Annual Report

Festival programme

IFFR 2021 celebrated its 50th edition in a reimagined two-part festival format – embracing experiment and adapting to governmental regulations to give audiences a meaningful festival experience in our anniversary year.

Infographic IFFR 2021 festival programme

Film programme at home and in cinemas

In addition to competitions, the online February film programme focused on our Limelight lineup of avant premieres. The June festival took place both online and in cinemas in Rotterdam, premiering the newest and largest programme section Harbour, which represents the festival’s role as a safe haven for a full spectrum of contemporary cinema. Each IFFR feature film programmer selected one debut film for the Bright Future programme. Cinema Regained offered restored classics, documentaries on film culture and explorations of cinema’s heritage. The 50th edition Short & Mid-length selection focussed on artists’ moving image, experimental film and short form storytelling.

Read more about the IFFR 2021 competitions and awards

Infographics IFFR 2021 Premieres

Art and film

Seven remarkable Art Directions programmes were presented to audiences online and in Rotterdam. Picture This presented a series of thematic clips in tribute to 50 years of festival photography. IFFR 100 exhibited 50 past campaign posters alongside 50 future poster designs by Willem de Kooning Academy students. In June, Atelier van Lieshout's The Werner − Guerilla Cinema toured throughout Rotterdam screening portraits of local residents.

Four ambitious and spatial virtual reality works were presented in WORM Rotterdam. The programme included the world premiere of The Subterranean Imprint Archive by Francois Knoetze and Amy Louise Wilson, The Hangman at Home – VR by Michelle and Uri Kranot, Image Technology Echoes by Lauren Moffatt and To Miss the Ending by David Callanan and Anna West.

VR Installation during IFFR 2021 © Ruben Hamelink

VR Installation during IFFR 2021 © Tomas Mutsaers

IFFR 100 at Dudok Rotterdam © Ruben Hamelink

IFFR 100 at Dudok Rotterdam © Ruben Hamelink

The Werner – Guerilla Cinema by Atelier Van Lieshout © Jeroen Mooijman

IFFR's Managing Director Marjan van der Haar speaking with artist Hooman Jeddy in front of the The Werner – Guerilla Cinema © Jeroen Mooijman

Read about the 50th specials at IFFR 2021

Conversations on films

The IFFR Talks programme brought conversations with filmmakers and actors to audiences worldwide from February to June, featuring names including Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Mads Mikkelsen, Benoît Jacquot, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kelly Reichardt, Mona Fastvold and Dominik Graf. The June programme also featured a Big Talk on the Srebrenica genocide and the Freedom Lecture by Pallavi Paul.