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FESTIVALS Netherlands

Rotterdam ready to roll

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Rotterdam ready to roll

The festival year 2006 seriously gets underway today with the start of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, where, as the advertising campaign promises, one “discovers filmmakers before they are famous”. Tonight’s opening film is the meta cinema experiment Heart, beating in the dark from Rotterdam discovery Nagasaki Shunichi, who is this year’s Filmmaker in Focus. The main Tiger Awards competition features 14 films from upcoming directors, with a staggering 10 European (co-)productions.

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Three films will go home with a Tiger Award when the festival ends on 5 February. France and Spain are in the running with one production and two co-productions each, with the UK following with two and Poland and the Netherlands both providing one entry (see our official selection news). This year’s jury consists of Portuguese producer Paulo Branco, South Korean cineaste and former culture minister Lee Chang-Dong, Argentinean filmmaker Martín Rejtman, Belgian director Patrice Toye and Pierre Audi, director of the Dutch Opera/Holland Festival. A “limited summer edition” of the festival will take place during the Holland Festival in Amsterdam this June.

There are no less than 370 filmmakers announced to be in town for the competition and its numerous sidebars including Sturm und Drang (showcasing work from new and innovative filmmakers), Maestros: Kings and Aces (focusing on author cinema including Haneke), Time and Tide (where “the pulse of world cinema can be felt”) and the intriguing one-off section called White Light, which investigates hallucinating and narco cinema and includes a mini-retrospective of Philippe Garrel. Many professionals will also attend the Cinemart co-production market, which runs from January 29 through February 2. European Film Promotion will host two talk shows featuring the nine upcoming directors of their Passions and Promises campaign; interviews with the nonet will be available on Cineuropa soon.

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