Head South

Source: Dougal Holmes

‘Head South’

The 2024 International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) will open with  Jonathan Ogilvie’s post-punk coming-of-age comedy Head South on January 25.   

New Zealand director Ogilvie returns to IFFR with Head South, a semi-autobiographical film that centres a private schoolboy who becomes desperately enamoured with all things post-punk in 1979 Christchurch. Ogilvie’s last film Lone Wolf screened in the festival’s Big Screen Competition in 2021.

The festival has also confirmed some of the first titles to play in its programme, along with details about industry event IFFR Pro Days.

Ishan Shukla’s dystopian sci-fi animation Schirkoa: In Lies We Trust has its world premiere at IFFR in the Bright Futures section. Also world premiering at the festival is Billy Woodberry’s Mário, a biography of Mário de Andrade, a key figure in African independence struggles.

First confirmations also include the European premieres of So Unreal by Amanda Kramer and Elegies by Ann Hui.

Egypt’s Oscars submission Voy! Voy! Voy! by Omar Hilal has its European premiere.

The IFFR Pro Days runs from January 26 to January 31. The 41st edition of IFFR’s co-production market CineMart begins on January 28.

The IFFR Press Conference announcing competitions and programme lineup takes place on December 18.

Vanja Kaludjercic, IFFR festival director, said: “As we near the finalising stage of the IFFR 2024 programme, we are delighted with how it is shaping up, and no more so than with our opening night. With Head South, Jonathan Ogilvie returns to the festival with an unpredictable coming-of-age story that delights in its shifting tone.”

Clare Stewart, IFFR managing director, added: “The strength and courage of the Tiger have prevailed as we work to shape the 2024 edition of IFFR. Like film festivals everywhere, we face significant challenges and our focus is on continuing to rebuild resources, consolidate partnerships and diversify audiences. We are buoyed by the enormous goodwill of our vibrant, film-loving city, and hugely grateful to the funders and partners who enable IFFR to remain a fierce defender and champion of independent filmmakers and artists at a time when the world needs diverse stories more than ever.”

IFFR will run from January 25 to February 4.