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50th International Film Festival Rotterdam

1 – 7 February | 2 – 6 June 2021

Rotterdam, 15 April 2021

Celebratory June programme to close IFFR 2021 in hybrid format

IFFR announces first lineup for June’s 50th edition celebration 

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announces it will celebrate the close of its 50th edition with a full lineup of programmes taking place from 2 to 6 June, extending on demand until 9 June. The festival will bring audiences together both online and in person in a hybrid format that includes a film programme available on demand in the Netherlands and physically in Rotterdam, as well as in collaboration with cinemas across the country, adapting as required to Covid-19 restrictions.

The lineup will comprise of the new programme Harbour, alongside Bright Future, Cinema Regained, and the Short & Mid-length programme, with a festive selection of outdoor open-air screenings of IFFR classics. The Art Directions programme completes the physical offering with live performances, Virtual Reality, a travelling installation, and 50th specials, which altogether offer the chance to celebrate the close of this anniversary edition together in person.

Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic: “As we witness small signs of society gradually opening up, we are incredibly proud to celebrate cinema in June during the closing chapter of our 50th edition. If cinemas reopen we will be there to welcome audiences to the big screen. Like in February, we will also be present online with our full programme and Q&As accessible via IFFR.com. We are excited to share a wide range of works, from the discovery of cinematic gems in Cinema Regained to first features of Bright Future hand-picked by each of our programmers. As well as an eclectic selection of commissioned works in Art Directions and of course our new main programme Harbour. No matter what, we will be here both for our audiences and filmmakers to offer fresh perspectives and a great plurality of voices.”

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Harbour stills clockwise: Capitu and the ChapterAmor fatiThe Blue DanubeNudo MixtecoDune Dreams, and El ventre del mar


The June festival will mark the launch of IFFR’s newest and largest programme, Harbour. Echoing Rotterdam’s port city identity, Harbour becomes the heart of the festival that offers a safe haven to the full range and depth of contemporary cinema shown at the festival.

Harbour announces the world premiere of French filmmaker Samuel Doux's feature debut Dune Dreams and the international premiere of The Blue Danube, the latest feature by Tiger Award-winning Japanese director Ikeda Akira depicting overbearing bureaucracy that Japan and many other countries suffer from. Brazil’s Júlio Bressane, whose debut feature was released in 1967, returns to IFFR with Capitu and the Chapter. Mexican director of Mixtec origin Ángeles Cruz portrays her home village in debut feature Nudo Mixteco. Portuguese director Cláudia Varejão is selected for her documentary on intimacy and relationships, Amor fati. Spanish director Agustí Villaronga, whose work was the subject of an IFFR retrospective in 2011, returns with a mix of theatre and film that recounts the 1816 La Méduse shipwreck in El ventre del mar.

Browse the Harbour programme here

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Bright Future stills clockwise: BERGAll About My SistersPhoenix, and Damascus Dreams

Bright Future

IFFR presents a special edition of its trademark programme Bright Future in which each feature film programmer had a choice of one debut. This led to a one-off programme of 14 features that celebrates the Bright Future programme’s focus on fresh new film talent and discoveries for the future, whilst also reflecting the variety of tastes and concerns of the programmers. 

The programme features the world premieres of documentary Damascus Dreams by Montreal-based visual artist and filmmaker Émilie Serri, Slovenian mountain-set BERG by the Dutch theatre and filmmaker Joke Olthaar and Phoenix by Belgian artist, musician and filmmaker Bram Droulers. Indian filmmakers Pooja Shetty and Neil Pagedar are selected for their six-part science fiction comedy OK Computer, along with China's Wang Qiong for the world premiere of All About My Sisters.

Browse the Bright Future programme here

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Cinema Regained stills clockwise: Neck 'n NeckFat Chance, and The Deer

Cinema Regained

Cinema Regained is IFFR’s programme dedicated to film history. It presents recent restorations and films dedicated to exploring aspects of cinema’s heritage. The festival marks its first ever restoration contributions in collaboration with Kobe Planet Film Archive: the internationally celebrated resurgence of early Walt Disney's Neck 'n' Neck – which introduces the character of Oswald, precursor to Mickey Mouse – and Sea Palace, a live action film by pioneering Japanese animator Masaoka Kenzō. Experimental investigations into the seventh art remain a fixture of the programme, represented among others by Stephen Broomer's Fat Chance, a darkly comical tribute to Hollywood heavy Laird Cregar. Iranian director Shahram Mokri’s latest work, Careless Crime, evokes the 1978 burning of a cinema during a screening of The Deer by Masoud Kimiai – an event that instigated the Iranian Revolution. Both films are selected for the programme.

