The 14 titles selected to premiere in IFFR 2021’s Big Screen Competition are revealed. The winner, determined by an audience jury, will receive the VPRO Big Screen Award and will be presented during the festival in February.
The Big Screen Competition, recently expanded with a larger selection of titles in IFFR’s new programme structure, features a diverse selection that bridges the gap between popular, classic and art house cinema. An expert audience jury of five decides the winner. This edition’s jury will determine which film, from a selection of 15, they think deserves to hit the ‘big screen’ after the festival. The winning film will receive the VPRO Big Screen Award, will be guaranteed theatrical release in the Netherlands and will be broadcast on Dutch TV by VPRO and NPO. There’s also a cash prize of €30,000, half of which goes to the distributor who decides to purchase the film.
Several filmmakers in the selection have previously shown work at the festival. Director of Archipel, Félix Dufour-Laperrière, presented Transatlantique at IFFR 2015. As We Like It is the new film by Chen Hung-i, who brought The Last Painting to IFFR 2017. The North Wind is by Renata Litvinova, who directed Goddess (Tiger Competition 2005) and has appeared in many IFFR films as an actor. Ana Katz returns with El perro que no calla, after previously showing Una novia errante (IFFR 2008) and Whisky (IFFR 2005). Sexual Drive is the new film by Yoshida Kota, who directed Kyojima 3rd St., Sumida City (IFFR 2012). Aurora is the latest by Paz Fábrega, whose film Agua fría de mar (IFFR 2010) was supported by the Hubert Bals Fund. And the director of Carro Rei, Renata Pinheiro, has shown many films at the festival, including Praça Walt Disney (IFFR 2012) which is available to watch on IFFR Unleashed.
Still: As We Like It
Still: Carro Rei
The Cemil Show
Still: The Last Farmer
Still Les Sorcières de l’Orient
Still: Lone Wolf
Still: The North Wind
Still: El perro que no calla
Still: Sexual Drive
Still: The Year Before the War
Big Screen Competition selection
- Archipel, Félix Dufour-Laperrière, 2021, Canada, world premiere
Animation, imagination and reality merge in this enchanting search for the soul of the French-Canadian province of Quebec.
- Aristocrats, Sode Yukiko, 2020, Japan, international premiere
Sophisticated, layered drama about breaking out of your social bubble and looking for love in contemporary Japan.
- As We Like It, Chen Hung-i/Muni Wei, 2021, Taiwan, world premiere
Energetic, colourful reworking of Shakespeare’s love story played entirely by women, set in the bustling metropolis of Taipei.
- Aurora, Paz Fábrega, 2021, Costa Rica/Mexico, world premiere
A loving, painstaking study of the dilemmas of a girl facing an unwanted pregnancy and the woman helping her.
- Carro Rei, Renata Pinheiro, 2021, Brazil, world premiere
Revived wrecked cars prove more evil than expected in highly original film about steel, sex, populism, ecology and humanity.
- The Cemil Show, Bariş Sarhan, 2021, Turkey, world premiere
Cemil wants to be an actor so badly he becomes the villainous character he vainly auditioned for.
- Drifting, Jun Li, 2021, Hong Kong, world premiere
Hong Kong’s homeless fight for their rights in the shadows of the high-rises. A politically committed look at a precarious existence.
- The Last Farmer, M. Manikandan, 2021, India, international premiere
Agricultural traditions are in danger of being lost when an aged farmer is imprisoned. Highly original Indian drama about their importance.
- Les Sorcières de l’Orient, Julien Faraut, 2021, France, world premiere
Volleyball like you’ve never seen it before. Playful documentary that combines fantastic anime with 1960s Japanese Olympic volleyball stars.
- Lone Wolf, Jonathan Ogilvie, 2021, Australia, world premiere
An intriguing thriller made up of images from hidden cameras, phone taps, Skype sessions and other Australian-government surveillance footage.
- The North Wind, Renata Litvinova, 2021, Russia, world premiere
The matriarchal Margarita struggles to keep the power over her family’s future after her son is hit by a tragedy.
- El perro que no calla, Ana Katz, 2020, Argentina, European premiere
Kind-hearted thirty-something Sebastian hops listlessly from job to job in this pleasing mix of empathetic drama and the slightly absurd.
- Sexual Drive, Yoshida Kota, 2021, Japan, world premiere
Triptych on sex, aphrodisiac foods and secret desires. No explicit sex, but plenty of very sensual close-ups of women eating.
- The Year Before the War, Dāvis Sīmanis, 2021, Latvia, world premiere
Europe in 1913, seen through the prisms of ideological extremism, dangerous sex, existential doubt and psychoanalysis.
Big Screen Competition
The winning film will be released in Dutch cinemas.