IFFR 2022 to take place fully online due to pandemic concerns
by David Katz
- The festival is set to be held from 26 January-6 February, in compliance with the Netherlands’ current health-and-safety guidance
UPDATE (22 December 2021): The festival has announced the decision to host an adapted festival programme online in response to growing concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant across Europe and a nationwide lockdown in the Netherlands, in effect from Sunday 19 December. The 51st edition will offer audiences a selection of films, available in the Netherlands, and IFFR Talks, available worldwide, on IFFR.com.
During this calendar year, festival watchers have been hoping for an end to alterations and spontaneous changes, but we’re far from out of the mire yet. International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announced yesterday that two of its flagship industry events, CineMart and Rotterdam Lab (both part of IFFR Pro Days), will be moved entirely online, owing to the current growth in COVID-19 cases across the country. A detailed announcement on Pro Days, incorporating the full CineMart selection, will be unveiled on 16 December, whilst the full competition line-up is on its way later than usual, on 7 January.
Still, the festival is confident that it will be hosting a full edition for press and audiences, its first in its usual January slot since the commencement of the pandemic. Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic said in a statement: “We are closely monitoring the developments in the Netherlands and already anticipate that the circumstances as well as the governmental restrictions put in place to combat the current wave of COVID-19 will have an impact on the shape of IFFR 2022. How exactly our festival will be adapted is something that our entire team is working on right now, and we will be able to share more at our press conference on Friday 7 January. In spite of these continuous challenges, we carry on adapting an exciting programme for our film-loving community.”
To expand on the two industry events, now to be conducted remotely, CineMart will present a selection of 15 strong and unique projects – “independent arthouse films with market potential”, in the festival’s own words. A mentoring scheme connects the selected creatives with seasoned experts, who will help the projects find further creative and financial partners. The Rotterdam Lab is set up to build emerging producers’ networking and experience, a specific initiative of CineMart.
Meanwhile, the festival is pressing on with announcing various sections of its programme, including retrospectives for US experimental and feminist filmmaker Amanda Kramer, emerging Chinese auteur Qiu Jiongjiong (whose A New Old Play [+see also:
film profile] was recently awarded at Locarno) and acclaimed Japanese animator Yuasa Masaaki. Already-announced world premieres include Julián Génisson’s Inmotep, Fabrizio Ferraro's I morti rimangono con la bocca aperta and Alberto De Michele’s The Last Ride of the Wolves in the Bright Future section, a new Steve McQueen installation, Sunshine State, made in collaboration with Kunsthal Rotterdam, plus various new works in the mid-length (sub-63 minute) and short strands.
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