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44th Rotterdam International Film Festival, 21 January - 1 February
16 January 2015
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With 11 world and 2 international premieres among the 13 features by first and second time filmmakers competing for the three Tiger Awards at the Hivos Tiger Awards Competition, the 44th Rotterdam International Film Festival 2015 has once again prepared a fine selection of World and European new films, workshops and masterclasses, special screenings and after parties. 

The Hivos Tiger Awards jury is comprised of stage and screen actress Johanna ter Steege, director of the Filmoteca Española Jose Maria Prado Garcia, Australian auteur Rolf de Heer, award winning Japanese producer Shozo Ichiyama and former Tiger Award winning director Maja Miloš. The jury will award the three best films, which, will also be receiving a check of €15,000 each. Among the 13 feature films selected, there is the world premiere of Kyros Papavassiliou΄s Impressions of a Drowned Man, a Cypriot, Greek, Slovenian co-production.

According to Rutger Wolfson, IFFR’s director, "the selected directors demonstrate an ever-developing cinematic language, dealing with increasingly difficult but relevant subject matter in a consistently meaningful way”. 

Toto and His Sisters by Alexander Nanau

The festival΄s next most important section, Bright Future, presents new first or second feature films by novice makers. Two Balkan features are included in the programme: the European premiere of Margarita Manda΄s awarded Forever (Greece, 2014) and The Lesson By Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov (Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, 2014), another awarded feature film. Two other Balkan productions feature at The Spectrum section, which screens new and recent feature-length work by experienced filmmakers: The Reaper by Zvonimir Juric (Croatia, Slovenia, 2014) and Alexander Nanau΄s documentary Toto and His Sisters (Romania, 2014).

In the Limelight section, the audience will have the chance to watch awarded at the big film festivals films along with productions to be released in the Netherlands after the festival. A Blast by Syllas Tzoumerkas (Greece, Germany, Netherlands, 2014) and the world premiere of The Sky Above Us by Marinus Groothof (Netherlands, Belgium, Serbia, Greece, 2015) are the selected Balkan co-productions. Marinus Groothof΄s film will be streamed live simultaneously on Interactive TV in the Netherlands as part of the IFFR Live section, which includes 4 other features.

Rotterdam IFF, of course, is one of the biggest film festivals worldwide, with different sections and parallel events. The CineMart development market is the most important of these activities. Taking place from 25-28 January, the 32nd edition will present a total of 24 projects, including 21 films and three art projects, qualified for The Eurimages Co-production Development Award of €20,000, The Arte International Price of €7,000 and the inaugural €5,000 Wouter Barendrecht Award. Syllas Tzoumerkas΄ next project, The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea, a Greek/Dutch co-production of Homemade Films and PRPL, is the only one coming from the Balkans. 

Forever by Margarita Manda

Only one Balkan short film is scedguled for screening at the Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films 2015 section of the festival, Our Body by Dane Komljen, a Serbian/German co-production. Each of the three equal Tiger Awards for Short Films comes with €3.000 and a video camera. In addition, the jury selects the IFFR nomination for the short film category of the European Film Awards (EFA), running for the European Film Award for Short Film 2015.

In the out of the competition shorts, the For its As Long As It Takes: Short & Mid-Length section has prepared a full programme with 157 short and 10 mid-length films from 41 countries, screening, among others, 5 shorts by Romanian filmmaker Irina Botea. The section also includes Ognjen Glavonic΄s mid-length Zivan Makes a Punk Festival (Serbia, 2014) and the world premiere of Thai/Bosnian Thursday by Anocha Suwichakornpong & Sejla Kameric, while, Cem Kaya΄s documentary Remake, Remix, Rip-Off (Germany, Turkey, 2014) features at the Signals: Regained section which screens restored classics and forgotten masterpieces that centre on cinema itself. Last, Ana Lungu΄s world premiere of Self-portrait of a Dutiful Daughter (Romania, 2015) will be presented as part of the Signals: What the F?! section about today΄s feminism.

For those which, making a propaganda film is all that matters, Rotterdam Film Festival will hold a workshop on how to make a good propaganda film, conducted by Australian documentary filmmaker Anna Broinowski, while, acclaimed American artist, Ben Russell, will explore documentary film΄s boundaries as a genre in a much-promising masterclass.

Source: Rotterdam IFF official site
  A Blast
  The Reaper
  Remake, Remix, RipOff
  Zivan Makes a Punk Festival
  The Lesson
  Toto and His Sisters
  Impressions of a Drowned Man
  The Sky Above Us
  Self-portrait of a Dutiful Daughter
  Maja Milos
  Syllas Tzoumerkas
  Kyros Papavasiliou
  Margarita Manda
  Zvonimir Juric
  Sejla Kameric
  Cem Kaya
  Ognjen Glavonic
  Kristina Grozeva
  Petar Valchanov
  Alexander Nanau
  Marinus Groothof
  Ana Lungu
  Homemade Films
  Yorgos Lanthimos Wins ARTE Prize at Rotterdam
  International Film Festival Rotterdam 2014
  Rotterdam IFF 2015 Trailer
  Rotterdam IFF on Twitter
  Rotterdam IFF on Facebook
  Rotterdam IFF official site
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