International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) offers a high quality line-up of carefully selected fiction and documentary feature films, short films and media art. The festival’s focus is on recent work by talented new filmmakers. However, within the four sections the Festival presents, there is also room for retrospectives and themed programmes. IFFR actively supports new and adventurous filmmaking talent through its co-production market CineMart, its Hubert Bals Fund, Rotterdam Lab and other Industry activities.

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Timbuktu is the most important film of 2015 so far and will most likely remain so. A heart-breaking commentary on one of our most terrifying global issues and injustices…

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Documentaries

  • Mallory

    Mallory

    When the viewer is transported seven years from when Helena Trestikova’s subject, Mallory, vows to kick her heroin addiction and stay clean after giving birth to a little boy – at this time Mallory is a rough-looking but young and…

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  • A German Youth

    A German Youth

    (Original Title: Une Jeunesse Allemande) “Terrorism is age-old, but its form has changed”, states Ulrike Meinhof. For the German activist, terrorism is the restriction of freedom that governments and their never-ending love for capitalism are slyly imposing on the people….

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  • The Letters

    The Letters

    (Original Title: Las Letras) Las Letras is so abstract that only in a purely theoretical way can it be described as a documentary and fit into this insane world that is characterized by the same kind of abstractness as this…

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  • Best of Enemies

    Best of Enemies

    Ι was so excited when I saw this year’s schedule of the Athens International Film Festival: Opening Nights, and this documentary was definitely one of the main reasons for this excitement. And it didn’t disappoint in the slightest. Best Of…

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  • Life May Be

    Life May Be

    Mark Cousins gave a lecture on the art of the video essay during my time at Edinburgh University. The director and film buff extraordinaire is probably most well-known for his Channel 4 documentary The Story of Film. Last year he delighted…

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  • What Our Fathers Did

    What Our Fathers Did

    Human Rights Lawyer Philippe Sands spends his days fighting for justice in courts of law. Directed by David Evans, What Our Fathers Did  documents his journey across Europe to different places which hold historical significance for their roles in the extermination of 6…

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  • The Thin Blue Line

    The Thin Blue Line

    The magic of the films of Errol Morris partly can be found in his ability to truly and honestly interview his subjects; at times it seems that his talents as an interviewer know no bounds – by observing each interview…

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  • A Sinner in Mecca

    A Sinner in Mecca

    Sexuality, religion, barbarity and spirituality all come under discussion in A Sinner in Mecca – Parvez Sharma’s follow up to his début A Jihad for Love. Being both a homosexual man and devout Muslim, Sharma explores the supposed contradictions of his sexuality…

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  • Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon

    Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon

    The clue’s in the title. Documenting the rise of the National Lampoon magazine and its prominence within outrageous humour and American pop-culture, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon is the tale of one of contemporary American comedies most…

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Reel Insights

Don’t forget to check out our partner film blog,
Hannah McHaffie’s Reel Insights

 The documentary’s intense focus on The Battle of Chile makes it, in some sense, a political film. But it is also a filmmaker’s film; its audience is given an opportunity to watch as an expert filmmaker lets us into his craft, sharing his vision, discussing all of his documentaries, new and old, while for parts of the documentary, the camera focuses on the filmmaking process itself, as Guzman works as though nobody were sitting in his workspace. Read more

Reviews

  • Total Performance

    Total Performance

    Sean Meehan sat down to write Total Performance with a unique idea. As the pieces start to come together, one feels a pleasurable burst of relief – Total Performance is not another story that doesn’t go somewhere, because its foundation…

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  • What the Doctor Ordered

    What the Doctor Ordered

    Audrey Noone enjoys presenting snippets of real life situations, and real relationships – either that between a mother and her son, like in The Look, or as is the case in her latest, the relationship between husband and wife. Considerable…

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  • Here Lies Joe

    Here Lies Joe

    Mark Battle’s Here Lies Joe is an ambitious short film because it deals with suicide. The very existence of suicide has been termed “the one truly serious philosophical problem” by the writer Albert Camus, and indeed it is. When asked…

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  • The Cleaner

    The Cleaner

    Tofiq Rzayev’s The Cleaner possesses what makes all of the filmmaker’s films forceful and endearing – a reliable hybrid of toughness and warmth, hardness and softness. Brief spurts of comedy flash amidst dry and honest images of strangers interacting, coming…

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  • American Splendor

    American Splendor

    The film opens on a brief flashback in Harvey Pekar’s childhood in which he concludes that everybody is stupid; the flashback smoothly merges into the seventies when Pekar (Paul Giamatti) is on the cusp of creating American Splendor. We meet…

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  • The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

    The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

    As are all of John Cassavetes’s central characters, Cosmo is someone you want to follow. There is nothing particularly intriguing about his character, but the simplicity with which he goes about his business and the pride he has for his…

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  • Mistress America

    Mistress America

    The same team that made us lose our minds over Frances and fall in love with New York City all over again in Frances Ha, did it again with Mistress America, which was screened in this year’s Athens International Film…

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  • Life

    Life

    I saw Life, Anton Corbijn’s latest film about James Dean and his friendship with a Life Magazine reporter, during this year’s Athens International Film Festival / Opening Nights, on the 60th anniversary of James Dean. I was beyond excited to…

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  • Brooklyn

    Brooklyn

    Eilis Lacey is a bright-eyed and fresh-faced young Irish girl, working in a village food store, when we first meet her. It’s apparent from the off-set that, although devoted to her family and home, Eilis longs for greater things beyond…

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Rarely does a debut feature reach the ambitious heights of Miroslav Slaboshpitsky’s The Tribe. With its bleak aesthetic and harrowing themes of abuse, sexual exploitation, violence and manipulation, this Ukrainian horror drama portrays the cruel happenings in a boarding school for deaf students.

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The two most important qualities in a person, according to 93-year-old fashion icon Iris, are a sense of humour and curiosity. That’s what still keeps her alive and kicking, working and dressing like mad, in love with her 100-year-old witty husband Carl. He calls her child and cheers for his “young wife”…

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Unsung Cult

 

Aside from cinematography and special effects, The Birds is a remarkable feat of storytelling; like many great novels, the central theme often takes the backseat, as the author, or in this case the filmmaker, plays around with additional little details involving the story’s characters and their personal lives…

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Unsung 90s

 

What a wistful, loving and heartrending portrayal of a young man; what a poignant story of an impoverished Glasgow neighbourhood during a dustman’s strike in the early seventies. The very talented Lynne Ramsay merges the gritty realism of British cinema with a strange sense of the unreal…

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Unsung Travel

 

It’s the kind of premise that lets you know a great story is on the way. Though the odds are never quite out of sight, Ride Report maintains an upbeat tempo that brings us along with Tiernan Turner and Matt Kendall as they sail over their obstacles in a kind of majestic cocksureness…

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