For the fifth time since (The Return of the) Critics' Choice in 2015, film critics Jan Pieter Ekker and Dana Linssen have together compiled a context programme with films from the IFFR line-up, video essays, talks and events. This time on the theme of Absence, a concept with a long tradition in film history; which films are available to whom? This evokes questions about the whole chain from production to archiving. But also, the film as 'absent object' has both perplexed and inspired the film critic.

Since the advent of the video essay, the critic has a new medium available to make films visible and present. Does that provide the dreamed-of access for everyone? In this era of the ubiquitousness and surfeit of moving images and cinematic media, there are still just as many images and stories absent. With video essayists and representatives of the various Critics' Weeks initiatives in Europe and the United States, we talk about the role and responsibility of critics. The event will also feature a video essay by Vivien Kristin Buchhorn.