Reichardt, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Benoît Jacquot, Charlotte Gainsbourg

More on the February programme

Four Big Talks have been announced in the IFFR Talks programme. IFFR will be in conversation with Kelly Reichardt, the recipient of this year’s Robby Müller Award and whose latest feature First Cow is also in the Limelight lineup. Filmmaker and artist Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, who is showing work in the Vive le cinéma ! exhibition at Eye Filmmuseum and is part of the Tiger Jury. As well as Benoît Jacquot and actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, next to their international premiere of Suzanna Andler, a film adaptation of the Marguerite Duras play of the same name. Filmmaker Dea Kulumbegashvili and composer Nicolás Jaar will discuss collaborating on the film score for Beginning.

During the February festival dates, the entire online programme will be available to audiences across the Netherlands, with Press and Industry screenings more extensively available and the IFFR Talks programme, including Big Talks, accessible worldwide. Films will premiere with Q&As, promote live interaction and will be made available for 72 hours, with limited ticket capacity. The IFFR Awards Ceremony is to take place on Sunday 7 February. 

More announcements for the festival running from February through June still to come.

The IFFR 2021 February film lineup is now online. Click here to browse

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Stills from Kelly Reichardt's work

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