International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announces the opening and closing films for its 47th edition. Inaugurating the twelve-day festival will be the world premiere of Jimmie by Swedish filmmaker Jesper Ganslandt, a road movie with a truly original twist about a father and son on the run. And rounding it all off: The Death of Stalin by Armando Iannucci.
Opening film (24 January)
The cast of Jimmie lends the film an interesting extra dimension: Ganslandt himself plays the father, with Ganslandt’s own son Hunter playing four-year-old Jimmie. Together, they embark on a journey through Europe that challenges our preconceptions in an unexpected way. According to producer Hedvig Lundgren: “the film shows that a child’s universe is both very small and bigger than an adult can imagine.”
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Festival Director Bero Beyer: “Ganslandt offers a truly new perspective in an intense cinematic experience that makes us view the world anew. The film is an honest and subtly executed take on one of the more pressing issues we face in today’s society, as seen through the eyes of a striking protagonist, a four-year-old boy. Jimmie is a remarkable, emotional and thought-provoking story and we’re proud it will open our 47th edition.”
Ganslandt is one of the bold new voices in Scandinavian cinema. In his dreamy first feature Falkenberg Farewell (2006), five friends spend their last summer together in their hometown, Falkenberg. For his claustrophobic second feature The Ape, screened at IFFR 2010, Ganslandt did not let his lead actor Olle Sarri read the full script in advance. Ganslandt’s first English-language film is to be released later in 2018 – a thriller entitled Beast of Burden starring Daniel Radcliffe.
“Jimmie is a remarkable, emotional and thought-provoking story and we’re proud it will open our 47th edition.” – Festival Director Bero Beyer
Closing film (3 February)
The closing film of IFFR 2018, The Death of Stalin, is also part of the festival’s theme programme A History of Shadows, which investigates cinema’s powers to reevaluate and revisit the past. In his new film, Armando Iannucci – best known for his television series The Thick of It and Veep – employs his knack for lampooning the self-serving attitudes of authority figures to zoom in on the Kremlin power struggles that ensued following the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953. The result is a stylish, salient black comedy starring among others Michael Palin and Steve Buscemi.
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Photo in header: Still: The Death of Stalin