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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
Memories to Choke On, Drinks to Wash Them DownLeung Ming-kai, Kate Reilly 09:00 - 10:18 at KINO 2 • 78′
Four stories show how fiction and fact, humour and drama, personal and political are complementary facets of the contradictory realities that constitute Hong Kong today.
Four stories together show how fiction and fact, humour and drama, the personal and political are complementary facets of the same fascinating realities that constitute Hong Kong. Leung Ming-kai and Kate Reilly's structural gambit delights and gently provokes, as their film plumbs the contradictions that underlie and activate Hong Kong's predicament today.
Happy Old YearNawapol Thamrongrattanarit 09:00 - 10:53 at Pathé 5 • 113′
In this sensitive drama, Jean is confronted by unresolved emotions when attempting to radically declutter her parental home.
Sensitive drama with humorous moments about catharsis and letting go. Jean returns to her native Thailand after years abroad, to the home she shares with her mother and brother. When she decides to radically declutter the house, she is forced to first confront painful memories and unresolved emotions.
Merry Christmas, YiwuMladen Kovacevic 09:15 - 10:49 at Cinerama 3 • 94′
Portrait of a surreal society in Yiwu, China where almost exclusively Christmas decorations are manufactured year round.
The workers at over 600 factories in Yiwu, China manufacture Christmas decorations year round. The camera trails the workers at the factory and elsewhere – their conversations, love issues, a game of pool, shopping and eating, and the calls home, far away from Yiwu's prosperity. A portrait of a surreal society.
OfrendaJuan Mónaco Cagni 09:30 - 10:35 at Cinerama 4 • 65′
Two young women are reunited in the Argentine pampas, in a place where they spent their childhoods.
Two women meet at the same places at various moments in their lives. Treading in the footsteps of great philosophers and masters of cinema, the exceptionally young director does not shy away from evoking existential questions from a provincial town on the pampas in his ultra-low-budget debut. Universal and unique.
Kala azarJanis Rafa 09:45 - 11:10 at de Doelen Jurriaanse Zaal • 85′
In a pretty inhuman environment, caring for animals gives meaning to a taciturn couple. Until they have an accident.
A young couple employed by a pet crematorium finds fulfilment in respectfully removing cadavers. Their love blossoms in an environment where the boundaries between human and animal are fading. Until they run over a dog, and their relationship loses its way.
An Impossible ProjectJens Meurer 09:45 - 11:18 at LantarenVenster 6 • 93′
Are media such as 16mm film, vinyl or video 'retro'? Not at all! Today, analogue life is a well-considered choice.
Is the promised land virtual? Everyone lives digitally these days. But there is a way back! This infectious documentary spends years following passionate advocates of the unique, unpredictable and distinctive analogue life. What could be better than blurry Polaroids, crackling gramophones and old-fashioned telephones?
If We BurnJames Leong, Lynn Lee 09:45 - 11:15 at Cinerama 7 • 90′
The Hong Kong protest movement through the eyes of Hong Kongers whose fates, like their city's future, now hang in the balance.
The Hong Kong protest movement through the eyes of Hong Kongers whose fates, like their city's future, now hang in the balance. James Leong and Lynn Lee seem always exactly in the right place and the right time: their cinematic eyes for indelible, strangely beautiful images of a city wracked by violence makes this essential viewing.
Air ConditionerFradique 09:45 - 10:57 at Cinerama 2 • 72′
Air conditioners mysteriously fall from buildings in the Angolan capital. Pleasantly free film with a great soundtrack.
Air conditioners mysteriously start falling from buildings in the Angolan capital. The search for a working unit forms the starting point for an pleasantly free film representing the city's heartbeat. A great jazzy soundtrack, a rap and the chaotic hum of the city guide us through its streets and buildings.
Leonie, actrice en spionneAnnette Apon 10:45 - 12:15 at de Doelen Willem Burger Zaal • 90′
In search of a woman with a myriad of faces. But who was Leonie Brandt really? And is there a 'really' here? A documentary thriller.