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From left to right: Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Rosa Barba, Sui Hui-yu

Art Directions: 50th edition specials and more

Art Directions is IFFR’s adventurous programme dedicated to uniting the realms of art and cinema, doing so in June with live performance works, installations, Virtual Reality, alongside a pop-up museum and photography series. The Performances programme comprises live performance works that explore what the art of film means in all its dimensions, developed with artists who have their roots in the short film section of IFFR. They include Berlin-based artist duo Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, presenting (No) Time, German-Italian visual artist and filmmaker Rosa Barba’s Voice Engine, multidisciplinary Angolan artist Kiluanji Kia Henda with Resetting Birds’ Memories.

The UBIK space at WORM will host a Virtual Reality programme of four works including the world premiere of The Subterranean Imprint Archive by South African duo Francois Knoetze and Amy Louise Wilson. The Hangman at Home – VR by Israeli-origin filmmakers Michelle and Uri Kranot, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best VR Immersive Work at the 2020 Venice Biennale, is also selected. Image Technology Echoes by Australian artist Lauren Moffatt and To Miss the Ending by British artists Anna West and David Callanan complete the selection. 

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The Werner by Atelier van Lieshout

Mobile installation The Werner − Guerilla Cinema, created together with Atelier Van Lieshout, will travel throughout Rotterdam screening local cinematic portraits. As 50th edition specials, Art Directions presents pop-up museum IFFR Time Machine, which invites audiences to look back at the festival’s history and imagine its future with historic photography, archival materials and paraphernalia, while Picture This continues from February presenting the second part of a photography series of fifty festival portraits taken throughout IFFR’s history.

Read the Art Directions blog here

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Short & Mid-length stills clockwise: The TreesThe Old Child, and PINPIN

Short & Mid-length

June’s Short & Mid-length selection celebrates the programme’s focus on artists’ moving image and experimental film with 40 film titles. Five compilations that foreground storytelling speak to the most urgent challenges and opportunities of our times, featuring Syrian-American Ramzi Bashour with The Trees, Peruvian Felipe Esparza Pérez with The Old Child and Argentine-Dutch filmmaker Jaime Levinas with PINPIN. Five mid-length titles are also selected, including Bela by Indian director Prantik Basu who returns to the festival after winning a Tiger Short Award at IFFR 2017. 

The Short & Mid-length section presents a special one-off Dutch Panorama programme of 11 short titles, including Amsterdam-based former Tiger Short Award winner Daniel Jacoby who is selected for No One Cried, alongside IFFR regular Erik van Lieshout for Art Blasé and Jasper Coppes showing Aasivissuit. A Short Profile of four films will feature artistic duo Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, who represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale in 2019 with Moving Backwards, which will be screened in the profile, along with Charming for the RevolutionI Want and Silent.

Browse the Short & Mid-length programme here

More June programme

The programme will be accessible in a hybrid format both online for audiences in the Netherlands with limited ticket capacity, and physically in Rotterdam. Physical programming will be available from 2 to 6 June, with this extending to 9 June for on demand programming due to the 72 hour viewing window. There will also be a select programme available in cinemas throughout the Netherlands, as well as outdoor festive screenings across Rotterdam in collaboration with Rotterdamse Dakendagen and Pleinbioscoop Rotterdam. Accredited guests can access Press & Industry screenings online. The Volkskrantdag will take place in Rotterdam and across the country on 6 June. The physical programme is subject to governmental health regulations. 

The June programme will be expanded with additional film titles, Big Talks and more. The full lineup will be announced during the IFFR Press Conference on Tuesday 18 May, which will be streamed live on IFFR.com.

The first lineup for June is now online. Click here to browse.

Full June programme to be announced on 18 May.

Please find the link to press materials here

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