Film criticism is a vital companion to the challenging cinema showcased at IFFR. We recognise the role of critics in enriching our understanding and provoking debate in a dynamic festival atmosphere. Since 1998 we have been hosting the Young Film Critics trainee programme to provide a platform for the next generation of film critics to learn and develop. Adapting to a hybrid edition, six international emerging critics have been selected to participate in an online programme during the February festival days. Becoming part of the editorial staff, the participants will be invited to produce festival coverage, while receiving mentorship from IFFR’s editorial team and established film critics.
We are proud to introduce the Young Film Critics 2021 selection below, and will be delighted to publish their work during the festival.
The 2021 Selection
Alonso Aguilar (Costa Rica)
Alonso Aguilar is a writer and audiovisual producer from Costa Rica. He began his journey into film criticism in 2016, and soon became part of Krinégrafo, a Central American critics collective. Since then, he has worked with Costa Rica’s International Film Festival and his interviews, reviews and essays have been featured by Mubi Notebook, Film International, Cinema Tropical and photogénie, among other international publications.
With his writings, Alonso aims to explore the intersections between creative expressions and social issues, particularly those in Latin America and other often underrepresented regions of the world.
Young Film Critic from Costa Rica at IFFR 2021
Jason Tan Liwag (The Philippines)
Jason Tan Liwag is a scientist, actor, film critic, and cultural writer from Dagupan City, The Philippines who is currently based in Metro Manila. He began his work with film criticism through Cinema Centenario’s CINELAB workshops under the mentorship of acclaimed critic and professor Richard Bolisay. He is currently the president of Cine Critico Filipino – a young film critics circle – and his film reviews and essays have been published in CNN Philippines Life, Underdog PH, Film Daze, Cinema Centenario, along with his personal website.
Jason aspires to give light to non-dominant narratives in cinema, particularly Filipino cinema, in the hope of reimagining how the world sees Filipino culture and the lives of individuals like him.
Jason Tan Liwag
Young Film Critic from The Philippines at IFFR 2021
Łukasz Mańkowski (Poland)
Łukasz Mańkowski is a film critic and Japanese language translator based in Warsaw, Poland. Łukasz is currently enrolled in a PhD programme at Artes Liberales, University of Warsaw, where he is researching Japanese New Wave Cinema and teaches classes on Japanese Cinema and Poetics of Nature in World Cinema. Starting with an online blog (first Referat Filmowy, then Kinema Chromatica), his film criticism evolved into regular contributions on Asian Cinema, both in English and Polish. Łukasz has collaborated with several film festivals (e.g. Warsaw Film Festival) as a translator, programme consultant and jury member.
Much of his film criticism is devoted to foregrounding the voice of filmmakers, as he strongly believes that through in-depth interviews it is possible to regain what is often lost-in-translation.
Young Film Critic from Poland at IFFR 2021
Young Film Critics selection 2021
Madeleine Collier (USA)
Madeleine Collier is a New York-based writer, researcher, and filmmaker, currently pursuing an MA in Film and Media Studies at Columbia University. Her work has appeared in Film Quarterly, Film Comment, and AfterImage Journal, among other publications.
Her writing and research interests include: useful cinema, dubbing practices, emergent media, representations of labor, queer cinema, and glitch art.
Young Film Critic from the USA at IFFR 2021
Ren Scateni (United Kingdom)
Ren Scateni is a writer, curator, and programmer based in Edinburgh, UK. Both their writing and curatorial work focus on the cinema of East Asian countries, covering Japan in particular. They have been featured in Hyperallergic, South China Morning Post, Sight & Sound, MUBI Notebook, and other publications writing about documentary, anime and exploring female and queer representations in film.
Young Film Critic from United Kingdom at IFFR 2021
Zanji Sinkala (Zambia)
Zanji Valerie Sinkala is a multimedia journalist and aspiring filmmaker from Zambia. She is currently working with News Diggers Media as an investigative reporter and project manager. Last year, she was named among the world's 100 best young filmmakers by the British Council at the Future News Worldwide programme where she was trained by some of the world’s leading media organisations at the Reuters headquarters in London. Additionally, in 2017 she was nominated for the Zambian Women of the Year Award, and last year received the Princess Diana Award for using multimedia journalism influentially in humanitarian work and achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
Young Film critic from Zambia at IFFR 2021