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Janneke Staarink leaves IFFR

Managing director Janneke Staarink is leaving IFFR after eight years in the role

This is announced by IFFR’s supervisory board today. Chair Pieter Broertjes: “Janneke has advanced the commercial side of IFFR in a manner appropriate to IFFR: innovatively, with vision, daring and a great deal of energy. We are sorry to see Janneke go, but are very grateful for her work in ensuring IFFR is future-proof.” Staarink will take up the position of managing director at Rotterdam concert and conference venue ‘de Doelen’.

Janneke Staarink was the initiator of several innovations that have strengthened IFFR’s strategic position within the film industry in the Netherlands and the rest of the world. For example, the most recent edition of the festival saw the launch of the worldwide streaming platform IFFR Unleashed after years of pioneering work. Staarink was also involved from the start in the fibre-optic connection between Rotterdam and Hilversum, the Mediaring, as well as IFFR’s sister festival Curaçao International Film Festival Rotterdam. The most recent edition of IFFR also saw the launch of a large-scale programme of Talks & Masterclasses featuring high-profile names from the world of film.

Staarink was able to greatly improve the festival’s funding by attracting new partners and building strong relationships with funds and sponsors. She also brought about many new collaborations in Rotterdam, including with Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and Kunsthal Rotterdam (in Rotterdam Xpanded and MASH-UP!), ROC Zadkine, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Willem de Kooning Academy and festival locations such as Theater Rotterdam, LantarenVenster, WORM and ‘de Doelen’. Staarink has been a strong advocate of greater diversity within the cultural sector for many years, and promoted this vision with visible results within IFFR.

Under Staarink’s leadership, the festival’s educational reach went from 0 to 30,000 schoolchildren and students, and she introduced a travelling festival initiative in Rotterdam’s neighbourhoods. She was also responsible for new audience initiatives such as First Aid for Film Selection and the interactive dashboard in the cinemas. In addition, she strengthened the festival’s financial links with its audience through the establishment of the Tiger Friends Foundation and the Tiger Film Mecenaat.

Staarink: “I have really enjoyed the past eight years – the age of my youngest daughter – at IFFR. With a truly wonderful team and exceptional partner organisations, we have put together some fantastic festival editions. There were also difficult times, such as the rigorous budget cuts in 2013 and the illness of my then fellow director Rutger Wolfson in 2014. But together we worked our way through. I am sad to leave the best festival in the Netherlands. However, I believe my work is done. I know the festival is in the good hands of fellow director Bero Beyer and the team. And it’s good to know I will continue to be involved in the years ahead from ‘de Doelen’, the heart of the festival.”

Staarink has worked for the festival for eight years: the first five with artistic director Rutger Wolfson, and the last three editions with his successor, Bero Beyer.

Photo in header: Janneke Staarink