Five films to screen at festival and in more than 36 cinemas/VOD platforms as part of new Rotterdam initiative.

The International Film Festival Rotterdam has added the world premiere of The Sky Above Us to its new IFFR Live programme.

Marinus Groothof makes his feature directorial debut with the story of three Serbian nationals living in fear during the 1999 NATO bombing of Belgrade. CTM Pictures produces and Doc & Film handles world sales.

The new IFFR Live programme presents five film premieres during the festival to simultaneously screen in more than 36 cinemas and VOD platforms across Europe. That includes launches in the UK, Italy, Spain, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia and the Netherlands (see list of venues below).

For The Sky Above Us, Dutch telecom provider KPN will stream the film live on interactive TV in The Netherlands timed to its Jan 28 festival launch and offer its subscribers the opportunity to view the film and participate in a live, free Q&A session via Twitter. After the premiere, the film will be accessible on KPN’s VoD platform during the festival.

The full IFFR programme is now:

  • January 24 Atlantic. (Jan-Willem van Ewijk)
  • January 25 Erbarme Dich - Matthäus Passion Stories (Ramón Gieling)
  • January 26 Melody (Bernard Bellefroid)
  • January 27 Speed Walking (Niels Arden Oplev)
  • January 28 The Sky Above Us (Marinus Groothof)

Festival director Rutger Wolfson said: “The Sky Above Us was part of the co-production market at CineMart in 2011, so we are thrilled that following its development at IFFR the film is now returning to make its World Premiere here. In addition, it will be part of one of the most exciting initiatives of the last few years here at IFFR – IFFR Live and we know audiences across Europe will love the film.”

Groothof added: “I was deeply touched by the story of a Serbian friend, who told me about her experiences during the NATO bombings in Belgrade. For the first time ever I felt connected to someone who had lived through this. Based on her story I made my short film Sunset From A Rooftop in 2009, but felt I was not yet finished with this subject. The way people managed to mentally survive that period kept fascinating me. The Sky Above Us studies the way ordinary people maintain their daily routines, while imprisoned in a violent and absurd situation. I am very proud that my film will have its world premiere at IFFR and to be part of such a great initiative as IFFR Live!”

The sites confirmed for IFFR are:

  • During IFFR: De Rotterdamse Schouwburg.
  • UK: Eden Court (Inverness), Dundee Contemporary Arts, Glasgow Film Theatre, Phoenix (Leicester), Watershed (Bristol).
  • Italy: Zenith (Perugia).
  • Spain: Zum Zeig (Barcelona).
  • Poland: Kino Nowe Horyzonty (Wroclaw), Kino Muza (Poznan), Kino Swiatowid (Katowice), Kino Forum (Bialystok), Kino Muranow (Warsaw).
  • Serbia: Cinema Fontana (Belgrade), Eurocinema Subotica, Kupina Bioskop (Nis).
  • Slovenia: Kinodvor (Ljubljana).
  • The Netherlands: Verkadefabriek (’s-Hertogenbosch), Filmhuis Lumen (Delft), Rialto (Amsterdam), Groninger Forum, Filmhuis Bussum, Chassé Cinema (Breda), Filmhuis Movie-W (Wageningen), Concordia Film Theater en Expositie (Enschede), Filmtheater Hilversum, Filmhuis Den Haag, Filmtheater ’t Hoogt (Utrecht), LUX Nijmegen, Filmhuis de Keizer (Deventer), Slieker Film (Leeuwarden), Filmtheater Lumière (Maastricht), Focus Filmtheater Arnhem, Natlab_door_plaza_futura (Eindhoven).