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International Film Festival Rotterdam

Combining within its organisation the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Hubert Bals Fund and co-production market CineMart, IFFR offers a launching pad and supportive platform for innovative and talented independent filmmakers.


Local curators and cinematic heritage at IFFR 2023


International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has announced the latest titles for its 52nd edition. The Cinema Regained programme creates a sphere of collective remembrance for cinematic heritage, offering restored classics, documentaries on film culture, archival discoveries and more. The first titles in the programme are announced for 2023, including the world premiere of a documentary from Mika Taanila and Sami van Ingen, the grandson of Robert Flahtery. IFFR’s Rotterdam-dedicated programme RTM also has its first titles, programmed for the first time by three local guest curators. 

Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic: “It's rewarding and moving to see the different parts of this year's programme taking shape in line with our ongoing mission. The Cinema Regained programme promises to be a bold and adventurous exploration of the actuality of film history from all over the world. On the local front, for the first time this year we have invited three Rotterdam creatives to curate our RTM programme. Through their fresh perspectives and respective networks we continue to foster and enhance local connections, while celebrating all the uniqueness this amazing city has to offer.” 

Cinema Regained

The festival’s programme for cinematic heritage presents a myriad of discoveries at IFFR 2023. Originally from India, Rajendra Gour was Singapore’s pioneering independent filmmaker. From the experimental anti-war Eyes (1967), the lyrical city portrait Sunshine Singapore (1972) and his sole work as a screenwriter for the fiction feature I Want to Live (1970; M. Amin), IFFR presents his complete existing filmography. 

From Mexico in 1970 comes René Cardona’s Santo contra los jinetes del terror, a monument of masked wrestling cinema which has been freshly digitally restored complete with previously unreleased scenes. Ömer Kavur was one of Turkey’s most celebrated contemporary filmmakers and is the subject of Fırat Özeler’s documentary Kavur, which has its world premiere at IFFR 2023. Accompanying the film is the first screening of a newly discovered 1971 short from Kavur, The Porter.

IFFR regular Mika Taanila and Sami van Ingen, the great-grandson of documentary grandmaster Robert Flaherty, bring the world premiere of Monica in the South Seas. The experimental documentary on the pursuit of Monica Flaherty to add sound to her father’s 1926 Moana, more than half a century after the film was shot. The result, Moana with Sound (1980) also screens.

More about Cinema Regained here.


Clockwise, stills from the films: Eyes, Kavur, Monica in the South Seas, Santo contra los jinetes del terror  


The RTM programme gives the stage to local films and talent. Three local creatives have been given the freedom to programme the RTM Day which takes over LantarenVenster on Friday 27 January 2023. Actress and filmmaker Cheryl Ashruf, designer and digital landscaper Noémi Biró, and actor and creative producer Nizar El Manouzi will together curate the programme. 

After New Neapolis (IFFR 2020), Gyz La Riviére returns to the festival with the world premiere of another speculative feature documentary on the city – this time turning his attention to the links between Rotterdam and China in Malin TV

Diana Al-Halabi takes us from the port of Rotterdam to that of Beirut in The Disaster Cannot Be Contained. Her documentary short weaves together the filmmaker’s dreams with the trauma of the 2020 explosion. Filantropia is an energetic documentary from Bouba Dola on the immersive, disruptive performance collective Grand Lodge, an initiative of the Rotterdam theatre maker Tjon Rockon that incorporates street culture and urban talent.

Also screening in the RTM selection will be the winner of the RTM Pitch for 2022Fantoomwijk by Ravi Sandberg – a short interdisciplinary film about the filmmaker’s former neighbourhood, the Tweebosbuurt in Rotterdam. In July 2022 the project was awarded a programme of expert guidance and €20,000 financed by the municipality of Rotterdam to bring it to reality for its world premiere at IFFR 2023. 

Read more about our RTM guest curators here.

IFFR 2023 RTM curators   

More Harbour confirmations

New titles continue to be added to IFFR’s largest and broadest festival programme, Harbour. Don Palathara’s nuanced, finely observed portrait of a devout Christian community in Kerala in Southern India, Family, will have its world premiere. Ukrainian filmmaker Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk will present his Hubert Bals Fund-supported and EFA-nominated Pamfir. The surreal and quirky Convenience Story by Japanese filmmaker Miki Satoshi will have its European premiere. 

Still from the film Pamfir  

Cinema Regained first titles: 

RTM first titles:

  • Deeply, Madly, Helen Anna Flanagan, 2022, Netherlands, world premiere (festival)
  • The Disaster Cannot Be Contained, Diana Al-Halabi, 2022, Netherlands, Lebanon, international premiere
  • Fantoomwijk, Ravi Sandberg, 2023, Netherlands, world premiere
  • Filantropia, Bouba Dola, 2023, Netherlands, world premiere
  • Fin. Finito. Infinito., Laurence Henriquez, 2022, Spain, Netherlands
  • Malin TV, Gyz La Rivière, 2023, Netherlands, world premiere
  • Nani, Jeske Maas, 2022, Netherlands



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About International Film Festival Rotterdam

Combining within its organisation the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Hubert Bals Fund and co-production market CineMart, IFFR offers a launching pad and supportive platform for innovative and talented independent filmmakers.



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