EXCLUSIVE: New festival director Bero Beyer to implement more changes to IFFR’s structure.


International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has shaken up its programme structure ahead of its 45th edition (Jan 27-Feb 7) and named eight titles selected for the line-up including Jerzy Skolimowski’s 11 Minutes, Alexander Sokurov’s Francofonia and Steve Oram’s Aaaaaaaah!.

The programme, which was previously split between 14 sections, has been streamlined into four strands: Bright Future, Voices, Deep Focus and Perspectives.

New festival director Bero Beyer said the change was made to “provide more context and clarity for visitors to the festival”.

“In recent years, IFFR has found a good balance between the number of films shown and the breadth of the cinematic spectrum,” said Beyer.

“Every festival has to strike the right balance to deliver quality programming and generate the right kind of attention for each film it shows, long or short. Our task now is to provide more context and clarity for visitors to the festival.

“The four clear sections we have created each have their own atmosphere, style, colour and tone. This allows visitors and film professionals alike to better decide how they want to be surprised, entertained or challenged.”

It marks the latest change implemented under Beyer, who was named as the replacement for Rutger Wolfson in May.

Beyer’s first major change was reducing the number of competition titles from 15 to eight and consolidating the prize money it offers from three equal awards of €15,000 to a single Hivos Tiger Award worth €40,000.

As previously announced, the first of eight films to be selected for the Hivos Tiger Competition is History’s Future, by director and artist Fiona Tan.

The four programme sections are:

Bright Future

The Bright Future section is for films by makers who enrich the cinematographic landscape with highly individual, innovative work. These are often talented, young, up-and-coming directors who are developing their own style and vision, which involves taking risks with original, often daring work. The festival’s flagship Hivos Tiger Awards Competition is part of Bright Future.

Confirmed films: Of Shadows (Yi Cui); NUTS! The Brinkley Story (Penny Lane)


The Voices section is for films distinguished by mature quality and powerful, relevant content. Voices consists of new works of mostly established filmmakers with distinctive voices, presenting inspirational films. In Limelight, part of Voices, IFFR works with Dutch distributors to support the release of a selection of approximately thirty films.

Confirmed films: 11 Minutes (Jerzy Skolimowski); Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson)

Deep Focus

The Deep Focus section takes an in-depth look at the work of filmmakers who have an extensive oeuvre; at individual and collected works by film auteurs who through their work build bridges between the old and the new. Deep Focus creates contrast, also by screening retrospectives and offering masterclasses. Regained is part of Deep Focus, which gives interpretation and context to historical works, by for example rediscovering classics.

Confirmed films: The Event (Sergei Loznitsa); Malgré la nuit (Philippe Grandrieux)


In its Perspectives section, IFFR examines itself and the conventions of film in terms of content, criticism, geography, portal or form, seen from different perspectives. Here the interzones where visual art, games, installations and other forms of media influence cinema are scrutinised and shown. Critics’ Choice,in which film journalists select films they consider essential at IFFR and provide their own context and criticism to these, is part of Perspectives.

Confirmed films: Aaaaaaaah! (Steve Oram); Francofonia (Alexander Sokurov)

The thematic programme Signals will be represented throughout the new sections. Signals provide an umbrella narrative running through the festival programme, making contributions to social, artistic or political issues.

This year’s Signals theme will be announced shortly, according to the festival.

Last year’s IFFR included 227 features and 253 shorts.