Tiger Competition 2021 selection

22 December 2020

Still: Bipolar

We’ve selected 16 premieres for the Tiger Competition, now IFFR’s competitive platform for emerging film talent. The titles are vying for the prestigious Tiger Award and two Special Jury Awards, to be presented during IFFR 2021 and awarded on 7 February.

With the recent introduction of our new programme structure, the Tiger Competition is now at the forefront as our one-and-only competition for emerging film talent. 16 titles have been selected for IFFR 2021 and the jury will grant three prizes: the Tiger Award, with a €40,000 cash reward, and two Special Jury Awards presented for exceptional artistic achievement in the competition, each with a €10,000 reward.

Most filmmakers in competition are making their IFFR debut, next to a few familiar names. Itonje Søimer Guttormsen returns with Gritt, after her short film Retrett showed at IFFR 2017, which is available on IFFR Unleashed. Three directors who previously had their short films screened at IFFR, now present their first feature-length film as part of the Tiger Competition. Rotterdam director Tim Leyendekker previously brought a number of short films to the festival since 2006, and now presents Feast. Taiki Sakpisit’s short film The Mental Traveller featured in the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition at IFFR 2019 and he now returns with The Edge of Daybreak. Nino Martínez Sosa was the editor on films Tiro en la cabeza (IFFR 2009), Yo, también (IFFR 2010) and Todos somos marineros (IFFR 2019), and now presents Liborio

Tiger Competition Jury

Five film professionals make up the Tiger Jury. Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, self-taught Berlin-based filmmaker and visual artist, whose feature film This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection screened at IFFR 2020 and will also show work at IFFR 2021 as part of Vive le cinéma! at Eye Filmmuseum. Orwa Nyrabia, artistic director of International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), who has a background as a producer and worked on successful documentaries Return to Homs and Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait. Hala Elkoussy, Amsterdam and Cairo-based visual artist and filmmaker, whose first feature Cactus Flower premiered at IFFR 2017. Dutch screenwriter Helena van der Meulen, whose film Tussenland (Sleeping Rough) won a Tiger Award at IFFR 2002. The fifth jury member is Ilse Hughan. She is an Amsterdam-based film producer and managing director of Fortuna Films, the company founded in 1909 by her grandfather Jean Desmet, one of the first Dutch film distributors.

Still: Agate mousse

Still: Bebia, à mon seul désir

Still: Bipolar

Still: Black Medusa

Still: I Comete − A Corsican Summer by Pascal Tagnati

Still: Destello bravío

Still: The Edge of Daybreak

Still: Feast

Still: Friends and Strangers

Still: Gritt

Still: Landscapes of Resistance

Still: Liborio

Still: Looking For Venera by Norika Sefa

Still: Madalena

Still: Mayday

Still: Pebbles by Vinothraj P.S.

Tiger Competition selection

  • Agate mousse, Selim Mourad, 2021, Lebanon, world premiere
    Photography, sex, reproduction and the power of minerals merge into one in this aesthetic alleviation of fear of the finite.
  • Bebia, à mon seul désir, Juja Dobrachkous, 2021, Georgia/UK, world premiere
    A young model returns to the Georgian countryside, where a confrontation with her past offers hope for the future.
  • Bipolar, Queena Li, 2021, China, world premiere
    Chinese road movie with Western elements in crisp black-and-white about a woman, a lobster and a great sorrow.
  • Black Medusa, ismaël, Youssef Chebbi, 2021, Tunisia, world premiere
    Stylised, dark thriller about a young Tunisian woman leading a double life: a contemporary Medusa for the #MeToo era.
  • I Comete − A Corsican Summer, Pascal Tagnati, 2021, France, world premiere
    Cross-section of life in a Corsican village where tradition is revered, observing the locals throughout one summer.
  • Destello bravío, Ainhoa Rodríguez, 2021, Spain, world premiere
    Mysterious, suggestive, often humorous drama about the suppressed needs of women in a small town in a depopulated rural part of Spain.
  • The Edge of Daybreak, Taiki Sakpisit, 2021, Thailand/Switzerland, world premiere
    Monochrome impressions reveal the traumas that keep an influential Thai family imprisoned in emotional paralysis.
  • Feast, Tim Leyendekker, 2021, Netherlands, world premiere
    Plato, dildos, an injected tulip: reconstruction of a troubling case by idiosyncratic cinephile and talent from Rotterdam, Tim Leyendekker.
  • Friends and Strangers, James Vaughan, 2021, Australia, world premiere
    A succession of awkward interactions involving two rudderless millennial protagonists results in a wryly comical presentation of contemporary solipsism.
  • Gritt, Itonje Søimer Guttormsen, 2020, Norway, international premiere
    A penetrating mix of parody and desperation, about a Norwegian woman and a critical play that simply refuses to become reality.
  • Landscapes of Resistance, Marta Popivoda, 2020, Serbia/Germany/France, world premiere
    The landscape gains a voice when elderly Sonja talks about being in the resistance and escaping from Auschwitz.
  • Liborio, Nino Martínez Sosa, 2021, Dominican Republic/Puerto Rico/Qatar, world premiere
    Sensory story of the Dominican messianic figure Papá Liborio and the community he inspired.
  • Looking For Venera, Norika Sefa, 2021, Kosovo/Macedonia, world premiere
    Delicate, observational coming-of-age story about Kosovan teenager Venera, struggling to go her own way in a strongly patriarchal situation.
  • Madalena, Madiano Marcheti, 2021, Brazil, world premiere
    The death of a trans woman links three lives in Brazil’s agrarian heartland. An ingenious debut, bursting with visual flair.
  • Mayday, Karen Cinorre, 2021, USA, international premiere
    Feminist fable in which Ana ends up in a war between the sexes. Unruly adventure film in a gritty dream world.
  • Pebbles, Vinothraj P.S., 2021, India, world premiere
    A poverty-stricken father and son wander a southern Indian landscape where anger and frustration burn hotter than the sun.


See IFFR 2021’s February film lineup here


Tiger Competition

IFFR’s most prestigious competition celebrates the innovative spirit of up-and-coming filmmakers from all over the world

Other blog posts on IFFR 2021