A welcome from our festival director

"They are unique in using languages."

Everyday we are fed a seemingly unstoppable flow of images. Whether we like it or not, the stories they convey have an impact on how we view the world and ourselves. But it is up to us to decide whether to stay glued to the repetitive stream of easy-answer-imagery or to open our minds to alternative visions that inspire us; images and stories that ask questions and broaden our horizons: cinema!

Last year International Film Festival Rotterdam introduced the concept of Planet IFFR, a place where filmmakers and the public celebrate daring film-culture. Now we zoom in and invite you to meet the humans of planet IFFR: colorful, creative creatures, full of contradiction and interesting peculiarities. They are unique in exchanging ideas; their visions develop as they grow and they use stories to shape their own reality.

Film is perhaps the most potent means of exchanging ideas, as is music, dialogue and art. And in the next twelve days there is room for exactly that. We give the stage to filmmakers and artists and of course to you, the audience, to be immersed in beautiful and inspiring cinema. You will discover works that tackle big topics like issues of gender, race, social status and politics as well as intimate works that highlight themes of our personal lives or of the art of cinema itself. It will be quite a discovery.

Meet the humans of Planet IFFR! You already know one of them: it is that creative and peculiar person you recognize in the mirror.

Festival Director

Photo in header: Photo: Bero Beyer