Young Selectors’ tips for IFFR 2020

Finding it difficult to pick a film? Let our Young Selectors give you a helping hand! These Rotterdam film freaks are organising their own event during the festival, but they still have just enough time to get to screenings themselves. From the short and the leftfield to the six-hour epic; from car fetishists to superstars of a futuristic gaming world – these are our Young Selectors’ top tips!

Dag van de Dwarse Film 2020
Some IFFR films polarise audiences like no other: you either love them or hate them. Where some see a work of a genius, others get lost in an impenetrable maze of experimentation. Five opinion-splitting films in KINO Rotterdam and EYE in Amsterdam.

Ilse: “I’m really looking forward to this – leftfield films are always fun. Either you love them or you hate them. You might get square eyes by the end of the day: there are screenings from 11h00 to 22h00! It’s always exciting because you never know exactly what you’re going to get. I’m getting tickets as soon as I can.”

Énorme by Sophie Letourneur
A famous pianist is unexpectedly pregnant, thanks to her over-controlling husband. This raw comedy bends genders in unexpected, weird ways.

Ilse: “A film about a female pianist is already reason enough for me to go see this – but this film has a lot more to offer. A feminist edge, comedic style and the sense that the main character is finally experiencing freedom. I’m very excited about this film because I think Claire is a very strong character. And that I like!”

Communism and the Net or the End of Representative Democracy by Karel Vachek
A comparison of two popular uprisings, the Prague Spring and the Velvet Revolution, by film essay giant Karel Vachek.


Boaz: “The title says it all really: I’m in. I’m very interested to see how the filmmaker looks critically at Communism and the origins of the state. And a six-hour (yes, six whole hours!) search through the history of revolutions and the future of our society, made for Czech television. I don’t know if I’ll sit through the whole thing – we’ll see.”

Short Film Marathon
IFFR loves to push the boundaries and challenge you with its Short Film Marathon: a six-hour series of short films, always programmed on the last Saturday of the festival.

Boaz: “Three years ago now, I sat and watched a whole load of short films from 10 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon. Some were amazing, a few I skipped. It was definitely worth seeing so many different short films in one day. Some of them have really stayed with me – I can’t remember the titles, but I remember one about cats in the Vatican museum that really killed me, and I was hypnotised by an artist who put the whole audience in a trance with black and white shapes, combined with music.”

Air Conditioner by Fradique
Air conditioners mysteriously fall from buildings in the Angolan capital. Pleasantly free film with a great soundtrack.

Sharine: “This Angolan film is set in the capital, Luanda, where the air conditioners mysteriously all start falling down. The combination of mysterious air-conditioning units, raw footage of street life in Luanda and a surrealist, jazzy soundtrack has really got me really curious! Air Conditioner is also written and produced by the Angolan collective Geracao 80. I’m very keen to get to know the ins and outs of Angolan cinema.”

Crash with live score by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
IFFR presents an exclusive screening of David Cronenberg's 1996 cult film Crash – with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. The score by Howard Shore will be performed live in ‘de Doelen’.

Sharine: “Wow, Crash with live score? That sounds promising! At this event, David Cronenberg’s psychological thriller screens with live accompaniment from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. For anyone who hasn’t seen the film yet: the story is about people getting sexually turned on by car crashes. Yeah. Controversial, a live orchestra and a Cronenberg classic? I’m in!”

AIDOL by Lawrence Lek
In a futuristic gaming world, superstar pursues comeback. Geomancer sequel plays with ideas on AI, fame and the power of megacorporations.

Xiang: “A neo-futurist film set in a computer-generated gaming world in 2065, where we follow Diva, a waning superstar who uses artificial intelligence to try to make a comeback at the finals of the Olympic Games. Sound like IFFR has again found a cult classic in the making – a real love child between Blade Runner and – insert VR video game set in a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk universe... Lawrence Lek, a daring, self-aware filmmaker who manipulates the medium and the dares raise philosophical questions about our hyper-digital society through film; definitely an up-and-coming talent to watch out for.”

Masterclass Bong Joon Ho & Parasite (B&W Version)
Maestro Bong Joon Ho, bringing a black-and-white Parasite to IFFR, will be asked about inspiration, working methods and other secrets to his success.

Xiang: “When I started picking up rumours in the corridors of IFFR that much-loved South Korean director Bong Joon Ho was going to give a Masterclass at IFFR 2020, this really got my film-loving heart beating faster! Bong Joon Ho put South Korean cinema on the map with impressive, genre-exploding, bile-black comedy-drama-horror films like The Host and Snowpiercer, but with Parasite he’s really turned the whole film world upside down. The black-and-white version of this modern classic that’s screening at IFFR promises to be a real pearl. I’m really looking forward to hearing this maestro speak – no more explanation needed!” 

Photo in header: © Marwan Magroun