Our exceptional 50th edition has officially come to a close. IFFR 2021 embraced experiment to give audiences a meaningful festival experience in our anniversary year, adapting to the situation in the Netherlands and worldwide. The two-part festival programme (1 to 7 February and 2 to 6 June) presented 194 films (120 feature-length films and 74 short & mid-length titles) which saw 270,898 visits from audiences in Rotterdam and across the Netherlands.
Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic: “In this extraordinary year, there is no greater reward than making the festival happen. I’m incredibly proud that through hard work and perseverance, we created a unique festival experience both online and offline through a smaller but by no means less impactful programme.”
From February to June
The festival opened with Danish comedy Riders of Justice by Anders Thomas Jensen, and closed on with Japanese animation Poupelle of Chimney Town by Hirota Yusuke. In February, IFFR provided a platform for international film talent with a focus on the festival’s competitions – including the Tiger Competition, Big Screen Competition and Ammodo Tiger Short Competition. Among the 16 Tiger Competition titles – all world or international premieres – Pebbles by Vinothraj P.S. won the Tiger Award during the Awards Ceremony on 7 February.
The June festival took place both online and in cinemas in Rotterdam, premiering the new programme section Harbour, alongside Bright Future, Cinema Regained, Short & Mid-length and IFFR Classics. After the Srebrenica drama Quo vadis, Aida? by Jasmila Žbanić won the BankGiro Loterij Audience Award in February, football documentary Mi chiamo Francesco Totti by Alex Infascelli was voted the winner in June.
The IFFR Talks programme brought conversations with filmmakers to audiences worldwide from February to June, featuring names including Mads Mikkelsen, Benoît Jacquot and Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Kelly Reichardt, Mona Fastvold and Dominik Graf.
With the festival’s close, the final title of the IFFR Unleashed: 50/50 collection is now available on demand. Cuban Ammodo Tiger Short Award winner Terranova by Alejandro Pérez Serrano and Alejandro Alonso Estrella completes the festival retrospective of 50 films from 50 editions.
The 50th edition in Rotterdam
February's Tiger on the Loose project, designed in collaboration with Studio VollaersZwart, installed an interactive augmented reality experience across Rotterdam. In June, Atelier van Lieshout's The Werner − Guerilla Cinema toured throughout the city, screening portraits of local residents.
Audience members and Tiger Competition winners recounted festival experiences in IFFR Plays Back ◀◀, while 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, projected onto the Pathé Schouwburgplein in February and displayed in the iconic Dudok Rotterdam café and 75B studio in June.