Some of you may have been waiting for this moment with great anticipation… our IFFR 2018 preliminary list of film titles is now made public! This time around we celebrate no less than fifteen film works; the mix combines shorts and features geographically spread across Russia, South Africa, the US or Taiwan. We will showcase world premieres and festival hits but we will also allow for emulating discoveries and new talent outburst. 2018 will enforce our cross-section ambition and will prolong what IFFR stands for; a daring and outspoken film celebration.
The 47th edition will again articulate its programme around four main sections: Bright Future, Voices, Deep Focus and Perspectives.
Bright Future is IFFR's programme section dedicated to young and emerging film talents with their own style and vision, often presenting their films for the first time on the international film landscape. The main competition of IFFR, the Hivos Tiger Competition, is part of this section.
IFFR's programme section dedicated to young and emerging film talents with their own style and vision.More information
Ruben Desiere, 2017, Belgium/Slovakia - international premiere
In the back room of a flower shop, Tomi, Rasto and Mižu are digging a tunnel to break into the safe of the National Bank. After heavy rainfalls, the underground maze gets submerged by water and they must interrupt their work.
Les garçons sauvages
Bertrand Mandico, 2017, France
At the beginning of the 20th century on the island of La Réunion, five adolescents of good family, enamored with the occult, commit a savage crime. A Dutch Captain takes them in charge for a repressive cruise on a haunted, dilapidated sailboat. Exhausted by the methods of the Captain, the five boys prepare for mutiny. Their port of call is a supernatural island with luxuriant vegetation and bewitching powers.
All You Can Eat Buddha
Ian Lagarde, 2017, Canada, Europese première.
The films presented in Voices are driven by powerful stories, distinct characters, captivating subjects and important themes. Each film brings a specific viewpoint on the world we live in, told by filmmakers with a confident voice. Within Voices you’ll also find the Limelight titles: avant premieres of the big names of international cinema.
The films presented in Voices are driven by powerful stories, distinct characters, captivating subjects and important themes.More information
Alexey Fedorchenko, 2018, Russia - European premiere
Anna’s War tells of the atrocities of the Holocaust through the experiences of a six year old called Anna. Amid the mass coordinated execution of Jewish people, her parents were killed. Anna miraculously survived because her mother covered the little girl’s body with her own. Anna doesn’t just survive but somehow holds onto her humanity. Many factors helped her picking up the pieces: memories from her past life, swept away by war, the cultural foundations laid by her parents and one friend who saved her from loneliness.
Constantin Popescu, 2017, Romania/France
Cristina and Tudor Ionescu have founded a happy family with their two children Maria (5) and Ilie (7). Tudor works for a phone company and Cristina’s an accountant. They're in their thirties and live in a nice apartment in a Romanian town. They live the life of an ordinary couple with young children. One Sunday morning, when Tudor takes the kids to the park, Maria disappears. Their lives abruptly change forever. Main actor Bogdan Dumitrache won the award for Best Actor at the San Sebastian film festival.
Zhang Miaoyan, 2017, China/France - European premiere
Mysterious incidents occur in the darkness of the night, in a peaceful canal town in Southern China. A rapist lurks in the shadows of the night, hiding in the mist, searching for a prey. Schoolgirl Li is his first victim. Meanwhile, a young couple tries to make a living with their tiny street restaurant. While the rapist operates under the cover of the mist, a fat, wealthy and influential businessman openly pollutes their lives with fear and uncertainty. The villagers seem unable to cope with both the open and the hidden dangers they all face from their morally corrupted compatriots.
The Florida Project
Sean Baker, 2017, US
Young American filmmaker Sean Baker shot his previous film Tangerine (2015) entirely on his iPhone. The Florida Project was shot with regular cameras, but the final film still feels as raw and pure. Baker found one of his main characters through Instagram and managed to get Willem Dafoe on board. Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she pursues an adventurous peregrination with her ragtag playmates. Monroe bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro, 2017, US
An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's destiny is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. The Shape of Water won the Golden Bear at the Venice Film Festival this year.
Taking an in-depth look at contemporary filmmaking, Deep Focus explores the world of cinema with compilations, retrospectives, masterclasses, original thematic programmes and various other formats. Deep Focus is the connoisseur’s comfort zone, where a deeper appreciation of the film art is cultivated in all its variety.
