First theme programmes for IFFR 2020

02 December 2019


First theme programmes for IFFR 2020

02 December 2019

Collectives, Asian queer, octogenarians and a waiting room.

The (red) Perspectives section is where you’ll find the theme programmes with which we approach the medium of film from specific angles. IFFR announces four out of five theme programmes for the next festival edition. 

Festival director Bero Beyer: “These theme programmes bring together works that pose relevant and urgent sociopolitical questions through film. They surprise us by bringing out new connections and stimulating new ways of seeing.” Let’s take a closer look at our four theme programmes confirmed for IFFR 2020.





The Tyger Burns

The Tyger Burns is a contemporary film programme about the gaze of the old filmmaker, comprising a wide variety of new films by directors who were already active when IFFR first started in 1972. From Hara Kazuo's film about a Japanese cross-dressing politician, Reiwa Uprising, to Andrei Smirnov's 1950s-bohemia drama The Frenchman and Annette Apon's account of the mysterious Leonie Brandt, Leonie, actrice en spionne – films showing a creative urge still burning as ever. Because our times, our Zeitgeist, does not only belong to the young.

More about The Tyger Burns

Sacred Beings

Non-binary experiences of gender have existed in Asia and elsewhere long before western LGBTQ culture emerged. Sacred Beings explores contemporary queer culture by reexamining gender-fluidity and spiritualities in Asian cultures. Short films, installations and live performances will connect the past, present, and possible future of Asian queer culture. Sacred Beings is the result of the inaugural edition of Young Curators, an initiative to open up IFFR’s programme to young talent.

More about Sacred Beings

Wait and See

Waiting for a film to start, it has already begun – in our mind. This programme cultivates the viewer’s patience, both in the cinema and beyond. Next to feature films and short-film compilations dealing with the productive notion of ‘waiting’, there will be a waiting room (magazines included) where short films are screened at irregular intervals. A few times per day, a door opens to another space for a surprise event.

More about Wait and See


Working together is the future. Synergetic shows the potential of collectives that challenge the mainstream narrative with alternative ways of working and seeing. The multidisciplinary programme features, among many others, the installation G/D THYSELF: Spirit Strategy On Raising Free Black Children by The Ummah Chroma (in collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut) and IFFR-commissioned films by African collectives.

The programme looks back, examining the evolution of the independent cinema and exhibition scene in Europe (in collaboration with the Kino Climates network), and to the future, with workshops in The Collective Space (a collaboration with the Ghetto Film School, the Netherlands Film Academy and Rotterdam-based communities).

More about Synergetic

We just announced the fifth theme programme!

Read more about Ordinary Heroes: Made in Hong Kong. Or take a look at our full film lineup for IFFR 2020.

Other blog posts on IFFR 2020