The Rotterdam Festival(IFFR) is to downsize, festival director Sandra den Hamer has confirmed inCannes.

Aiming torecapture some of the intimacy which characterised the festival's early yearsunder founder Hubert Bals, Den Hamer says she is planning to cut the programmeby around 20%.

"One of the biggest challenges for me isto make it a little smaller so we can give the films we select the attentionthey deserve."

One of the biggest publicfilm festivals in the world, Rotterdam this yearattracted 358,000 admissions to its films, exhibitions, debates, talk shows andother festival events and invited close to 2,600 guests.

Numbers arelikely to fall by around 20% next year.

Though IFFR(which takes place in late January) is more than seven months away, den Hamer(on the Certain Regard jury) gave details of one innovative sidebar theFestival will be organising in 2006.

Under theworking title, "White Light," IFFR will hold a programme which explores thelinks between cinema and hallucinogenic drugs.

Several titlesin official selection in Cannes are also bound to surface in Rotterdam.

IFFR's HubertBals Fund, which supports filmmakers from developing countries, has backedseveral titles in official selection in Cannes, among then Mexican auteurCarlos Reygadas' Battle In Heaven and Amat Escalante's Certain Regard entry,Sangre.

As part of itscollaboration with Tiscali, the festival will continue to make certain titlesin selection available to watch on its website.

In recent years,many of IFFR's ideas - in particular its CineMart co-production market - havebeen copied by rival festivals.

Den Hamersuggests that this can only benefit filmmakers and that IFFR should respond bystriking alliances with its imitators.

Here on theCroisette, it is partnering on the "Producers' Network," which allowsfilmmakers selected for Rotterdam to gain admission to the Cannes market.