The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) started preparations for its 48th edition by announcing the first 26 confirmed titles to participate in the event.
The line-up includes remarkable new works by Middle Eastern filmmakers such as Soudade Kaadan, Sameh Zoabi, and Nadine Labaki. The 2019 IFFR will take place from 23 January to 3 February 2019.
The IFFR celebrates film art from all over the world and presents its programme within four sections, each with its own distinct character. They include Bright Future (including the Tiger Competition and the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition), Voices, Deep Focus, and Perspectives. Short films are strongly represented in all sections.
“We are delighted to present an appealing and rich first selection of titles to screen at our upcoming festival,” the Festival Director Bero Beyer said. He added “There are names we have seen before in Rotterdam, and ones that are brand new. Together they exemplify the type of bold and daring cinema we like to celebrate at IFFR.”
Among the Middle Eastern titles confirmed so far are Nadine Labaki’s new film Capernaum, Sameh Zoabi’s comedy Tel Aviv on Fire, and Soudade Kaadan’s feature film debut The Day I Lost My Shadow. Kaadan’s received support from the IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund in 2016. The 2019 IFFR will also show the world premiere of the short film Salt, Pepper to Taste by Azerbaijani filmmaker Teymur Hajiyev.
Confirmed titles from other regions include the world premiere of Simona Kostova’s Dreissig, the international premiere of Fabienne Godet’s Nos vies formidables, and the European premiere BNK48: Girls Don’t Cry. It is a remarkable documentary feature by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit chronicling the intense lives of a group of pop singers living together in Bangkok.
Next to The Day I Lost My Shadow, two other films selected so far received support from the IFFR’s Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) in previous years: Rafiki by WanuriKahiu in 2016 and The Load by Ognjen Glavonić in 2013.