“Assault” by Adilkhan Yerzhanov and “Kung Fu Zohra” by Mabrouk El Mechri are on the program of the 51st edition of the Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR).
The films were among 10 features shortlisted for the Big Screen competition, which aims to bridge the gap between popular, classic and arthouse cinema.
IFFR also offers the Tiger competition for emerging talent and the Ammodo Tiger Short competition for short films.
Among the 14 titles selected for the Tiger Competition, Roberto Doveris will present “Projecto Fantasma”, Morgane Dziurla-Petit will deliver “Excess Will Save Us” and David Easteal will present “The Plains”.
The festival, whose full lineup was announced on Friday, will run as a virtual festival on IFFR.com from January 26 to February 26. 6 for the second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic has revealed that the lockdown in the Netherlands has forced some changes to previously announced program elements. For example, the installation “Sunshine State” by Steve McQueen, commissioned by the festival, will no longer be presented.
Kaludjercic said: “After the difficult decision to move our festival online, we have curated a wonderful online selection for our audiences here in the Netherlands, while also ensuring that our competition line-ups and the filmmakers who brought us trusted for their premieres receive a platform within our Press & Industry Selection. When cinemas are allowed to reopen, we will bring the titles from the competition to the big screen for our audiences later in the year.”
Amanda Kramer’s ‘Please Baby Please’, along with Lewie and Noah Kloster’s short film ‘Stranger Than Rotterdam with Sara Driver’, will be this year’s opening film. The film replaced Mijke de Jong’s “Along the Way”, previously announced as the opening film. “Due to the revised nature of the festival, it could no longer be presented. However, once cinemas reopen, we will work with his team to support the film’s release,” Kaludjercic said.
“Please Baby Please,” starring Harry Melling, Andrea Riseborough, Demi Moore and Karl Glusman, demonstrates that “American independent cinema remains an innovative force to be reckoned with,” she said.
“Like so many of Jarmusch’s early days, ‘Please Baby Please’ is steeped in the mystique of 1950s urban cool, with its noir-infused storylines involving a sleazy band of greasers. But the way it becomes history of growing sexual awareness and discovery is very much of our time, delivered in a tone that owes as much to the American underground of the 1940s and 50s as to the music and video culture of the 1980s.
Kramer, alongside French actor and director Mathieu Amalric and Thai cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, winner of this year’s Robby Müller Award, will deliver one of the festival’s keynote speeches.
The Tiger contest jurors are made up of Zsuzsi Bánkuti, Gust Van den Berghe, Tatiana Leite, Thekla Reuten and Farid Tabarki while the Big Screen contest will be judged by a public jury. Tim Leyendekker, Nduka Mntambo and Rieke Vos will judge the Ammodo Tiger Short competition.
The event will end with the screening of “Dragon Gate Inn” from 1966, directed by King Hu. “The festival has a love affair with this film, since it has already played several times in Rotterdam, but always in a different context. This black paranoia of beautifully colored sword fighting offers a fascinating allegory for cinema and society as such,” said Kaludjercic.
“IFFR 2022 is very dedicated to remembering the first 50 years of the festival and to ensuring at least another 50 years of constant development. As William Faulkner so aptly put it in “Requiem for a Nun”, the past is never dead. It never happened.
Referring to the challenges of assembling the range during the pandemic, Kaludjercic thanked his team for their “creativity and resilience”.
Check out the full list below:
Selection Tiger Competition 2022
AchromeMaria Ignatenko, 2022, Russia
cloud messengerRahat Mahajan, 2022, India
A cryMarguerite de Hillerin/Félix Dutilloy-Liégeois, 2022, Portugal
EAMIPaz Encina, 2022, Paraguay/Germany/Argentina/Netherlands/France/USA
Excess will save usMorgane Dziurla-Petit, 2022, Sweden
Kafka for childrenRoee Rosen, 2022, Israel
Malintzin 17Mara Polgovsky/Eugenio Polgovsky, 2022, Mexico
meet meSam de Jong, 2022, Netherlands
The plainsDavid Easteal, 2022, Australia
Project FantasmaRoberto Doveris, 2022, Chile
The dream and the radioRenaud Després-Larose/Ana Tapia Rousiouk, 2022, Canada
Silver bird and rainbow fishLei Lei, 2022, USA/Netherlands
love againGao Linyang, 2022, China
YamabukiYamasaki Juichiro, 2022, Japan/France
Big screen competition
Aggression, Adilkhan Yerzhanov, 2022, Kazakhstan/Russia
Broadway, Christos Massalas, 2022, Greece/France/Romania
CE2, Jacques Doillon, 2021, France
Daryn’s GymBrett Michael Innes, 2021, South Africa
Drifting PetalsClara Law, 2021, Australia
The harborRajeev Ravi, 2022, India
The IslandAnca Damian, 2021, Romania
Kung Fu ZohraMabrouk El Mechri, 2021, France
Mi vacio y yoAdrian Silvestre, 2021, Spain
Splendid isolationUrszula Antoniak, 2022, Netherlands
Ammodo Tiger Short Competition
Respond to the sunRainer Kohlberger, 2022, Austria/Germany
Becoming a Man in the Middle AgesPedro Neves Marques, 2022, Portugal
Songs from a holy bookCesar Gananian/Cassiana Der Haroutiounian, 2021, Brazil
Constant, Sasha Litvintseva/Beny Wagner, 2022, Germany/UK
Dawn, Leonor Noivo, 2021, Portugal
Glass LifeSara Cwynar, 2021, USA
Isn’t it a beautiful worldJoseph Wilson, 2021, UK
The making of crime scenesHsu Che-yu, 2022, France/Taiwan
Nazarbazi, Maryam Tafakory, 2022, Iran/UK
El number of cosasDiego Escobar, 2022, Chile
Nosferasta: first biteBayley Sweitzer/Adam Khalil, 2021, USA
Polycephaly in DMichael Robinson, 2021, USA
Perforated skyJon Rafman, 2021, USA
songs to liveKorakrit Arunanondchai/Alex Gvojic, 2022, USA/Thailand
Tomorrow is a water palaceJuanita Onzaga, 2022, Belgium
Urban solutionsArne Hector/Luciana Mazeto/Vinícius Lopes/Minze Tummescheit, 2022, Germany/Brazil
Marta Balaga contributed to this article.