Please Welcome: Radio

This 45th edition IFFR will put the spotlight on radio. From films about radiostations and filmmakers who create radio to live national radio broadcasting from the festival and a radio jingles workshop.

Radio Dreams

The American film Radio Dreams tells the story of Mr. Royani (played by the famous Irani musician Mohsen Namjoo), the head of programming at Pars Radio, a Persian radio station in San Francisco. The film is about a very special day for the radio station. The band Kabul Dreams, the first rock band from Afghanistan, has come to the studio for a jam session with the world-famous rock band Metallica later that day. Besides Mr. Royani, for whom daily life seems to be one big disappointment, everyone finds it exciting.

Through his feature debut Frontier Blues (2009 ), the Iranian filmmaker Babak Jalali was known as a great talent. While working on a third film, Jalali already fulfils these expectations with the intimate Radio Dreams. This carefully designed, dry comical drama is a melancholy reflection on life as an immigrant. But the film is also a loving tribute to doomed losers (anywhere in the world) and hopeful rockers who believe that music can change the world. And just like that Metallica is coming to the tiny radio studio.

Radio Dreams is part of the section Bright Future and is selected for the Hivos Tiger Award Competion.

Sex and Broadcasting - a film about WFMU

In the Scopitone programme the documentary Sex and Broadcasting - a film about WFMU is screened. When Tim K. Smith moved to New York in 1989, he discovered the New Jersey radio station WFMU, which broadcast a potpourri of music and anarchistic DJ jive. Smith was hooked at once. This free-form radio station, according to big boss Ken Freedman, is meant "for everyone who’d get picked last at basketball during high school". His totally independent station shuns commerce, but at the same time turns out to suffer from a lack of democracy in the workplace.

Smith’s entertaining documentary shows how ethereal harp-playing female vocalists are just as welcome as death metal performances. Just as colourful and unconventional are the unpaid DJs. Smith’s camera films them in the derelict editorial offices, just as the station is facing bankruptcy. Freedman therefore decides to organise a fundraising marathon. Will he and his pals be able to keep their beloved station in the air? And that without bashing each other’s heads in?

This documentary is part of the section Perspectives and will be shown in Scopitone Café: an eclectic mix of documentaries about music and musical experience. With a sociable discussion afterwards. Free entrance, bar is open!

Radio at Night

The short film Radio at Night by British artist James Richards is shown in the short compilation programme Signals from Earth. The film shows parallels with radio: an atmosphere authored by sound is mediated and brought into being by technology. Like radio, this film is a transmission that is public in broadcast and yet private in reception.

Tiger Radio

During the entire festival period a selection of broadcasters and radio makers will be present in the Lobby of de Doelen, to inform and entertain people at home as well as the audience on the spot, on what to see and do in film town Rotterdam. This is Tiger Radio!


Local public broadcasting Radio Rijnmond starts on Wednesday 27 January with the show Rijnmond Nu, daily news and current affairs. Host Ruud de Boer receives special guests, brings the latest festival news and film recommendations. From Wednesday 27 January until Friday 5 February, on working days between 16:00 and 19:00 hour.

NPO Radio 4

National public broadcasting NPO Radio 4 also has a strong presence on the festival. The art and culture programme Opium op 4 will transmit a live broadcast on Thursday 28 January at 22:30 until 00:00 hour, hosted by Mieke van der Weij. Host Tom Klaassen will present live film music from the Lobby, in Podium op Zaterdag between 17:30 and 19:00 hour. Host Lex Bohlmeier leads a panel on the theme Film Music in the programme Diskotabel, on Sunday 31 January between 16:30 and 18:00 hour.

Tiger Podcast

Starting Friday evening 29 January until Thursday evening 4 February around nine o’clock it’s time for Tiger Podcast. International filmmakers spin their own favourite Spotifylist playlists under the direction of resident dj Okkie Vijfvinkel. Filmmakers who will explain their musical taste will be (amongst others) Elisa Miller (Mexico), Lewis Klahr (USA) en Yared Zeleke (Ethiopia). The podcast of this hour ‘playing radio’ will be put on this website.

Everybody is welcome to come and visit Tiger Radio at the Lobby of de Doelen!

Workshop radio jingles

On Thursday 4 February radio maker and audio freak Joost de Jong gives a workshop on making jingles. The workshop will take place at the Lobby of de Doelen, from 14:00 until 16:00 hour.