The moment many have been waiting for! In the run-up to International Film Festival Rotterdam 2017 we are revealing 10 titles that will be screened from 25 January onwards. The initial selection hints at what promises to be another rich, multifarious programme.
These films are by new talents and established names from around the globe and include several European and international premieres, films that came about with support from our own Hubert Bals Fund and both feature films and documentaries. A great cross section of everything IFFR stands for.
IFFR will subdivide its festival programme into four sections, each with its own take on things: Bright Future, Voices, Deep Focus and Perspectives. These four sections were created in 2016 by festival director Bero Beyer. "To allow every film to achieve its maximum potential within the diverse programme, the festival has created four sections every one with its own story and character. The coming edition continues this more contextually structured IFFR programme so that audiences and film professionals can continue to find the festival experience that suits them best."
Well, here they are then, the first titles of brand new films to be screened at IFFR 2017:
Bright Future presents young, up-and-coming talents with a unique style and vision, which enrich the cinematic landscape with daring work. For the filmmakers in this section it is often their international debut. The Hivos Tiger Competition, the festival’s main competition, is part of Bright Future.
Elon Doesn't Believe in Death
Ricardo Alves Jr., Brazil, 2016 (Hubert Bals Fund 2012)
Every day, Elon collects his wife Magdalena from work until one day when she just isn’t there. Nor is she at home. Elon decides to retrace her steps by walking the exact daily route his wife took. The search proves fruitless. The following morning, Elon goes to the police to report her missing and visits several hospitals and mortuaries. Alone, he scours Belo Horizonte hungry for hints as to his wife’s sudden disappearance.
All the Cities of the North
Dane Komljen, Serbia, 2017 (Hubert Bals Fund 2013)
Two men live harmoniously in an abandoned holiday park. They have to find a new equilibrium when a third person shows up. Essayist fiction and architectural quest for the vulnerability of human relationships, told using construction projects, landscapes and archival footage. A cinematic odyssey for the answer to the question: how can we co-exist?
Hope Dickson Leach, UK, 2016
After the news of her brother Harry’s death reaches her, trainee vet Clover Catto returns to the farm she grew up on in Somerset, England that was recently wrecked by flooding. Clover has to confront her difficult father Aubrey about the state of the farm and the livestock as well as relate the details of Harry’s death. As the funeral nears, Clover hits an emotional rollercoaster and gains closure with regard to her family, childhood and herself.
The Voices section consists of films that characterise themselves through their distinctive take on the world we live in, often told by experienced filmmakers with a confident voice. For Limelight, IFFR collaborates with Dutch distributors to support the release of a selection of approximately 30 films. A number of films from the Voices section will be nominated for the VPRO Big Screen Award.
Tatsuya Mori, Japan, 2016
Documentary about the Japanese Beethoven, as Mamoru Samuragochi was referred to in his homeland. For years he was known as one of Japan’s best composers despite the fact that he was deaf. However, after the bizarre revelation by someone that the latter had actually been writing all the music for Mamoru Samuragochi and that the composer wasn’t deaf at all, his fame collapsed and he became the laughing stock of Japan. Fake is about the scandal and the media’s role in it. Can the latter even be objective and neutral?
Pablo Larraín, UK, 2016
“I won’t let you write that down,” Jackie says to her interviewer, a slight smile playing across her face, after being too personal. However, we see it all, in this first English-language film by Chilean master Pablo Larraín, about Jackie in the days after JFK’s assassination. With the widely lauded, intense and intimate Natalie Portman in the title role.
Jim Jarmusch, USA, 2016
Adam Driver gets up at 06:00, drives his bus route, comes home at to his wife Golshifteh Farahani at 18:00, walks the dog and has a beer at his local bar. Every day. In the meantime he writes poetry. Jarmusch is the loving observer of this loving observer. A small oasis of a film.
Jim Jarmusch, USA, 2016
The contrast between the wild performances of the punks avant-la-lettre The Stooges in the 1970s and the homely tone with which indestructible lead singer Iggy Pop and his bandmates reminisce with director, friend and fanboy Jim Jarmusch. Self-deprecation and short animations keep the documentary light, yet the music rocks on with untempered raw power.
This section zooms in on cinema itself in all its diversity. Retrospectives, masterclasses, compilations and countless other manifestations; Deep Focus provides room for more detail and celebrates cinema in every form. Regained is part of this section that deals specifically with the exposition and contextualisation of historic works such as rediscovered classics.
Adolfo Arrieta, France/Spain, 2016
This modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty is set in the year 2000 in the fictive state of Letonia. The ‘perfect prince’ Egon who likes to spend his days playing his drum kit in a bored manner sets out, much to the chagrin of his father, to search the Kingdom of Kentz’s overgrown magic forest for Sleeping Beauty. She fell fast asleep last century after pricking herself on her spinning wheel, as foretold by the evil fairy.
Der traumhafte Weg
Angela Schanelec, Germany, 2016
Two lovers meet in 1980s Greece. They play guitar in the streets until the boy suddenly has to leave. 30 years later, they meet again in Berlin. Simultaneously, a TV actress in that city undergoes a relationship crisis that expresses itself in subtle references. She has always wanted to be someone else she says to a journalist. But now she has to make do with herself and the most intimate, quietest moments prove the most dramatic.
The Woman Who Left
Lav Diaz, Philippines, 2016
Lav Diaz studies economic injustice in the Philippines through the eyes of a woman who spent 30 years in prison after being falsely accused and convicted. Upon her release in 1997 she enters a strange new world: her husband has died, her relationship with her daughter has been saved, but she can’t find her son anywhere. This heart-breaking tale is a study of the chasm between rich and poor, past and present.
In contrast to last year, the themed programmes will be brought together in a single section in 2017. Perspectives is home to films that deal with relevant social and political themes or push the boundaries between fine art, music and other media. The themed programmes will be announced in the near future.
And stay tuned, more film titles will be announced over the coming weeks!