Get to know our 4 sections
Our programmers curate four main sections. Each of them has a unique feel and tone. Explore them.
Our main competitions and tomorrow’s film talent
Celebrating great storytelling and bold cinema
Retrospectives, film art and an in-depth look at filmmaking
Explore the theme programmes of this year’s edition
AlbaAna Cristina Barragán IFFR 2016 98′
One of the best moments of the new year, this moving debut from Ecuador. Alba, phenomenally acted by Macarena Arias, is a shy girl aged eleven who goes to live with her solitary father when her mother has to go to hospital. As if the fuss at school and approaching puberty weren't complicated enough.
AlonePark Hongmin IFFR 2016 90′
Nightmares can leave alarming and intangible traces; viewers also rarely know what's what in this very clever film by Park Hongmin. A realistic thriller? Psychological horror? Influenced with visible pleasure by the etchings of Escher and strikingly situated in a labyrinthine suburb of Seoul.
Animal políticoTião IFFR 2016 76′
A cow tries to convince herself she's really happy. But one evening, just before Christmas, she is overwhelmed by a sense of emptiness - a strange, new experience. The crisis makes her decide to go travelling to find her true self. Grippingly existential - but also irresistibly humorous.
The Bear TalesSamuele Sestieri, Olmo Amato IFFR 2016 67′
Through deserted Scandinavian landscapes, a robot monk follows a little red man. Only when they find a wounded teddy bear do they have a common goal. Two young Italians did everything for this project themselves. The surreal magic of filmmaking - from Tarkovski to the Teletubbies - bursts from the silver screen.
Bella e perdutaPietro Marcello IFFR 2016 87′
An empty palace symbolises Italy's faded glory. The fictional clown Pulcinella comes across the real-life Tommaso, self-appointed guardian angel of the palace. A finely filmed mix of poetic fiction and essayist documentary, with a leading role for the Italian landscape - beautiful in decay.
Bodkin RasKaweh Modiri IFFR 2016 79′
Life stories of the inhabitants of a Scottish town were incorporated into the screenplay, after which they played themselves. The arrival of a stranger, the young fugitive Bodkin Ras (played by Sohrab Bayat, the only real actor), worries them. Who or what is he fleeing? And how dangerous is he?
Communication & LiesLee Seungwon IFFR 2016 103′
The driving force behind this character study of a young woman shot in casual black-and-white is the imperturbable and alarming lack of shame with which she ducks social pressure (and feels attracted to sexual humiliation). Protagonist Jang Sun was awarded Best Actress at the Busan Festival.
The DaughterSimon Stone IFFR 2016 96′
Does the truth have to come out no matter what the cost, even if a whole life has been built around the lie? Ibsen's play The Wild Duck was the model for this sizzling family drama that embroiders forth on this abstract philosophical question in a surprisingly intimate way.
The Dork, the Girl and the DouchebagOkuda Yosuke IFFR 2016 141′
If you thought that the genre of Yakuza gangster films could no longer be improved or changed, here's the raw proof to the contrary. The rash young filmmaker Yosuke throws himself with such abandonment into a Yakuza movie and his own leading role that a doctor has to be called.
Esa sensaciónJuan Cavestany, Pablo Hernando, Julián Génisson IFFR 2016 80′
Strange, irresistible sensations in three interwoven, often humorous stories about love, faith and human will in a surrealist portrait of Spain. Cavestany, well-known for Gente en sitios, which was primarily successful in Spain, here works with younger colleagues Génisson and Hernando.
ÉvolutionLucile Hadzihalilovic IFFR 2016 81′
An island where only mothers live with their little sons. Streets strewn with volcanic debris. The continual sound of the nearby ocean: a mysterious howling that resists grey life on the land, where strange things happen and the young Nicolas discovers a grotesque intrigue.
FadoJonas Rothlaender IFFR 2016 100′
Love mixed with jealousy is a poisonous combination. It already went wrong once between Fabian and Doro but she decides to give him one more chance. In Lisbon their relationship blossoms again. However, he inevitably falls back into his old pattern of suspicion and paranoia. With severe consequences.
The Here AfterMagnus von Horn IFFR 2016 101′
A young man returns to his father’s home after spending some time in jail. The community has certainly not forgiven him his crimes, however. This excellent debut was shot in a wonderfully cool and collected way on classic 35mm and has a surprising leading role for the Swedish pop star Ulrik Munther.
The Island FuneralPimpaka Towira IFFR 2016 105′
A couple of young people drive out of town for a long journey. It could well be a Thai Jules and Jim. On the way, it however becomes clear that the world outside the car is not so light-hearted, that one Thai is after another Thai’s blood. A late second film by a now-wiser filmmaker.
Jacqueline (Argentine)Bernardo Britto IFFR 2016 87′
Jacqueline wants to divulge a major government conspiracy, but the media won’t take the bait. Paranoia and boredom alternate while she waits for the media storm in voluntary exile in Argentina, where a naive documentary crew follows her. Light, ironic portrait of a whistleblower in cinéma-vérité style.
