Sandraden Hamer (pictured) is to succeed Simon Field as the sole director of the InternationalFilmfestival of Rotterdam (IFFR). den Hamer has been co-director with Field forthe last three years, and the two will be jointly responsible for the nextfestival (Jan 21-Feb 1, 2004) before she takes charge on March 1.

DenHamer has been at Rotterdam since 1986 and she has worked closely with all theprevious directors including Hubert Bals, Anne Head, Marco Muller and EmileFallaux. Her first role was as co-ordinator of CineMart in 1986 and she movedto become deputy director of IFFR in 1992, followed by co-director in 2000.

Herappointment came after months of speculation in which IFFR was canvassing thefilm world for successors to Field. "After discussions with several big-shotsfrom the international filmworld, we decided that Sandra was by far the bestcandidate," said IFFR chairman Hans Van Beers. "Especially her expertise indealing with the Hubert Bals Fund and the Cinemart has given her a biginternationalreputation that is important for the festival".

DenHamer made it clear yesterday at a press-conference in Rotterdam that she will expandthe responsibilities of the seven-person programming staff of the festival. Shesays she regards her future as director more as an editor-in-chief. "In thefuture the festival will contain more signatures than the director's. We willgive our programmers more space to establish themselves."Den Hamerherself plansto concentrate her work more on the Tiger Award part of theFestival.

After eight years on the jobSimon Field will leave Rotterdam after the next festival. o:p>