The world premiere of Dirty God by Dutch filmmaker Sacha Polak (Hemel, Zurich) will open the 2019 edition of International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) on Jan 23.
Polak is the first Dutch director to be selected for the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at Sundance, where it will screen following its Rotterdam premiere.
The film revolves around a young woman (a debut role for Vicky Knight) dealing with motherhood in contemporary London. Producers are the UK’s Mike Elliott of EMU Films with Belgium’s A Private View and Dutch outfit Viking. Backing came from Netherlands Film Fund, Netherlands Production Incentive, BFI, BBC Films, Eurimages, VAF, Casa Kafka, and the Irish Film Board.
Dirty God was part of BoostNL during IFFR’s CineMart in 2016. Polak’s feature debut Hemel (2012) screened at the Berlin International Film Festival where it won the FIPRESCI award. Her second feature, Zurich (2015), also screened in Berlin, winning the C.I.C.A.E award. Dirty God is Polak’s English-language debut.
London-based Independent handles sales on the title. Deals to date include France with The Jokers Films, and for Benelux with Cinéart.
Titles already confirmed for IFFR include Capernaum by Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, Claire Denis’s space thriller High Life and Jia Zhangke’s Ash Is Purest White. German filmmaker Simona Kostova’s debut feature Thirty (Dreissig) will have its world premiere at the festival whilst Fabienne Godet’s drama Our Wonderful Lives will get its international premiere.
IFFR takes place from Jan 23 to Feb 3.