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IFFR funds short film about Rotterdam lashers

As part of the local initiative RTM Pitch, IFFR and the municipality of Rotterdam have awarded a €20,000 grant to the Rotterdam-based Slovenian artist Katarina Jazbec (1991) to produce a short film about lashers. The result will screen at IFFR 2021 as part of RTM, the festival's Rotterdam-focused programme.

Jazbec is the winner of RTM Pitch, a new initiative by IFFR and the city of Rotterdam to stimulate and engage local filmmakers.Out of 80 applications, the jury picked Jazbec’s film pitch as the winner.

  • Katarina Jazbec © Matija Pekić

  • Still: You Can't Automate Me.

  • Still: You Can't Automate Me.

  • Still: You Can't Automate Me.

  • Still: You Can't Automate Me.

The film – working title You Can't Automate Me. – is an experimental documentary with fictional elements. It tells the story of lashers of the port of Rotterdam, workers who secure containers to the ship – a physically demanding task. Jazbec finds commonalities between lashers and dancers, and also includes the perspective of animals in her film.

Jazbec said she’s “incredibly happy” with her prize. “My film is about a largely invisible group of 650 lashers in the port of Rotterdam who play an important role in our economy. Together with them I hope to tell an urgent story that explores the sensory perceptions of our bodies”,  said Jazbec. 

The jury consisted of Rotterdam filmmaker Shamira Raphaëla and three IFFR programmers: Cathelijne Beijn, Peter van Hoof and Erwin van ‘t Hart. They said the film is "a space where Rotterdam port labour and choreography meet" and "a work with a philosophical dimension: an experiment we look forward to seeing finished." They view Katarina Jazbec as "a socially engaged creator with a strong artistic profile in video and documentary photography".

Photo in header: Still: You Can't Automate Me.