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Clare Stewart new business director of IFFR

Earlier this year, business director Marjan van der Haar announced her departure from IFFR. It was announced yesterday that Clare Stewart will be her successor next week. Stewart has earned her spurs at numerous leading festivals, including the BFI London film festival and BFI Flare London, the British Film Institute's LGBTQIA festival; the Sheffield documentary festival... 

There remains room for the unadapted film at IFFR

Last May, I expressed my concerns about the restructuring at IFFR and wondered whether the festival would remain as quirky as it always was. The dismissal of a number of programmers and the departure of other staff members laid a grey veil over the past edition beforehand. Was that justified? Had the festival lost its luster? Or did... 

International Film Festival Rotterdam to 'restructure': mass resignations of programmers?

Screen Daily brought the news a fortnight ago that the International Film Festival Rotterdam is going to restructure. Not surprising after two corona years: this has hit every festival, every cultural institution, hard. It became worrying when in recent days social media was full of reports of mass layoffs at the IFFR. All senior programmers were supposedly fired. Because... 

Holland Festival opens online with Memories of my body. About the body as a battlefield

In the pre-corona world, Garin Nugroho would open the Holland Festival with his performance The Planet - A Lament. It would no doubt have been as impressive an experience as his Setan Jawa staged in 2017. We would be enchanted by his dancers and purified by the story. In the stripped-down online version of the Holland... 

A morale boost for when you're feeling down. Top 5 indie film streams from a true fan

Last week, my in-box and my social media feed were full of cancellations. Screenings, film festivals and museums: everything I was looking forward to or contributing to was cancelled or shelved. Understandable and sensible. But also maddening, and a loss of income for me and many others in the cultural sector. Still, there are things that... 

49th edition Film Festival Rotterdam opens with Mosquito - history as a fever dream

In the trailer for the International Film Festival Rotterdam, which kicks off on 22 January, film images crumble into abstract shapes and colour patterns. It has to do, I understand, with the wonder of the irrepressible urge to make stories. Once, a cave dweller put a painted hand on the rock face. In the digital age, we conjure stories with coloured pixels. The... 

Why the most artistic film genre struggles to get off the ground. The growing pains of the dance film, part 1.

There is a lot of grumbling about Dutch cinema: it is too good, not creative enough, there is not enough experimentation. However, there is one small island where other laws apply. Where, sometimes with hefty budgets and sometimes for next to nothing, films are made that speak a different language: the dance film. No psychologising, no endless dialogue, but... 

Morgan Knibbe does not shy away from heavy subjects: 'film is an empathy machine.'

In 2014, Morgan Knibbe (1989) made the short film Shipwreck, about the aftermath of a horrific shipwreck on the coast of Lampedusa in which 350 refugees drowned. Shortly afterwards, he made his first feature-length documentary, also about refugee issues: 'Those Who Feel the Burning'. This very impressive, original and visually strong film was one of the best Dutch films of the last... 

'Stories are not that fascinating, it's what you see that matters' - Tsai Ming Liang and the art of watching

Eye film museum kicks off its Virtual Reality season with Tsai Ming Liang's The Deserted. Tsai himself was in the country for a masterclass, introductions and interviews. And although his films suggest otherwise, he is a very animated speaker. In his masterclass, he talked about his career, his collaboration with muse and regular actor Lee Kang-Sheng, and his position... 

Sacha Polak on the battered but strong woman in Dirty God, opening film 48th IFFR. Emotion is the motto this year

'Feel IFFR' is the motto of this year's International Film Festival Rotterdam. The emotion behind the image and with the viewer as a guide for our interpretation. The opening film Dirty God is a nice test case. Director Sacha Polak explains why she wanted to make a film about a scarred woman.

Major concerns over fate of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov - eight weeks on hunger strike in Russian captivity

Human rights organisations from around the world and thousands of filmmakers and artists express support for Oleg Sentsov, sentenced to 20 years by Russia. This Ukrainian filmmaker has been on hunger strike since 14 May. His life is in serious danger, according to the European Film Academy.

Setan Jawa challenges you. That alone is reason to go watch #HF17

What do you get when you combine shadow play, Weimar cinema, gamelan and Javanese myths? A mix that demands a lot from the audience, but is a delight if you are willing to surrender to it. Indonesian director Garin Nugroho does not make easy films. Often they are visually stunning, like Opera Jawa, but the plot gets in the way a bit... 

Director Olivier Assayas: 'Filmmaking can be learned in a few weeks' #iffr2017

The Jurriaanse zaal in de Doelen is the setting for a Masterclass by French filmmaker Olivier Assayas (1955), an old friend of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. His is the following typical quote: 'Filming the face of an actor is, in my opinion, the most powerful thing cinema is capable of. If the frame is right, if... 

Jim Jarmusch with Paterson already one of the toppers of 'Rotterdam' #iffr

The International Film Festival Rotterdam(IFFR)'s famous Tiger logo has been changed into a colourful IFFR Planet, in which, with a little effort, the tiger can still be found. That colourful is also reflected in the programming. I am looking for the finest gems from the programme. From the USA comes 'Paterson', vintage Jim Jarmusch. But there... 

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