Leonie Brandt is one of the most mysterious characters in 20th-century Dutch history. German-born, Dutch by marriage: actress, playwright, café owner, double agent. Universally feared, not least for the dirty secrets she kept about the high and mighty. Who was Leonie Brandt really? Is there really a 'really'? A documentary thriller.
IFFR Pro Panel - Collaborative Constellations11:00 - 12:30 at de Doelen Pro Hub
As our media migrates to a cloud, our spaces for shared media experiences – places to create, collect and distribute and exhibit work – cannot also evaporate.
La dosisMartín Kraut 11:00 - 12:33 at Cinerama 4 • 93′
Argentine hospital thriller poses the tricky question: How to unmask a murderer if you yourself are a killer?
An Argentine hospital thriller that doesn't speak ill of the dead. But what about the living? Experienced nurse Marcos loves his patients, which leads him to sometimes take drastic measures to end their suffering. His secret is made more complicated by the arrival of charismatic nurse Gabriel, who also has a dark secret.
Only You AloneZhou Zhou 11:15 - 12:45 at Cinerama 3 • 90′
A young Chinese woman suffers from epilepsy. Her dreams die, but it only makes her stronger.
Epilepsy has forced Chi Li to give up her dance career. The disease means she barely counts in Chinese society. However, Chi Li (great role by co-scriptwriter Chi Yun) is not the type to take things lying down. Zhou Zhou's second feature film is an homage to a marginalised, strong young woman.
Rebel DreadWilliam E. Badgley 11:30 - 12:54 at Cinerama 2 • 87′
Surprisingly, the video for 'Pass The Dutchie' was shot by a key figure in punk. Rebel Dread reveals Afro-Caribbean catalyst Don Letts' many facets.
When punk hit its peak, a smartly dressed DJ with Jamaican roots often spun reggae between the explosive band sets. And so began Don Letts' eventful career. A revealing documentary about the permanent fellow traveller for The Clash and many other bands he would go on to manage, film and accompany on stage.
We Have BootsEvans Chan 11:30 - 13:35 at Cinerama 7 • 130′
The Umbrella Movement of 2014 paved the way for Hong Kong's current upheavals. Intellectuals, students, activists, and artists articulate a variety of motivations.
The Umbrella Movement of 2014 paved the way for Hong Kong's current upheavals, while unfolding in significantly different ways. This documentary focuses on the intellectual underpinnings of the actions of 2014: engaged intellectuals, students, activists, and artists articulate a range of philosophies, motivations, and feelings about their movement.
Beasts Clawing at StrawsKim Yonghoon 11:45 - 13:41 at de Doelen Jurriaanse Zaal • 109′
Who will get the bag of money, and where did it come from? An artfully constructed black comedy/crime thriller and compelling summary of human shortcomings in one.
Debut director Kim Yonghoon assembles a great cast (Asura's Jung Woosung and Secret Sunshine star Jeon Doyeon) for his energetic film adaptation of Japanese hard-boiled crime novel Beasts Clawing at Straws. The result is an artfully constructed, black comedy/crime drama as well as a compelling summary of human shortcomings. But where did that bag come from?
ÉnormeSophie Letourneur 13:00 - 14:38 at Cinerama 4 • 98′
A famous pianist is unexpectedly pregnant, thanks to her over-controlling husband. This raw comedy bends genders in unexpected, weird ways.
Thanks to her over-controlling husband, a famous and career-minded pianist unexpectedly becomes pregnant. The event changes the dynamics of their relationship. What starts out as an unnerving film on toxic masculinity morphs into a raw, wacky comedy about womanhood, fusional couples and classical music.
IFFR Pro Panel - Make the most of the festival - the one stop panel for filmmakers at IFFR14:00 - 15:30 at de Doelen Pro Hub
Key professionals will share their experiences, insights and tips & tricks about how to use your time at IFFR in the most effective way.
NasirArun Karthick 14:15 - 15:33 at de Doelen Jurriaanse Zaal • 78′
Candid portrait of a gentle man reduced to second-class citizenship as a Muslim in an India characterised by rising Hindu nationalism.
