Christine Vachon, Lav Diaz Join Rotterdam Film Festival Jury, Indian Cinema Program Revealed


The International Film Festival Rotterdam has unveiled its competition juries for its 52nd edition. U.S. producer Christine Vachon , whose credits include “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Far From Heaven” and “Carol,” and Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz , who won Venice’s Golden Lion for “The Woman Who Left,” are among the Tiger Competition jurors. The first titles in the Short and Mid-Length strand have been revealed as well as a program that looks at the socio-political development of India over the past 30 years.

Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic said the announcements are “testament of the broadening and deepening of our program, from the delights of the Short and Mid-Length program, to a vital delve into contemporary India – surprising our audiences with great films that underline relevant and pressing issues.”

In the non-competitive short and mid-length work lineup is “Goodbye Words,” in which Finnish filmmaker Laura Rantanen reflects on the end of life through the books we leave behind in a wistful documentary. Also selected is Chinese filmmaker Gao Wei’s “Flower Rain,” which presents a photochemical, x-ray journey through the compositions of flowers and leaves.

Since 2008, Austrian filmmaker Siegfried A. Fruhauf has been showing his tactile explorations of cinematic frames and movement at IFFR. He returns to present the world premiere of his latest film, “Cave Painting.”

Amsterdam-based Argentine filmmaker Sebastian Diaz Morales presents the festival world premiere of the mid-length “Smashing Monuments,” where members of the Indonesian art collective ruangrupa converse with city statues.

IFFR investigates the socio-political development of India over the past 30 years, reflecting on the success of right-wing Hindu-nationalist groups and the persecution of dissenting voices.

The program stretches from Sanjiv Shah’s 1992 musical political satire “Love in the Time of Malaria” to the world premiere of “Which Color?” by Shahrukhkhan Chavada. Survival in the first four months of the pandemic-induced lockdown in Mumbai is the focus of Mihir Fadnavis’s documentary “Lords of Lockdown,” which screens in Europe for the first time.

As well as Vachon and Diaz, the Tiger Competition Jury includes producer and director of the Udine Far East Film Festival, Sabrina Baracetti, film critic Alonso Díaz de la Vega, and actor and filmmaker Anisia Uzeyman (“Neptune Frost”). Together they will choose the winners of the Tiger Award, worth €40,000, and the Special Jury Awards, worth €10,000.

The jury for the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition consists of writer, cultural programmer and organizer Simone Zeefuik, programmer, art curator and writer Herb Shellenberger, and film and video artist Stanya Kahn – whose work is also presented in a Focus program at IFFR. The jury will determine which three titles will receive three equal Ammodo Tiger Short Awards, each worth €5,000.

The lineup for both competitions, as well as the Big Screen Competition which is decided on by an audience jury, will be announced on Dec. 19.

The festival has made additions to its Harbour section, including the international premiere of Australian documentary filmmaker Sari Braithwaite’s candid portrait of a neurodiverse family “Because We Have Each Other.” Also making its international premiere is “Revolution der Augen,” the cinematic comeback of Austrian 70s feminist video art and film director Friederike Pezold – a tranquil, sound-free flow of images.

Brazil’s cinema marginal pioneer Júlio Bressane returns to IFFR to present the world premiere of an extensive reflection on his six decades of filmmaking, “The Long Voyage of the Yellow Bus,” made in tandem with Rodrigo Lima. In 2000, IFFR honored Bressane with one of the first comprehensive retrospectives on his work outside of Brazil.

The latest confirmation in the Limelight program of festival favorites is the international premiere of “Wir sind dann wohl die Angehörigen” – Hans-Christian Schmid’s masterpiece on the 1996 kidnapping of millionaire academic Jan Philipp Reemtsma.

In the Bright Future strand of debut features, Peruvian filmmaker Felipe Esparza Pérez brings the world premiere of the delicate “Cielo abierto,” after screening shorts at IFFR in 2020 and 2021.

Bright Future latest additions

“Cielo abierto,” Felipe Esparza Pérez, Peru, France, world premiere

Focus: The Shape of Things to Come? (Full lineup )

“All Was Good,” Teresa Braggs, 2022, India
“Final Solution,” Rakesh Sharma, 2004, India
“Love in the Time of Malaria,” Sanjiv Shah, 1992, India
“I Am Offended,” Jaideep Varma, 2015, India
“Lords of Lockdown,” Mihir Fadnavis, 2021, India, European premiere
“The Men in the Tree,” Lalit Vachani, 2002, India
“Sameer,” Dakxinumar Bajrange, 2017, India
“Which Colour?,” Shahrukhkhan Chavada, 2023, India, world premiere

Harbour latest additions

“2551.02 – The Orgy of the Damned,” Norbert Pfaffenbichler, Austria, world premiere
“Because We Have Each Other,” Sari Braithwaite, Australia, international premiere
“Geylang, Boi Kwong,” Singapore, European premiere
“The Long Voyage of the Yellow Bus,” Júlio Bressane, Rodrigo Lima, Brazil, world premiere
“Revolution der Augen,” Friederike Pezold, Austria, international premiere
Stiekyt, Etienne Fourie, South Africa

Limelight latest additions
“Wir sind dann wohl die Angehörigen,” Hans-Christian Schmid, Germany, international premiere

Short & Mid-length Film (first titles )

“Ashes By Name Is Man, Ewelina Rosinska, Germany, international premiere
“Baba,” Mbithi Masya, Kenya
“Can’t Help Myself,” Anna Ansone, Latvia, international premiere
“Cave Painting,” Siegfried A. Fruhauf, Austria, world premiere
“DVA,” Alexandra Karelina, Russia, world premiere
“Flower Rain,” Wei Gao, South Korea, world premiere (festival)
“The Funeral of Spring,” Gao Zee, Hong Kong, world premiere
“Goodbye Words,” Laura Rantanen, Finland, world premiere
“Issues With My Other Half,” Anna Vasof, Austria, world premiere
“No Changes Have Taken in Our Life,” Jingwei Xu, China, world premiere
“Smashing Monuments,” Sebastian Diaz Morales, Netherlands, Indonesia, world premiere (festival)

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