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PRESS RELEASE

53rd International Film Festival Rotterdam
25 January – 4 February 2024

Rotterdam, 12 December 2023

Robby Müller Award 2024 goes to Grimm Vandekerckhove

Tiger juries announced with Cinema Regained and more premieres in Limelight & Harbour

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announces the recipient of its fifth annual Robby Müller Award: Belgian cinematographer Grimm Vandekerckhove, renowned for his delicate, humanist work with filmmaker Bas Devos, amongst others. The award pays homage to the craft of artists working behind the lens, in the spirit of the late, celebrated cinematographer Robby Müller.


Other reveals include the festival’s competition juries, a number of world premieres in the Limelight and Harbour programmes, a Focus programme dedicated to the Manetti Bros., and the initial titles in IFFR’s living film history programme: Cinema Regained.

Highlights

  • Belgian cinematographer Grimm Vandekerckhove (Ghost Tropic, 2019; Here, 2023) will receive the festival’s award honouring the craft of artists behind the lens.
  • The festival’s Limelight programme boasts a lineup of highly anticipated favourites, including high-octane Indonesian thriller 13 Bombs and epic Nordic island chronicle Stormskerry Maja.
  • More premieres are confirmed in Harbour from filmmakers including Alexander Kluge,  Leonardo Mouramateus, Lev Kalman and Whitney Horn, Alexandra Gulea and Daniel Hui, each bringing a unique cinematic perspective. 
  • A retrospective Focus programme highlights the wildly cinematic journey of the Italian duo the Manetti Bros., renowned for their genre-defying works.
  • The Tiger Competition Jury for 2024 featuring Marco Müller, Ena Sendijarević, Nadia Turincev, Herman Yau and Billy Woodberry, is set to choose winners for the Tiger Award and Special Jury Awards.
  • The Tiger Short Competition Jury for 2024 featuring Mónica Lima, Yasmina Price and Jade Wiseman, will honour outstanding short films with three Tiger Short Awards, each worth €5,000.
  • The first titles are confirmed in Cinema Regained, IFFR’s programme of living film history, promising a curated selection of restored classics, unknown masterpieces, documentaries and experimental explorations of cinema's rich heritage.


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Stills from the films: 13 Bombs and Stormskerry Maja


Grimm Vandekerckhove to receive the Robby Müller Award

Each year, IFFR acknowledges the craft of an outstanding image maker with the Robby Müller Award, given in collaboration with the Netherlands Society of Cinematographers (NSC) and Andrea Müller-Schirmer, the wife of the late Dutch cinematographer Robby Müller.


Belgian cinematographer Grimm Vandekerckhove will be honoured as the fifth recipient of the award. He is known for delicately capturing the inner lives of characters, such as a cleaning lady on a late-night journey in Ghost Tropic (IFFR 2020) or the encounter of a foreign construction worker and a moss researcher in Here (2023), both directed by fellow Belgian Bas Devos. He also shot Stephan Streker’s A Wedding (Noces) (IFFR 2017), about a teenager forced into an arranged marriage.

The Jury states: “Grimm Vandekerckhove is a new yet already established voice and a true discovery among the new generation of international cinematographers. With profound commitment and a wondrous tranquillity he captures details and hidden shades of everyday existence in his own singular way that mirrors the emotionally moving images of Robby Müller.”

Read more about the Robby Müller Award 2024 here.

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 Grimm Vandekerckhove

Latest confirmations and highlights

Loosely inspired by the biggest financial fraud in Indonesian history is the high-octane thriller 13 Bombs by Angga Dwimas Sasongko which has its international premiere in the Limelight programme – as does Stormskerry Maja by Finnish filmmaker Tiina Lymi, a chronicle of the endurance of Maja and her family on a desolate 19th century Nordic island. 


In the Harbour programme, Alexander Kluge premieres Cosmic Miniatures, a fusion of AI-generated space images; Lev Kalman and Whitney Horn present the dreamy, saturated Dream Team, a riff on 1990s sexy crime dramas; Leonardo Mouramateus returns with the world premiere of Greice, exploring loves lost and found in Brazil; Alexandra Gulea pays homage to her grandmother’s Balkan nomadic shepherd community in the world premiere of Maia – Portrait with Hands; and Daniel Hui presents Small Hours of the Night, a slow-burning psychodrama examining Singapore’s complex legal history.

Check the IFFR 2024 programme here.

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Clockwise, stills from the films: Dream Team, Greice, Maia – Portrait with Hands, Small Hours of the Night


Competition juries

The Tiger Competition Jury consists of Marco Müller, former director of Locarno, Venice, and IFFR (1989–1991);  Ena Sendijarević, a Bosnian-Dutch filmmaker known for her acclaimed debut Take Me Somewhere Nice (IFFR 2019) and the Netherlands’ Oscars submission Sweet Dreams; producer, industry expert and founder of Easy Rider Films, Nadia Turincev; renowned Hong Kong filmmaker Herman Yau; and LA Rebellion filmmaker Billy Woodberry whose Mário will have its world premiere at IFFR 2024. 


Together they will choose the winners of the Tiger Award, worth €40,000, and the Special Jury Awards, worth €10,000.


The jury for the Tiger Short Competition consists of Portuguese filmmaker Mónica Lima, director of IFFR 2023 Tiger Short Award-winning Natureza Humana; Yasmina Price, a New York-based writer and film programmer focusing on anticolonial cinema; and Jade Wiseman, a Montreal-born film distributor now based in Amsterdam. They will alward three Tiger Short Award winners, each worth €5,000. 


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Competition jury members

Cinema Regained

IFFR’s programme dedicated to living film history, Cinema Regained, is where restored classics and unknown masterpieces, documentaries about celebrated filmmakers, and experimental explorations of cinema's heritage meet and play. Amongst the host of discoveries are films from Clemens Klopfenstein, a true IFFR cult figure, whose latest Cinema bruciato is an autobiography, of sorts. Greek experimental filmmaker Antoinetta Angelidi is foregrounded, including with Obsessive Hours at the Topos Of Reality: a film about her made by her daughter, the filmmaker and theoretician Rea Wallden.  


The programme hosts the European premiere of the restored version of Hair Piece: A Film for Nappyheaded People, an animated satire on the self-image of Black women by Ayoka Chenzira. The short precedes Bridgett M. Davis’ 1996 US indie gem Naked Acts, which follows a young Black actress about to make her acting debut in a low budget film. 


The programme presents the restored The Great White Tower by Yamamoto Satsuo from 1966, on the inner workings of the Japanese medical world where intrigue and lust swirl around Goro Zaizen, an ambitious assistant professor of medicine.


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Clockwise, stills from the films: Cinema bruciato, Obsessive Hours at the Topos Of Reality, Hair Piece: A Film for Nappyheaded PeopleNaked Acts

Focus: Manetti Bros.

Renowned for their genre-defying approach to cinema, the Italian duo, Marco and Antonio Manetti, known as the Manetti Bros., are celebrated for their creative brilliance in a dedicated Focus programme. Hailing from Naples, their wildly creative journey extends across music videos, series, and films, including the celebrated Diabolik series of graphic novel adaptations. With a keen eye for genre details, the Manetti Bros. infuse each project with a distinctive flair. IFFR will showcase 11 of their works, including the Diabolik trilogy.



Click here for the film stills.

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