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52nd International Film Festival Rotterdam

25 January - 5 February 2023

Rotterdam, 18 January 2023

Lineup of special guests revealed for IFFR Talks

Hélène Louvart, Albert Serra, Steve McQueen, ICFR and Girls on Film amongst IFFR Talks lineup.

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) welcomes a lineup of special guests for the IFFR Talks programme at its 52nd edition. The lineup includes: celebrated French cinematographer and recipient of the Robby Müller Award 2023, Hélène Louvart; Pacificition director Albert Serra; Steve McQueen, who presents his latest artwork Sunshine State at IFFR; the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk; and a discussion hosted by Girls on Film, a film review podcast from a female perspective. 

Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic: “Aside from bringing filmmakers and artists together with our audiences for in-depth discussions, our programme of IFFR Talks this edition creates a vital space for dialogue on important issues facing today’s society at large. We’ll reflect on recent and not-so-recent developments in Indian politics, address labour rights and resource scarcity in collaboration with De Balie, and discuss the important work of the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk which continues to advocate for filmmakers in places like Turkey and Iran.”

IFFR Talks

The art of filmmaking is the topic of discussion with some of the world’s most creative cinematic minds. IFFR 2023 presents a programme of Talks including with this edition’s Focus programme filmmakers Stanya Kahn, arc, and Yuasa Masaaki. Steve McQueen and the artist-duo Semiconductor, whose artworks are presented in Art Directions, are also part of the lineup, alongside filmmakers from the programme including Albert Serra and Robby Müller Award 2023 recipient Hélène Louvart

Girls on Film will record a live podcast on Friday 27 January as host Anna Smith is joined by Superposition director Karoline Lyngbye and Die middag director Nafiss Nia. Hungarian filmmaker Judit Elek will be present at the launch of a retrospective publication titled Judit Elek: The Lady from Budapest, on Sunday 29 January at Donner bookstore. 

Filmmakers from the Focus: The Shape of Things to Come? programme will take part in a panel and lecture on Sunday 29 January, where they will assess the current cultural climate in India and shine a light on their subjects and films.

IFFR will also host an update from the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Riskon Tuesday 31 January, on the increasing persecution and incarceration of filmmakers around the world, with a special focus on Turkey and Iran. 

Harbour title Mayday! May day! Mayday! is at the centre of a discussion in collaboration with De Balie in Amsterdam on Wednesday 1 February. The film’s director Yonri Revolt and a panel of experts discuss the politically committed documentary, which delves into one of the longest strikes of the 21st century: by the miners from the Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia. 

See the full list of IFFR Talks here

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 Stills from the films Mayday! May Day! Mayday! and Die middag

Extended Q&As

Alongside its programme of IFFR Talks, the festival welcomes filmmaking talent and special guests for extended Q&As. Frank Grillo and John Swab, the US actor and director respectively behind the noir crime thriller Little Dixie, will attend the film’s world premiere for an extended discussion. Ulrich Seidl joins the festival for the world premiere of WICKED GAMES Rimini Sparta, accompanied by the film’s two leading actors Michael Thomas and Georg Friedrich.  


The RTM Day, dedicated to local film talent, also features a number of discussions on Friday 27 January. Get in the Game will investigate the relationship between filmmaker, producer, and the film industry, whilst Intimacy will reflect on how identity, sexuality, sensuality and security impact the filmmaking process.

At the opening of the RTM Day, IFFR takes time to reflect, visualise and anticipate what the filmmaking culture of the city should look like. The results of ‘Moving Rotterdam’ will be shared – research on the film climate in the city, carried out by OPEN Rotterdam, Film Platform Rotterdam and IFFR. Local filmmaker and screenwriter Froukje Tan will share her perspective on the city’s cinema culture, complemented by observations from the RTM Curators.

Read more about the RTM Day here. 

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Clockwise, stills from the films: NeedDeeply, Madly, Fantoomwijk, Nani

Young Film Critics

IFFR is delighted to welcome to Rotterdam a number of Young Film Critics who graduated from the programme during its online edition in 2021, and now return for a dedicated advanced programme. The Young Film Critics programme gives emerging film critics the chance to get acquainted with the festival environment and the diversity of the programme with expert sessions, networking opportunities and special assignments. Alonso Aguilar (Costa Rica), Łukasz Mańkowski (Poland), Madeleine Collier (USA), and Ren Scateni (United Kingdom) – who attended online in 2021 – are joined by new participant Kyrylo Pyshchykov (Ukraine) who was specially invited to join the programme.  

Critics' Choice IX

Six titles from the IFFR 2023 programme have been selected by journalists Dana Linssen and Jan Pieter Ekker for the eighth edition of the annual Critics’ Choice context programme. Each screening will be accompanied by a specially commissioned video essay. See the titles below. 

Ekker and Linssen have collaborated with the participants of this edition's Young Film Critics who will host a discussion with filmmakers in the programme.

  • Aftersun, Charlotte Wells, 2022, United States, United Kingdom (Limelight), video essay by Inge Coolsaet
  • Eo, Jerzy Skolimowski, 2022, Poland, Italy (Limelight), video essay by Kevin B. Lee
  • Mascotte, Remy van Heugten, 2023, European premiere (Harbour), video essay by Young Film Critics guided by Joost Broeren
  • Die middag, Nafiss Nia, 2023, Netherlands, world premiere (Bright Future), video essay by Joost Broeren

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Stills from the films: Aftersun and De noche los gatos son pardos

Media Outreach & Inclusion Scheme

A total of ten journalists and media makers will attend IFFR with complimentary press accreditations as part of a new scheme to reduce barriers for those unrepresented in the festival’s press community. The scheme also offers workspaces, networking and a roundtable session.

Ticket sales

Tickets for IFFR Specials, including the opening and closing nights, are now on sale. Tickets for the full programme go on general sale on Friday 20 January at 20:00. Tiger Members (including under-23 and Supreme) can reserve from Thursday 19 January at 20:00.  

Accredited press and industry guests can reserve their tickets from Thursday 19 January at 12:00 noon. 

Take a look at the fully confirmed programme here

Click here for the film stills. 

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