It’s time again – the city of Rotterdam is covered with the image of a tiger. If you already wondered why, it’s because of the 45th International Rotterdam Film Festival. Starting on the 27th of January (right up till the 7th of February) focuses on smaller, independent and artistic films often by little-known directors but also includes films directly from the Hollywood Studios. The program covers all genres like documentaries, short films, feature films and experimental films. It’s the first year with the new festival director Bero Beyer. There are a lot of difference to the previous years, like the program setting with four new categories called Bright Future, Voices, Deep Focus and Perspectives.
With more than 500 films and 30 000 expected visitors, it’s the biggest Film Festival of the Netherlands and one of the most important cultural events worldwide. But enough of the stats already! It is a film festival afterall and you no doubt want the deets on which films to watch. So without further ado, here are 5 films we’re excited about at IFFR.
1. The Model
The Model tells the story of a young Emma who embarks on a modelling career in Paris, clueless to the unwritten rules of love and sex in the modelling world. Starring Danish top model Maria Palm and British actor Ed Skrein (best known for his role as Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones), The Model is a stylish coming-of-age story in which the temptations and promises of the fashion industry drive a beauty to insanity.
In Charlie Kaufman’s stop-motion world of Anomalisa, all the men and women you encounter have the same face and the same voice. Until one woman differs from the rest, drawing the attention of the famous customer service guru Michael Stone, who has been dragging his depressed self through his nth business hotel. Amazingly detailed Anomalisa is a good example of the possibilities of animation.
A provocative psychological family drama, in which on a beautiful summer evening the carefully cherished harmony falls apart. Cédric, usually locked up in his own world, reacts defiantly to the glad tidings of his sister’s pregnancy. Strong debut with an outstanding actors’ ensemble headed by Nathalie Baye as domineering mother.
4. 11 Minutes
Maria, a young girl from a remote village of Brazil, whose first encounters with love leave her heartbroken, goes to seek her fortune in Switzerland. She works for a time in a nightclub but soon becomes dissatisfied and after a heated discussion with her manager one night, she quits her job. She tries to become a model but is unsuccessful. Because she is running out of money, she accepts 1000 francs from an Arab man to spend the night with him. She then decides to become a prostitute and ends up in a brothel on Rue de Berne, the heart of Geneva’s red-light district.
5. La Novia
A bride must choose between her decent, rich fiancé and her childhood love, with fatal consequences. Beautiful images, vibrant Spanish music and all-consuming passion make this a movie not to be missed.