Thorn & Mandy’s IFFR tips

What are festival insiders, tastemakers and creatives most looking forward to at this edition of IFFR? We asked Thorn Vineyard and Mandy Woelkens, hosts of CoupleGoals the podcast.

Ema by Pablo Larraín
Dance and drama combine seamlessly in this audiovisual spectacle in which a foster mother tries to get her adopted child back.

“Swap the heaving, sweaty masses in the Alfa tent at Lowlands festival for a calm cinema: Nicolaas Jaar composed the soundtrack to this expressive dance film. The trailer is a work of art all by itself.”

Drag Kids by Megan Wennberg
Can you be a drag queen at a young age? Of course you can: Stephan (9), Nemis (9), Jason (11) and Bracken (11) provide living proof. Only when they dress campily with fabulous make-up can they be themselves.

“Thorn is a real drag king, so of course this film is high on our list. It can be really liberating to see young kids being their unapologetic selves. A little ray of hope for the future.”

Exposed by Beth B
Exposed profiles eight daring young performers who use their bodies to challenge our notions of sexuality, disability and gender, and question the very concept of 'normal'.

“Regrettably, disability is still all too often an under-exposed topic in conversations about sexuality or gender. Exposed seems to get people out of their comfort zones; something society is really in need of right now. Bring on the awkwardness.”

Talk: Sacred Beings – On Gendering
The Sacred Beings programme gives new context to contemporary queer culture in Asia. During the opening, Mongolian queer activist Anaraa Nyamdorj will talk to makers with work in the programme.

“Raoni Muzho Saleh gives a transfiguration performance in this programme put together by curator Darunee Terdtoontaveedej, including talks by Mongolian queer activist Anaraa Nyamdorj. Thorn knows Anaraa from the Man.ish cave, a support group for BPOC (Black and People of Colour), transmasculine people and allies. This promises to be an exceptional afternoon.”

Black to Techno by Jenn Nkiru
Techno, a futuristic sound falling into the legacy of Black music, but not often celebrated as such. Featuring cameos from Hip-Hop, Funk, Soul, Detroit and Berlin.

“Sweaty bodies, grinding jaws and stamping feet – the dominant image of techno today. But that most certainly isn’t how it all started. Techno is a futuristic sound and part of black musical heritage, although too often it doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves. In fact, people sometimes look surprised when Mandy, a black woman, says she’s going to a techno party. In this film full of great footage of the old days, Jenn Nkiru takes us back to where it all started: Detroit. Nkiru is also giving a masterclass in which she will talk in depth about her film work, vision and mission.”

Photo in header: Thorn & Mandy © Roeltje van de Sande Bakhuyzen