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To ease navigation, our programmers divide the film programme into four sections with each their unique tone. Filter by section or read more.
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 this year's theme programmes
DorstSaskia Diesing IFFR 2018 95′
When a disoriented twenty-something moves in with her aloof, sick mother, painful situations are guaranteed to ensue. Coco (Elise van ’t Laar) does it anyway, in a last attempt to get closer and share love. That’s the last thing that the mother (Simone Kleinsma) wants. A tragicomic family drama about good intentions, ridiculous expectations and human impotence.
A Drowning ManMahdi Fleifel IFFR 2018 15′
Palestinian filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel is back with a short fiction film in which a young man does his utmost to survive in a foreign country.
Elastic RecurrenceJohan Rijpma IFFR 2018 2′
In analytical slow motion, the fragments of a broken plate move off into space to form a decomposed structure, which then seeks to regain its original shape.
The End of FearBarbara Visser IFFR 2018 70′
Barnett Newman’s abstract painting Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue was murdered twice: first by a vandal with a utility knife, then by an incompetent conservator. The reconstruction of the crime inevitably leads to the question: What is art? Does it come down to the object or the idea?
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.
Everything Is Far AwayEmanuel Pârvu IFFR 2018 15′
A 40th birthday surprise visit from mum. A compassionate story about family ties, the desire to get close and the (valid) reasons to stay away.
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.
Film Stars Don't Die in LiverpoolPaul McGuigan IFFR 2018 105′
In this stylish film set at the end of the 1970s, 55-year old Hollywood diva Gloria Grahame has what proves to be a unique affair with Peter, who is in his twenties. He sees something the studio bosses of yesteryear never did: she is more than just a pretty face.
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.
The Florida ProjectSean Baker IFFR 2018 115′
In six-year-old Moonee’s eyes, Disney World’s poverty-stricken environs provide fun adventures. Shielded by childhood, the problems are beyond her comprehension. Talented amateur actors, gorgeous camera work and an amazing role for Willem Dafoe are this colourful film’s main attractions.
For Nonna AnnaLuis De Filippis IFFR 2018 13′
A difference of generation, language and perceptions of womanhood are expressed poignantly in this moving story about two related characters.
FoxtrotSamuel Maoz IFFR 2018 108′
Drink lots of water, the far-too-young soldiers impress upon Michael after they’ve told him that his son Jonathan died on military service. His wife Daphna has already succumbed to the news. In Samuel Maoz's follow-up to Lebanon, that is the starting point of a nerve-wracking dance with fate.
Gabriel and the MountainFellipe Gamarano Barbosa IFFR 2018 127′
Fellipe Barbosa follows in the footsteps of his dead schoolfriend Gabriel Buchmann to reconstruct his fatal journey around the world. With João Pedro Zappa as Gabriel, he travels to the Mulanje Massif in Malawi, where Gabriel died in a climbing accident in 2009. A film about friendship and the cursoriness of backpack tourism.
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.
Good MannersMarco Dutra, Juliana Rojas IFFR 2018 135′
The nurse Clara gets a job as nanny for the rich and pregnant Ana, who suffers from insomnia. Her delivery at full moon ends fatally and, against her better judgement, Clara decides to care for the child. Sweet, sublimely styled horror film about unconditional love, with an occasional musical intermezzo.
La grande vacanceSalomé Richard IFFR 2018 25′
A refreshing portrait of a young woman on her road to independence in this beautifully filmed story about choices and adulthood with a warm, summer feel.
The Groove Is Not TrivialTommie Dell Smith IFFR 2018 62′
Midlife crisis or late vocation? Alasdair Fraser, a successful industrial engineer, changes course and chooses the violin. From California, he starts a contagious propaganda campaign that not only focusses on Scottish folk music but also on Scottish independence. A portrait with a striking resonance.
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.
Handle with CareIFFR 2018
Complicated relationships and suppressed emotions are expressed in these small, intimate portraits of (overly) sensitive characters. Each one fighting his or her own fight.
HannahAndrea Pallaoro IFFR 2018 95′
She might be in her 70s, but actress Charlotte Rampling’s famous look has only become more mysterious over the years. This 'existential Giallo' – a type of Italian thriller – is all about that look: Hannah’s repressed grief and unspoken confusion after her husband is imprisoned.
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.
Here to Be Heard: The Story of The SlitsIFFR 2018 86′
In 1976, four teenage Londoners started experimental reggae-punk band The Slits, turning the music world upside down. Young, intimidating women for whom nothing was sacred, their desire for freedom continues to inspire. This homage to lead vocalist Ari-Up, who died in 2010, cements The Slits' reputation. EarWORM Live Line-up: Introduction: Leonor Faber-Jonker, Q&A: Jan Hiddink, DJ’S Girls go BOOM, DJ Squad.
La Holandesa (Messi and Maud)Marleen Jonkman IFFR 2018 90′
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.
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.
How They Got OverRobert Clem IFFR 2018 87′
Rock 'n' roll’s roots aren’t just rhythm and blues, but go much further back to 1930s gospel quartet music. A surfeit of musical clips illustrates how harmony singing gradually evolved into an upbeat spectacle with electrical instruments and, ultimately, more worldly lyrics.
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.
I Am Not a WitchRungano Nyoni IFFR 2018 93′
Eight-year-old Shula is accused of black magic and locked up in a witches’ colony. An opportunistic official saves her from this form of slavery in order to benefit from her supposed powers. In a mix of farce, fairy tale and social satire, we see how superstition is used to oppress women.
I Have Nothing to SayYing Liang IFFR 2018 25′
Mother and daughter meet for the first time in five years. Ying Liang’s new film combines a family drama with contemporary politics.
I, TonyaCraig Gillespie IFFR 2018 119′
Tragicomic biographical drama about the rapid rise and mediagenic demise of the American figure skater Tonya Harding. Talent and perseverance lead her to reach the absolute top, but was it the bizarre attack on her teammate and rival that really made Tonya world-famous and notorious? How could things get that far?
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.