From 13 to 17 July, International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) will be setting up camp in Rotterdam’s Museumpark for IFFR White Nights: a free five-day outdoor summer event with film, music, workshops and panel discussions. IFFR White Nights is part of Rotterdam Xpanded, the multi-disciplinary IFFR, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and Kunsthal Rotterdam collaboration.
IFFR has a long tradition of exploring social and political questions through cinema. Even so at this first IFFR White Nights. White Nights refers to Europe’s sleepless nights, whether from empathy or suspicion, as refugees reach the continent in search of a safe haven. The films shown at the festival were made in the countries of origin of these refugees: Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon and Tunisia. The programme highlights the potential of the talent now coming from those countries and knocking at Europe’s door.
For IFFR White Nights, Museumpark will turn into a tent camp full of white canvas, where small tents will feature short films in the daytime, and in the evening, the big central tent will be magically lit with movies and musical documentaries. IFFR White Nights has three premieres: the documentary Callshop Istanbul (Canada, 2015), the movie Iraqi Odyssey (Iraq, 2014) and the short film Ayan and the White Balloon (Belgium, 2015).
In the intervals between films, the programme features panel discussions on various themes, workshops and masterclasses, music from the Arab region and delicious food by Syrian chef Maher al Sabbagh. In one of the tents, Het Nieuwe Instituut present a pop-up exhibition showing the results of the Home Away from Home competition in which Dutch designers submitted innovative solutions to the refugee housing problem.