Deep Focus is the connoisseur’s comfort zone, where a deeper appreciation of the film art is cultivated in all its variety.More information
The Bottomless Bag
Rustam Khamdamov, 2017, Russia - international premiere
Based on Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s In a Grove, The Bottomless Bag takes place during the times of Tsar Alexander II. A lady-in-waiting is telling the prince in his palace a metaphysical fairytale, set in the 13th century and revolving around the mysterious murder of the Tsar’s son in the forest. The characters in the fable – witnesses to this violent crime – narrate different versions of the events, shedding light on what really happened.
Wang Bing, 2017, Hong Kong/France/Germany
Surrounded by the careless chatter of family and neighbours, Fang Xiuying is slowly dying in a modest room, somewhere in a village in Southern China. Fang Xiuying is marginalized and abandoned because she suffers from Alzheimer's and reduced to the unconscious fragility of her body. Wang's camera seems to be the only that cares for Xiuying. Probing her innocent expressions, searching for a trace of humanity, Wang pushes the limits of his filmmaking. Mrs. Fang won the Golden Leopard at this year’s Locarno film festival.
Marquis de Wavrin, du manoir à la jungle
Grace Winter and Luc Plantier, 2017, Belgium
A documentary research essay that invites us to discover the strange path led by the explorer-ethnographer Marquis de Wavrin, who in the 1920s and 1930s made ethnographic films in several Latin American countries. Thanks to the preservation of this film heritage at the Royal Film Archive of Belgium, we follow the Marquis de Wavrin as a defender and friend of the Upper Amazon Indians and as a filmmaker at heart.
Perspectives is the section where IFFR's main thematic programme is presented and relevant social and political issues are investigated through cinema. Perspectives is home to films that push the boundaries between fine art, music and other media. The themed programmes for IFFR 2018 will be announced in the near future.
Perspectives is home to films that push the boundaries between fine art, music and other media.More information
Shorts and mid-length films
IFFR’s short film section is one of the largest and most significant showcase for short filmmaking and artists’ moving image in the world. It brings numerous short film professionals and international audiences to Rotterdam. Occupying a central position in the programme, IFFR presents short films in curated compilation programmes but also as part of performances, installations and in conjunction with feature films. The selection covers a spectrum of moving image practices that include auteur-driven narrative works, experimental films, works by visual artists and films that refuse to be pinpointed to existing genres or styles.
with history in a room filled with people with funny names 4
Korakrit Arunanondchai, 2017, US/Thailand/South Africa/United Kingdom - World premiere
Arunanondchai uses a combination of installation and video, of analog and digital means, of conventional and spiritual materials, to examine the unexpected ecologies created by our encounter with the emerging, unknown, new world. The video opens with a close-up shot of the hands of the artist’s grandmother, who is slipping into dementia. It follows her in the rearrangement of objects that her memory has rejected as indicators of a specific life, turning them into unfamiliar, meaningless objects.
The Worldly Cave
Zhou Tao, 2017, China - European premiere
Anonymous figures are diminished against unforgiving environs, both natural and man-made. In Zhou’s expansive cross-continental diary, monumental views of the Incheon Sea, the Balearic island of Menorca, and the Sonoran Desert support visualising the infinitesimal stature of the human race.
I Have Nothing to Say
Ying Liang, 2017, Taiwan/Hong Kong
The Chinese police visits head-teacher Chen at home. Her daughter, a dissident filmmaker, living in Hong Kong, plans yet another critical film about China, colonising the small autonomous territory. The state authorities demand that she travels to her daughter to stop the film project.
Artur Zmijewski, 2017, Poland/Germany
Glimpse is a silent, black and white 16mm film offering views of refugee camps, filmed at Berlin’s Tempelhof encampment and in the Calais jungle in France. It includes a number of uncomfortable, risky moments: a scene shows the face of a black refugee being painted white, the artist hands a broom to another and seems to encourage him to sweep the Parisian street that is his temporary home. Glimpse depicts the brutality of the refugee experience, switching between an empathetic portrayal and ethnographic instrumentation.