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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
Vulnerable Histories (A Road Movie)Koki Tanaka IFFR 2019 103′
The troubling rise of racist sentiment in Japanese society is the subject of a series of conversations between two young people.
Japanese artist Koki Tanaka asks his young subjects to discuss identity politics and the increasing presence of hate speech in contemporary society, particularly Japan. The quiet activism of this artist documentary is Tanaka’s call for people to reflect and listen to one another.
Wages of the ImaginationDries Meddens IFFR 2019 35′
Cult band Terminal Cheesecake has always gone its own way. Their unbelievable story is an ode to the power of the imagination.
After a 20-year hiatus, British cult band Terminal Cheesecake was revived in 2013. Not as a rich man’s hobby, but out of sheer necessity: the band provides a lifeline for drummer John Jobbagy and guitarist/non-conformist Russel Smith. Trippy noise-psychedelica provides an escape from at times grim reality.
Wages of the Imagination + The King of Dutch Rock & RollIFFR 2019
Two affectionate portraits of musicians with a cult status in Rotterdam: Ricky de Sire and Terminal Cheesecake, brought together in a single programme in Worm.
What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire?Roberto Minervini IFFR 2019 123′
Documentary shot in beautiful black-and-white, about the New Black Panther Party's campaign for equal rights for the Afro-American community.
In this award-winning documentary shot in stunning black-and-white, Italian filmmaker Minervini closely follows several black residents of New Orleans. He shows the pain, uncertainty and anger that grips their community when, in the summer of 2017, a number of shocking murders of black men test the community to breaking point.
While You Live, ShinePaul Duane IFFR 2019 80′
Only one type of contemporary music appeals to this dedicated 78 RPM LP collector: melancholy Greek folk music from Epirus.
This enchanting documentary immerses itself in the transcendental Greek folk music of Epirus. An American collector of 78 RPM LPs travels to those sun-drenched climes, where centuries-old music stands the test of time. He discovers an authenticity he hasn’t been able to find his own country’s music for years.
Widow of SilencePraveen Morchhale IFFR 2019 85′
Colourful, poetic film about a woman in Kashmir who takes up the fight against corruption for her family and missing husband.
Aasia is a 'half-widow': her husband, like many men in this Indian region of Kashmir plagued by corruption and violence, was arrested and never returned. She works hard for her family and in the meantime tries in vain to obtain a death certificate for him. A colourful and poetic film about a painful situation with a bizarre twist.
The WindEmma Tammi IFFR 2019 86′
An original Horror/Western about loneliness on the prairie. Is a woman being tormented by demons, or is her isolation creating delusions?
The early 19th century: life is harsh on the Frontier of the New West. While her husband is out working, Lizzie stays home alone in their house, on the deserted prairie. Is the loneliness making her slowly paranoid, or is a devilish spirit floating around? A unique mix of Western and horror.
Workshop Nina McNeelyIFFR 2019
The extravagant tone for Gaspar Noé's latest film provocation Climax is set by a 10-minute dance scene. The wild energy in it is the uncut work of dancer, choreographer and artist Nina McNeely. At IFFR, she will provide an exclusive dance and choreography workshop, in which she carries you along in her work for Climax. Talk and workshop in one.
X&YAnna Odell IFFR 2019 112′
Anna Odell cast herself and various renowned Scandinavian actors for her playful experiment about boundaries, (gender) identity and fact vs. fiction.
Anna Odell and fellow protagonist Mikael Persbrandt blur the boundary between fact and fiction in this idiosyncratic, social studio experiment with various identities and situations. With other actors and their alter egos, they adhere to Odell’s film plan, which ends, no one knows how. Least of all Odell and Persbrandt.
"I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians"Radu Jude IFFR 2019 140′
Idealistic theatre-maker discovers that not everyone wants to be reminded of Romania’s kick-off of the Holocaust.
Why this mass murder though? It’s questions like this that theatre director Mariana has to fend off whilst working on a reconstruction of the events that led to the Romanian extermination of Jews in Odessa in 1941. Contemporary hero-worship and racism get in the way. Will Romanian audiences even want to see her outdoor play?