During Toronto International Film Festival, Bero Beyer announced his plans for the 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). One innovation is that eight films will compete in the Hivos Tiger Awards Competition for a single Hivos Tiger Award worth €40,000, to be shared by director and producer. In addition, a special jury award worth €10,000 will be presented to an exceptional artistic achievement within the competition. Previously, approximately 15 films competed for three equal awards of € 15,000.
‘We aim to focus as much attention and as well as we can on the best, the most innovative, original and challenging works by filmmakers’, said Bero Beyer, who will be taking up the role of festival director at IFFR 2016. ‘This is why we have not only increased the prize money, but also chosen a structure in which we will put a new “Tiger” in the spotlight every day. At IFFR, we strive to celebrate and honor exceptional films and makers, and give them the maximum possible attention.’
The film “History’s Future” by filmmaker and artist Fiona Tan is the first of eight films to be selected for the Hivos Tigers Award Competition. Beyer: ‘I am particularly happy that, with Fiona Tan’s “History’s Future,” we will be able to present the world premiere of such a cinematographically strong film. The maker’s unique way of working and distinct voice as an auteur make this a marvellous, engaging and intriguing film. The kind of envelope-pushing experience Rotterdam has always promoted.’ Tan’s screenplay, written with renowned film critic Jonathan Romney, attracted top acting talent including Mark O’Halloran (“Calvary”), Denis Lavant (“Holy Motors,” “Beau Travail”) and Johanna ter Steege (“Spoorloos,” “Tirza”). Part fiction, documentary and an essay probing the world of today, “History’s Future” is about a man’s odyssey through the turbulence of Europe – and his own spirit. The project had been selected by IFFR’s CineMart in 2013.
IFFR is proud that Hivos will once again be the main sponsor of the festival for the coming years. Through support for the Hubert Bals Fund and the Hivos Tiger Award, the organization contributes to the development of artistic film productions as a means of expressing social criticism. The Hivos Tiger Awards Competition was set up in 1995 with the aim of discovering, raising the profile of and recognising emerging international film talent. The awards are presented by an expert jury.
The streamlined Hivos Tiger Awards Competition will be part of a more contextualized program, in which films are selected and presented for their character and spirit. All of the films that will screen at IFFR 2016 will be included in one of four program sections.The first of these will present new film talent through innovative, daring and original films, some of which will be included in the competition. The second section will contain inspirational films by established makers. Often these films already have a distributor and will screen in arthouse cinemas after the festival and are aimed at a broad audience. Beyer: ‘IFFR has always played an important role in launching exceptional films and supporting distribution. In addition, we will be looking for ways to optimize this role, for example through the IFFR Live project, initiated in 2014, in which five titles were simultaneously screened in forty cinemas throughout Europe.’
The third program section will use master classes, retrospectives and special programs to go deeper into the world of cinema and provide more context.
And in the fourth section, filmmakers and critics will explore the landscape of film from various angles and the overlaps between film, television and other media will be investigated. The names of these sections and more film titles will be announced in the near future