The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) presents fiction and documentary feature films, short films, and media art. The festival’s focus is on recent work by new filmmakers, with space for retrospectives and themed programs. IFFR actively supports new filmmaking talent through its co-production market CineMart, its Hubert Bals Fund, Rotterdam Lab, and other industry activities. Adapting to the Covid-19 restrictions, IFFR is to celebrate its 50th edition as an expanded multi-part festival, the first part took place online from 1 to 7 February 2021 and the second part is a hybrid form, from 2 to 6 June, with both festival parts connected by a dynamic series of physical and online events.
The World to Come by Mona Fastvold opens the festival on Wednesday 2 June – this romantic frontier drama tells the story of a forbidden love between two women, played by Katherine Waterston and Vanessa Kirby, in 1850s Upstate New York; and Hirota Yusuke’s Poupelle of Chimney Town – this adaption of Nishino Akihiro’s children book is an imaginative family film with the climate crisis at its heart – marks its close on Sunday 6 June, with on-demand available until 9 June. Due to ongoing governmental regulations, the closing chapter of the festival will now take place online and in cinemas in Rotterdam.
Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic:
I am extremely proud to share all we have in store for the closing chapter of our 50th jubilee edition. From June 2 to 6 we will offer an incredibly rich and varied program that is jam-packed with over 139 features, short and mid-length films as well as plenty of VR projects, performances, talks and more. From the rediscovery of arthouse classics to celebrate IFFR’s history to the latest futuristic genre-bending TV series, there will be a wide range to choose from. All this in a way that captures the energy and excitement that has long been at the heart of IFFR, while adhering to the latest governmental regulations. We are raring to go and look forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary with audiences at home and in cinemas in Rotterdam.
Three Big Talks are presented in the IFFR Talks lineup in June, including a conversation with Mona Fastvold, director of the festival’s opening film The World to Come. German director Dominik Graf, who was honored with a retrospective at IFFR in 2013 is also featured alongside his latest work Fabian oder Der Gang vor die Hunde – an adaptation of Kästner’s autobiographical interwar classic Fabian – which screens in the Harbour section. Fabian oder Der Gang vor die Hunde premiered at the Berlinale 2021 in the section Competition and will be seen at the second part of the Berlinale 9.-20.06 2021, physically in Berlin in open-air cinemas. The Srebrenica massacre is the topic of a Big Talk, after it was the subject of February’s BankGiro Loterij Audience Award winner Quo vadis, Aida? by director Jasmila Žbanić from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Indian filmmaker Pallavi Paul also presents the Freedom Lecture, IFFR’s annual talk organized by political and cultural center De Balie on the topic of freedom in the broadest sense. Paul is selected in June’s Short & Mid-length Film section for her essay on police violence in Delhi in the film The Blind Rabbit and will take her biography and oeuvre as the starting point for a reflection on freedom and resistance in this Freedom Lecture.
As usual, you will find our film reviews during the festival week – reviews in French.
Faya Dayi by Jessica Beshir. (MaB)
First Cow by Kelly Reichardt. (MaB)
Quo Vadis Aida? by Jasmila Žbanić. (Djenana Mujadzic)
Fabian oder der Gang vor die Hunde (Fabian – Going to the Dogs ) by Dominik Graf (MaB)
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