Festival will close with Nettheim’s The Hunter, a former CineMart project.

The 2012 International Film Festival Rotterdam will open Jan 25 with the world premiere of Lucas Belvaux’s 38 Witnesses (38 Temoins) from France.

Yvan Attal, Sophie Quinton and Nicole Garcia star in the story of a woman who returns from a business trip to discover that her street was the scene of a crime, while her husband was apparantly asleep. Belvaux [pictured], the Belgian-born actor-turned-director, wrote the script for his seventh film based on Didier Decoin’s novel Est-ce ainsi que les femmes meurent?.

38 Témoins was produced by Patrick Sobelman (Agat Films), Patrick Quinet (Artemis) and Attal. Films Distribution is handling sales and Diaphana will release in France.

Rutger Wolfson, Director of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, said of the film: “Lucas Belvaux brings us an excellently written and directed film that is not only tense but also moving and offering food for thought. He makes us very clear what may be the consequences of emotions like fear and shame. Just like in his strong Grenoble-triptych in 2002 and his dramatic Rapt in 2009, Belvaux knows how to capture life’s complexities in beautiful cinema.”

On Feb 4, IFFR will close with Daniel Nettheim’s The Hunter, starring Willem Dafoe, Frances O’Connor and Sam Neill. The Australian psychological drama about a mercenary on a hunt for the last Tasmanian tiger was formerly pitched in Rotterdam’s 2004 CineMart co-production market.