IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam) Live returns in 2016 with 5 films that will have their premieres during the 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam, simultaneously screening in more than forty cinemas worldwide, in addition to live online audiences.
Like last year, filmmakers will be present at the premieres in Rotterdam. All viewers, whether in a cinema in the Netherlands, England, Italy, Poland, Canada or elsewhere in the world, can take part in the Q&A session after the film, on Twitter, allowing them to sample the festival atmosphere wherever they are. Every Q&A will be further enhanced by additional live elements, such as music.
One of the films set to screen as part of IFFR Live is Tunisian filmmaker Leyla Bouzid’s impressive debut feature film, “As I Open My Eyes” which is set in the summer of 2010, on the eve of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, and follows Farah, a rebellious 18-year-old. Her over-protective mother wants her to study medicine, but fearless Farah prefers to sing with an underground band. When the police are alerted to the band’s subversive performances, and begin to harass them, Farah is detained and interrogated, and she begins to realize that one of her friends is a snitch.
Baya Medhaffer and Ghalia Benali star in the film.
Inspired by the filmmaker’s personal experience, “As I Open My Eyes” (a France, Tunisia, Belgium, United Arab Emirates co-production) won the Best European Film at the Venice Film Festival last fall, and continues to travel. Reactions to the film after its early film screenings were stellar. Toronto (TIFF) called it a “remarkably accomplished first film,” directed “with unflagging honesty and an impeccable eye for detail,” adding that “Bouzid’s behind-the-camera talent is complemented by Iraqi musician Khyam Allami’s compositions and Ghassen Amami’s hard-hitting lyrics, and by the engaging, truthful performances of the cast – particularly Medhaffer, a joy to watch on stage as the fiery Farah, sharing a marvelous onscreen chemistry with celebrated singer-performer Benali.”
The second edition of IFFR Live (a collaboration between IFFR, Fortissimo Films, TrustNordisk, Doc & Film International, Les Films du Losange and Bob Film Sweden AB) will take place from January 29 to 31.
An English subtitled trailer for “As I Open My Eyes” (“À peine j’ouvre les yeux”) has surfaced and is embedded below: