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New programme updates for the 50th

As the 50th edition of IFFR draws closer, newly appointed festival director Vanja Kaludjercic announces several additions to the team and changes in the programme structure. The festival’s flagship Tiger Competition and the Big Screen Competition will be expanded.

Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic: "This programme restructure ensures IFFR is ready for the future: our anniversary 50th edition and beyond. With it, we want to emphasise the position of Rotterdam as an international festival with a clear mission and vision, curious about and open to what cinema nowadays can be, but averse to preconceived ideas of what it should be. I’m thrilled to have such an expert group of programmers in our midst to further strengthen IFFR’s reputation as a safe haven – a 'Harbour' – for diverse cinema."

She adds: "We are currently adapting to the consequences of the current health crisis for the 50th edition. But we are confident we will be able to organise a real and really festive event, a celebration that also expands on IFFR’s mission to explore new, digital and online possibilities in cinema."

IFFR’s new programming team

Our team has been strengthened with the expertise of several new programmers.

Meet the full team

A new programme setup, with expanded competitions and new section Harbour.

The Tiger Competition will be brought further to the fore with an increased number of films to create an even richer mosaic of diverse voices. As previously, it presents first, second or third feature-length films premiering in Rotterdam. Bright Future will remain IFFR’s section for emerging film talent but will no longer comprise the Bright Future Competition – making the Tiger Competition IFFR’s one-and-only competitive platform for emerging talent. A jury will bestow three prizes, one more than in previous years: next to the main Tiger Award, they will hand out two Jury Awards for an exceptional artistic achievement of their choice.

The Big Screen Competition will likewise be expanded. As a platform to launch arthouse films with a wider international potential for theatrical distribution, this will strengthen the festival’s collaboration with distributors and sales agents. The VPRO Big Screen Award, handed out to the winner of this competition, is the result of years of partnership between IFFR, VPRO and NPO. The Ammodo Tiger Short Competition will remain, with no changes in the setup, as IFFR’s competition for short films awarding three equal prizes.

Harbour is IFFR’s newest section, and now its largest programme. This programme reflects the multidimensional nature of Rotterdam and its festival as a safe haven. It is the main base for the diverse and quality films that the festival wants to show to the world.

Limelight will remain IFFR’s section for highlights of the year in arthouse, and a preview for theatrical releases of the year. What was previously called Regained, will be renamed and enlarged to Cinema Regained, a showcase reflecting on the living history of cinema. IFFR will also continue to present an extensive and unique series of (non-competitive) short and mid-length films.

Art Directions, previously the umbrella for IFFR’s expanded works, now becomes one curated programme, presenting exhibitions, installations, performances as well as contemporary immersive art forms such as VR. IFFR will also present thematic programmes and retrospectives, highlighting and developing contemporary themes and topics, and celebrating important bodies of work. As before, Talks & Masterclasses will invite and present filmmakers, artists, experts and thinkers to share their ideas and vision with IFFR’s audiences.

No longer are programmes divided over four overarching sections, but they are presented alongside each other.