Kaili BluesBi Gan IFFR 2016 110′
One of the past year's most striking, dreamy and poetic debuts is difficult to describe in retrospect. Situated in the subtropical south-west of China, this apparently timeless story is about a countryside doctor with a prison history who sets off to look for a nephew who disappeared.
Last Man in Dhaka CentralNaeem Mohaiemen IFFR 2016 82′
Third part of the series The Young Man Was relates the struggle of Dutch journalist and Peter Custers, who was imprisoned in Dhaka in 1975. The film, which premiered at the Venice Biennale, combines engaging interviews, archival material and audio recordings.
Lowlife LoveUchida Eiji IFFR 2016 110′
In this black comedy, Eiji Uchida (Greatful Dead) points his camera at the nether regions of the film industry: the motley collection of no-budget filmmakers and actors who try to find their way to success with a mixture of idealism and opportunism. Artistic and personal integrity do not always go together.
MontanhaJoão Salaviza IFFR 2016 91′
In serene chiaroscuro Montanha records the obstinate grief of a 14-year old. David tries to hide from the approaching disaster that is the death of his grandfather who looked after him. However hard he tries, the end of childhood can no longer be held off.
MotherVlado Skafar IFFR 2016 90′
A Slovenian mother takes her addicted and self-destructive daughter with her to a remote Italian village. Isolation as attempted salvation. Inspired by Proust, Skafar turns this theme into a gentle and beautiful film, a poem about two souls in which the unutterable slowly comes to the surface.
Le MoulinHuang Ya-li IFFR 2016 162′
Poetry, literature, painting and old film clips converge in this lyrical, unusually designed film essay about Le Moulin, the Taiwanese poets’ collective which protested in the 1930s against the cultural superiority of the Japanese occupier and the domination of realism in poetry.
NUTS!Penny Lane IFFR 2016 79′
A businessman who owes his fame to the balls of goats? John Brinkley takes testicles from billy goats to his male clients as a new medicine against impotence. Evidence that a hundred years ago anything was possible in Kansas. An idiosyncratic, partly animated documentary about the power of a great story.
Of ShadowsYi Cui IFFR 2016 80′
The changes in China affect everyone. Hypnotically, yet also modestly, Of Shadows shows the creative world of shadow theatre and players whose way of life balances between a centuries-old rural narrative tradition and the modern urban idea of a cultural heritage that has to be preserved.
Operation AvalancheMatt Johnson IFFR 2016 94′
Humorous mockumentary in which two dopey CIA agents in 1967 investigate a Russian mole at NASA, which at the time was heavily involved in the race to the moon. What they discover turns out to be much more shocking than Russian spying. A state secret that may never, ever be leaked.
Out of LovePaloma Aguilera Valdebenito IFFR 2016 101′
The boundary between passionate love and destructive obsession proves to be very thin for Varya and Nikolai, a couple whose fiercely blossoming relationship is served up to us in raggedy ellipses. A playful debut in which the culprit and victim, challenger and oppressor, continually swap places.
ParadiseSina Ataeian Dena IFFR 2016 99′
Filming without permission, in his feature debut Ataeian Dena focuses on life as a working woman in Iran. In doing so, he shows how intimidation and violence are present in every culture, explicit or more or less subtly disguised, and how we are all both culprits and victims to varying degrees.
El placer es míoElisa Miller IFFR 2016 94′
Miller wrote this delicate love story before shooting her debut (Vete más lejos, Alicia, Tiger Awards Competition 2011). Miles from anywhere, a young couple enjoy freedom and each other as if in paradise, unassailable and satisfied. Until the world forces itself on them, just like the apple once did.
The Plague at the Karatas VillageAdilkhan Yerzhanov IFFR 2016 86′
Surrealistic parable denounces political wrongs in Kazakhstan. The new mayor arrives in an isolated village where the inhabitants are dying of the plague while those in power pocket the money for flu vaccines. Brechtian with a mythical, horror-like undertone.
With Brave Talk in Lantaren Venster 1 on Wed 3 Feb.
The Shell CollectorTsubota Yoshifumi IFFR 2016 87′
The latest discovery by a blind shell collector puts the relationship between man and nature on edge: a rare mollusc that is extremely poisonous, but has a healing and hallucinogenic effect on some people. Can people resist the creature’s temptation, or will they put their lives at risk for a heavenly trip?
Il solengoMatteo Zoppis, Alessio Rigo de Righi IFFR 2016 70′
A 'solengo' is a wild pig living a life of solitude and also the nickname of Mario de Marcella, a wild man living in the hills north of Rome. The makers let people of his generation tell the story. Award-winning documentary provides a convincing, contrary and occasionally sinister picture of a rural community.
The Sprawl (Propaganda About Propaganda)Metahaven IFFR 2016 70′
This documentary by the Dutch design and research studio Metahaven emphatically argues that the Internet has become a disruptive geopolitical super weapon. The Sprawl is potent propaganda about propaganda, an unbroken digital scream and a paranoid trip of ones and zeroes.
The Strange Case of ShivaArun Karthick IFFR 2016 75′
A real piece of author's cinema that contemplates a young designer's obsession with the photo of a girl. With no words, yet eloquently, the film dwells on the excitement of seduction and the presence of the unknown. Debut by a fresh new voice in Tamil cinema.