1999 Rotterdam Film Festival Reveals Initial Main Program
Screenings, Filmmaker Focus, and Exploding Cinema Plans
by Eugene Hernandez
Plans for the 28th Rotterdam Film Festival are taking shape as
organizers prepare for the 1999 installment that runs January 27 -
February 7. The festival's main program will include numerous premieres
of European films, including "Run Lola Run" by Tom Tykwer, Nanni
Moretti's "Aprile," John Maybury's "Love is the Devil" and "Fin Aout,
Debut Septembre" by Olivier Assayas. From Asia, the program will include
"The Hole" (Taiwan) by Tsai Ming-liang and "After Life" by Japanese
director Hirokazu Kore-eda. Chinese films set to screen are "Xiao Wu" by
Jia Zhangke and Wang Guangli's "Maiden Work." Also showing are the
controversial, Jang Sun-Woo's "Timeless, Bottomless, Bad Movie" from
Korea, Balkan filmmaker Goran Paskaljevic's award-winning "Powder Keg,"
and Gaspar Noe's "Seul Contre Tous" and Philippe Grandrieux's "Sombre,"
both from France. Additionally, Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's
"The Silence" will show, as will his daughter Samira Makhmalbaf's "Sib"
("The Apple") which screened at the 1998 Cannes and Toronto
International Film Festivals. Also premiering are "Leaf on a Pillow" by
Garin Nughroho (Indonesia, 1998). The film was produced by the actress
Christine Hakim, who served on Rotterdam's Tiger jury last year and acts
in the film.
Another sixteen new feature films that have received support from the
Hubert Bals Fund will screen in the main program, among them are: "La
Sueur Des Palmiers" by Egyptian filmmaker Radwan El Kashef, "The May
Lady" by Rakshan Bani-Etemad from Iran and "Adieu Forain" by Morocco's
Three filmmakers will be spotlighted in the "Filmmakers in Focus"
section: Already selected are Italians Daniele Cipri and Franco Maresco,
makers of the new film, "Toto, Che Visse due Volte" ("Toto, Who Lived
Twice"). Other special showcases include "After the Fall of The Wall"
with "a survey of ten years of cinematography in Eastern Europe and the
ex-Soviet republics after the Wall came down" and "Thai Crime Films, "
offering a look at "B-film genres and popular cinema from different
Rotterdam's "Exploding Cinema" section "heralds the most important
trends on the cutting edge between film, television, art and new media."
Recognizing 1998 digital feature accomplishments as "precursors of
significant changes in the aesthetics, narrative structure and editing
of classical filmmaking," the section will offer screenings of Hal
Hartley's "Book of Life," Paul Wagner's "Windhorse," and Stefan and
Avalos and Lance Weiler's "The Last Broadcast" which be shown at the
festival via satellite. Additionally, the festival will host panels,
lectures and presentations that explore the impact of the digital new
wave. Finally, the section will also offer an installation entitled
"Dissemination" by Sawad Brooks, and a performance by a Japanese band --
Wiggle -- that have never met but play together on the Internet.
Running alongside the festival is Cinemart, the festival's annual
co-production market, which will run from January 31 - February 4, 1999.
The international advisory board for Cinemart includes Dora Bouchoucha
(Nomadis Images/Carthage Film Festival-Tunisia), Jeremy Nathan (Primedia
Pictures Pty-South Africa), Jorge Sanchez (Macondo Cine
Video/Producciones Amaranta-Mexico), Wouter Barendrecht (Fortissimo Film
Sales-Hong Kong), Keith Griffiths (Illuminations Films-UK), Claudie
Cheval (ACE/Ateliers du Cinema Europeen-France), Ryclef Rienstra (Dutch
Film Fund-The Netherlands), Georges Goldenstern (La Sept
Cinema/Arte-France), Tsukeda Naoko (Pony Canyon Inc.-Japan), Juan Gordon
(Esicma-Spain), Valerio de Paolis (BIM Distribuzione-Italy), Christa
Saredi (Christa Saredi World Sales-Switzerland), Karl Baumgartner
(Pandora Film-Germany) and Scott Macaulay (Forensic Films-US).
[For more information, visit the festival website at: