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
AçúcarSérgio Oliveira, Renata Pinheiro IFFR 2018 90′
Against her better judgment, elegant Bethania refuses to relinquish her heritage, instead reviving the past. The old sugar mill is on an estate currently controlled by the descendants of slaves. Are these merely Bethania's dreams, or is candomblé (voodoo) involved?
AjjiDevashish Makhija IFFR 2018 104′
A 9-year-old girl has gone missing. She was taking granny's stitching to a sex worker in her slum. Once discovering what happened that night, granny quickly realises that the only satisfactory justice lies in her own hands. Masterful atmosphere, full of dread and twists.
Anchor and HopeCarlos Marqués-Marcet IFFR 2018 111′
Contemporary, bittersweet drama on the classic thirty-something dilemma – to have children or not? Eva and Kat’s relationship is disrupted when Kat can't contain her desire for a child anymore. Kat's best friend is prepared to donate sperm, but Eva isn’t sure being a parent is for her.
Anna's WarAlexey Fedorchenko IFFR 2018 75′
The horrific true story of Jewish Anna, a girl who somehow survived World War II in Ukraine, is of great beauty. The six-year old hid in a building commandeered by the Nazis. Fear of discovery by the guard dog keeps her imprisoned. Ode to the ingenuity and resilience of a child.
ArrhythmiaBoris Khlebnikov IFFR 2018 117′
A passionate, yet often drunk paramedic is about to lose his home, his job and most of all his beloved wife who wants to leave him. A powerful and highly engaging study of a couple in crisis, which reflects the turbulent state of modern Russia.
Birds Are Singing in KigaliJoanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze IFFR 2018 113′
Painstaking, poignant portrait of two women thrown together after the Rwandan genocide of 1994: Polish academic Anna and young Rwandan refugee Claudine. The two try to build a new life in Poland. Winner of (shared) best-actress award in Karlovy Vary and Chicago.
The Bold, the Corrupt and the BeautifulYang Ya-che IFFR 2018 112′
Murder, intrigues, political vendettas and exuberant sets: this modern costume drama from Taiwan has it all. The trio from the title are Mrs Tang and her two daughters, who become involved in a corruption scandal and the gruesome slaughter of a family of friends. An extravagant mix of soap and thriller.
Born to KillBruce Goodison IFFR 2018 95′
A teenage Sam lives with his single mother, a nurse. He splits his time between high school and and a hospital where he cares for elderly patients. Sam also seems to have psychopathic tendencies. A careful, griping and shocking study asking if one is, or becomes, a murderer. Season 1, episodes 1 and 2.
ButterfliesTolga Karaçelik IFFR 2018 117′
Cemal, Kenan and Suzan receive an unexpected invitation from their father whom they haven’t seen for 30 years. They travel to their village of birth in rural Turkey from Istanbul where they discover more about their unprocessed traumas in increasingly absurdist scenes interlarded with black humour and exploding chickens.
Una ciudad de provinciaRodrigo Moreno IFFR 2018 88′
The great Argentine filmmaker Rodrigo Moreno (El custodio, Reimon) composed an intimate, amiable and yet unforgettable symphony of the life of every country town in the world in several vignettes – even if this focuses on Colón, a couple of hours north of Buenos Aires. Both lyrical and modest.
The CleanersHans Block, Moritz Riesewieck IFFR 2018 88′
Hidden behind thousands of monitors on the Philippines, there’s a shadow industry of digital cleaners who decide what the internet can show us and can’t. Who decides the laws of social media? When is it art, porn or journalism? A sinister documentary with occasionally shocking images that mercilessly opens the eyes.
Don't Forget MeRam Nehari IFFR 2018 87′
Countless stories have been told about love, and yet with this moving drama about two young misfits in Tel Aviv, Ram Nehari manages to add a very personal element to the story. Two regal children at the edge of the world meet by chance and fall in love. But for how long?
An Evening with Beverly Luff LinnJim Hosking IFFR 2018 105′
Lulu Danger (Aubrey Plaza)’s marriage is already at a low ebb when it takes another blow from the arrival in her small town of the enigmatic Beverly Luff Linn to perform his mysterious show – a night of magic.
Father to SonHsiao Ya-chuan IFFR 2018 115′
On his 60th birthday, Van Pao-te is told he is seriously ill. Together with his son, he goes in search of the father who abandoned him as a child. Past and future revolve around the present like a whirlpool in this calm, well-thought-out family story with subtle references to Taiwanese history.
FátimaJoão Canijo IFFR 2018 153′
Canijo made his debut in 1988 at the last festival organised by Huub Bals. He returns to IFFR with this lively and beautifully acted fiction about the journey on foot by a group of women to the place of pilgrimage Fátima – surreptitiously also a beautiful landscape film about changing Portugal.
FenixShariff Korver IFFR 2018 400′
A kidnapping going awry provokes a shock wave in the Netherlands and Belgium. Two detectives, a small-time criminal and a political-science student burdened by his shadowy family are the protagonists of this ambitious, stylish and moody TV series, where the lines between thugs and law and order are blurred.
First ReformedPaul Schrader IFFR 2018 108′
Tormented by his son's death, Reverend Toller struggles with his faith. He is further tested when a young couple asks him for advice. In this intense thriller with a fabulous role for Ethan Hawke, Schrader (American Gigolo, Cat People, Affliction), himself raised a Calvinist, successfully returns to his famed theme: existentialcrisis in humans.
Gangway to a FutureRené Hazekamp IFFR 2018 90′
A trawler converted into a rescue ship departs from Rotterdam with its strong-willed captain and a group of inexperienced idealists on a rough voyage to the Mediterranean to save refugees. The camera records the joyful rescues as well as shocking images of those who died before help arrived.
The GuiltyGustav Möller IFFR 2018 85′
A single space, a great lead, a compelling script and a nail-biting soundtrack is all debut director Gustav Möller needs to captivate his audience for 90 minutes. Asger Holm is fabulous as the tortured, headstrong cop hell bent on solving a disturbing phone call during a shift manning the emergency line.
Have You Seen the Listers?Eddie Martin IFFR 2018 86′
Engaging documentary about the high and low points in the life of world-famous Australian graffiti artist Anthony Lister, who started his career decorating traffic light control boxes in Brisbane. 'Brizzy Banksy', was the headline in a local paper. Lister always had a camera with him, so we see everything first-hand.
Homogeneous, Empty TimeThunska Pansittivorakul, Harit Srikhao IFFR 2018 103′
What feeds nationalist ideologies? They always arise in 'empty time', asserts this documentary on nationalism in Thailand. Various groups are observed, from military cadets to pupils at a Christian boarding school. They have very different views on politics or religion, but they share boundless confidence in the monarchy.
The Hungry LionOgata Takaomi IFFR 2018 78′
A high-school teacher is arrested for having sexual relations with a minor. Young Hiromi finds herself in the eye of the storm when she is suspected of featuring in her teacher’s leaked sex video and her innocence is questioned by everyone around her.
IFFR Live: AmateursIFFR 2018
A slick marketing film or two teenagers messing with a smartphone and selfie sticks: how do you pitch the colourless Swedish town of Lafors as best candidate for the new branch of discount store Superbilly? The tragicomic Amateurs by Gabriela Pichler (Eat Sleep Die) shows that a slick picture is less interesting than threadbare reality.
IFFR Live: Blue My MindIFFR 2018
Swiss teenagers say jawohl to MDMA in this disturbing coming-of-age story that cleverly mixes horror and psychological drama. Insecure Mia enters the jungle that is puberty in search of belonging and her blossoming sexuality. Kafka's Metamorphosis meets The Little Mermaid.
IFFR Live: La Holandesa (Messi and Maud)IFFR 2018
How do you deal with the sorrow of not being able to have children? Dutch woman Maud undertakes an aimless journey through Chile, filmed with breathtaking beauty. The actress Rifka Lodeizen stands out in this roadmovie, which shows how you can lose yourself – and then find yourself again.
IFFR Live: Nico, 1988IFFR 2018
Sound, loving and above all honest biopic about Nico, more than twenty years after Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground. Trine Dyrholm (Kollektivet, Festen) is stunning as the artiste who always has to carry the ballast from the past with her, but continues to believe in the possibilities of a new start.
IFFR Live: NinaIFFR 2018
Masterful and sensuous drama about thirty something Nina, who is looking for a surrogate mother for the child she and her longtime husband desperately long for. Young, independent Magda looks like a suitable candidate. But everything changes when Nina unexpectedly gets attracted to her. A turbulent love story with a strong vibe.
IFFR Live: Pin CushionIFFR 2018
An all-girl, gothic fairy tale set in British working-class suburbs. Single mother Lyn and her teenage daughter Iona are excited about their new life in a new town, but the transition doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. Both keep up a pretence to protect each other from the dangerous outside world.
IFFR x De Balie: WesternIFFR 2018
IFFR and cultural centre De Balie collaborate on a thought-provoking panel talk with German director Valeska Grisebach following the screening of her new feature film Western which subtly explores the themes of masculinity, belonging, and cultural and national identity.
An Impossibly Small ObjectDavid Verbeek IFFR 2018 100′
In the maze of streets, parking lots and alleyways in Taipei, an eight-year-old girl enjoys herself late one evening with her kite. A photographer takes a picture of her. When he gets back home, it makes him think. Moving, beautifully filmed meditation about alienation, loneliness and the bond between photographer and subject.
JimmieJesper Ganslandt IFFR 2018 91′
Four-year-old, blonde Jimmie has to flee his home in Sweden. In this gripping, impressionist film, Jesper Ganslandt (Falkenberg Farewell, The Ape) turns a real crisis upside down and depicts a horrific flight through Europe through the eyes of a child. At times exciting and fun, but more frequently heart-rending. Opening Film IFFR 2018.
Latifa, le coeur au combatOlivier Peyon, Cyril Brody IFFR 2018 91′
After her son is killed in a terrorist attack, French-Moroccan Latifa becomes an influential activist striving to prevent such attacks. In this documentary, we follow Latifa as she travels France with unstinting energy, discussing integration, racism and of course Islam. Emotions at times run high.