Candid portrait of a gentle man living a degrading, second-class existence as a Muslim in an India characterised by rising Hindu nationalism. His poetry and love for his wife keep him going, while toxic intolerance bubbles just below the surface of everyday life. Until the explosion, as sudden as it is inevitable.
Death Inhabits at NightEduardo Morotó 15:00 - 16:34 at Cinerama 4 • 94′
Alcohol-drenched, melancholy story of soulmates on the edge of society is inspiredby Bukowski's writings.
Based on Bukowski's writings, this portrait of a penniless writer and the women in his life is drenched in alcohol and cigarette smoke. Elegantly shot, somehow romantic and sad debut about the search for soulmates, balancing on the edge of the abyss in dilapidated hotel rooms and shabby bars.
IFFR Pro Panel - New Approaches for Indie Film Distribution, Rights and Revenues - via Blockchain/VOD16:00 - 17:30 at de Doelen Pro Hub
Going beyond the recent hype around blockchain technology, there are concrete solutions for filmmakers and rights holders out there today.
IFFR x KNF: Press Drink17:00 - 18:30 at de Doelen Van der Mandele Zaal
Join the IFFR press team, IFFR programmers and fellow film critics for a drink in de Doelen.
DetentionJohn Hsu 17:00 - 18:43 at Cinerama 4 • 103′
China's occupation of Taiwan takes on nightmarish logic in this psychological horror film.
In 1962's Chinese-occupied Taiwan, political literature is severely prohibited. This psychological horror film based on a popular, eponymous computer game is about the disappearance of the members of an illegal book club from a secondary school. One spooky night, two teens go in search of the horrific truth.
The End Will Be SpectacularErsin Çelik 18:45 - 20:37 at Cinerama 3 • 112′
A young woman returns to the city of her birth, where she becomes embroiled in a bitter struggle between young rebels and the Turkish army.
An uncompromising war film that tells the story of Zilan, a young woman who returns to her family and friends to honour the memory of her deceased brother. She becomes entangled in the struggle of a group of young resistance fighters trying to lift the siege of the historic heart of the Turkish-Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.
ColOZioArtemio Narro 19:15 - 20:45 at Cinerama 4 • 90′
Zany road movie in which Mexico's political history is almost rewritten by two tripping stoners.
An acid trip informs Diego and Gael that Mexican presidential candidate Colosio will be assassinated in three days' time. It's up to the dorky duo to save him so they can be heroes. Political reality inventively intertwined with mythology in this idiosyncratic, colourful road movie.
Phases of MatterDeniz Tortum 21:00 - 22:11 at Cinerama 4 • 71′
Doctors and other workers in a venerable old hospital form a parallel world of their own. A free-spirited impression of life and impermanence.
Roaming freely around the old hospital in Istanbul where he was born, the filmmaker reveals its insular world of doctors, nurses, students and other workers. Between levity and severity, everyday and confrontational images, a sense of impermanence grows. Sober observation reaches poetic conclusions.
The Nose or Conspiracy of MavericksAndrey Khrzhanovsky 21:15 - 22:44 at Cinerama 3 • 89′
Cheerfully grim look at the 20th century's follies anchored in Gogol's proto-Surrealist novella The Nose. Milestone by a giant of Soviet/Russian animation.
A cheerfully grim look at the last century's follies and foibles, anchored in Gogol's proto-surrealist 1836 novella The Nose. A late milestone by a giant of Soviet/Russian animation that with cheek and panache mixes styles and techniques, and knows how to play with visual puns and audio jests. A gem from the future and the past.
CenoteOda Kaori 22:15 - 23:30 at Cinerama 7 • 75′
Entrancing underwater footage of cenotes, or holy springs, in Yucatan, Mexico. Long-lost memories echo in a hallucinatory game of light and dark.
Entrancing footage of cenotes, or holy springs, in Yucatan, Mexico. Long-lost memories echo in a hallucinatory game of light and dark. Swimming in these, director Oda encounters mysterious shapes. The past and present of the people living around the cenotes coalesce in this place where nothing is forgotten.