International Film Festival Rotterdam

International Film Festival Rotterdam

IFFR logo
Location Rotterdam, Netherlands
Founded 1972
Awards Tiger Award

The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) is an annual film festival held in various cinemas in Rotterdam, Netherlands[1] at the end of January. Since its founding in 1972, it has become one of the most important events in the film world, maintaining its focus on independent and experimental filmmaking by emerging talents and established auteurs.[2] The festival also has a unique focus on presenting cutting edge media art and artist's film, with most of the participants in the short film program identified as artists or experimental filmmakers.[3][4] IFFR also hosts CineMart, for film producers to seek funding.


The International Film Festival Rotterdam management emphasizes diversity in its film programming and on building relationships with and between filmmakers and audiences. Rather than red-carpet events, the festival's design is to encourage film makers to mingle with attendees. As a result, the festival claims having "a unique atmosphere" and a "fiercely loyal following" locally and internationally - around 90% of tickets are sold to regular supporters.

The festival is described as having "a serious commitment to film lovers and film making - screenings are shown without 'popcorn breaks', trailers or other commercials. This sense of purpose plays a crucial role in attracting the best directors to the event, allowing it to forge a reputation for diversity, discovery and innovation."


The first festival — then called 'Film International' — was organized in June 1972 under the leadership of Huub Bals. IFFR's logo is a tiger, loosely based on the M.G.M. lion.[5] From the beginning, the festival has profiled itself as a promoter of alternative, innovative and non-commercial films, with an emphasis on the Far East and developing countries. Around 1983, the festival founded CineMart to serve as a "regular film market," and later modified the business model to serve instead as a "co-production market",[6][7] which helps a selected number of film producers connect with possible co-producers and funders for their film projects.[8]

After the festival founder's sudden death in 1988, a fund was initiated and named after him (Hubert Bals Fund), used for supporting filmmakers from developing countries.

The non-competitive character of the festival changed in 1995, when the VPRO Tiger Awards were introduced—three yearly prizes for young filmmakers making their first or second film. The next year, Simon Field, formerly Cinema Director at the London Institute of Contemporary Arts, became director of the festival. In 2004 Sandra den Hamer took over as director of the festival, and from 2007 to 2015 the director was Ruger Wolfson. Since August 2015 the leadership is in the hands of film producer Bero Beyer. Despite financial difficulties in the mid-1980s, the festival has grown steadily, reaching more than 300,000 visitors in 2015.

Festival screening locations

The Pathé cinema at Schouwburgplein

The Pathé cinema at Schouwburgplein is one of the biggest cinemas in the country and boasts the largest screen in the Netherlands. The modern edifice – located between the Schouwburg and De Doelen – is dramatically lit by night, dominating the square.

De Doelen

De Doelen is the Central Box office during the festival


Cinerama is a magnificent old cinema with 7 theaters and more than 1000 seats. You can wait for your film at the well-stocked reading table or enjoy a nice drink in the comfortable lounge.


The Rotterdamse Schouwburg

Worm is the main venue for the Starting from Scratch activities with film screenings, performances, installations, the Metamkine workshop, the Scratching from Start party and meeting point for activities in the lab of WORM.filmwerkplaats

Old Luxor Theater

The Old Luxor Theater dates back to 1917 and is a “Grand Dame” amongst Rotterdam theaters. It has been thoroughly renovated multiple times, but retains an atmosphere that lends a special touch to the cinematic experience.

Rotterdamse Schouwburg

The Rotterdamse Schouwburg is located in the heart of Rotterdam, on the famous Schouwburgplein. It is one of the main performing arts centers of the city, offering a wide range of critically acclaimed dance, opera and theatrical performances.

Lantaren Venster

Lantaren Venster is the only screening location at the other side of the Maas river, making it the most remote of all screening locations. Like Pathé and Cinerama, it has 7 theaters. Lantaren Venster is used as a performance arts location and well known for their non-mainstream and art house programming of movies.

Hivos Tiger Award winners

The Tiger Award has had various sponsors over the years. In the years leading up to and including 2010 it was sponsored by the VPRO. In 2011 the award was presented by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and since 2012 by Hivos.[9]

Year Film Original title Director Country
1995 Postman YouchaiJianjun He  China
How Old Is the River? Fuyu no kappa Kazama Shiori  Japan
Thalassa, Thalassa, Ruckkehr Zum Mmer Thalassa, ThalassaBogdan Dumitrescu  Germany
1996 Sons ErziZhang Yuan  China
Like Grains of Sand Nagisa no Shindobaddo Ryōsuke Hashiguchi  Japan
Small Faces Gillies MacKinnon  United Kingdom
1997 Last Holiday Posledniye kanikuly Amir Karakulov  Kazakhstan
The Day a Pig Fell into the WellDaijiga umule pajinnal Hong Sang-soo  South Korea
Robinson in Space Patrick Keiller  United Kingdom
1998 Buttoners Knoflíkári Petr Zelenka  Czech Republic
Round the Moons Between Earth and SeaGiro di lune tra terra e mare Giuseppe Gaudino  Italy
The Inheritors Die Siebtelbauern Stefan Ruzowitzky  Austria
1999 The Iron Heel of Oligarchy Zheleznaya pyata oligarkhii Alexander Bashirov  Russia
More Than YesterdayPlus qu'hier moins que demain Laurent Achard  France
Following Christopher Nolan  United Kingdom
2000 Suzhou RiverSuzhou he Ye Lou  China
Crane World Mundo Grúa Pablo Trapero  Argentina
Bye Bye Blue Bird Katrin Ottarsdottír  Denmark
2001 Bad CompanyMabudachi Furumaya Tomoyuki  Japan
The Days BetweenIn den Tag hinein Maria Speth  Germany
25 Watts Juan Pablo Rebella & Pablo Stoll  Uruguay
2002 Sleeping RoughTussenland Eugenie Jansen  Netherlands
Everyday God Kisses Us on the MouthÎn fiecare zi Dumnezeu ne saruta pe gura Sinişa Dragin  Romania
Wild BeesDivoké vcely Bohdan Sláma  Czech Republic
2003 With Love. LilyaS lyubovyu. Lilya Larisa Sadilova  Russia
StrangeExtraño Santiago Loza  Argentina
Jealousy Is My Middle NameJiltuneun naui him Park Chan-ok  South Korea
2004 The MissingBu jian Kang-sheng Lee  Taiwan
Summer in the Golden ValleyLjeto u zlatnoj dolini Srđan Vuletić  Bosnia-Herzegovina
En RouteUnterwegs Jan Krüger  Germany
2005 Changing DestinyNemmeno il destino Daniele Gaglianone  Italy
4Chetyre Ilya Khrzhanovsky  Russia
The Sky TurnsEl cielo gira Mercedes Álvarez  Spain
2006 Walking on the Wild SideLai xiao zi Han Jie  China
The Dog PoundLa perrera Manuel Nieto Zas  Uruguay
Old Joy Kelly Reichardt  United States
2007 Love Conquers All Tan Chui Mui  Malaysia
The UnpolishedDie Unerzogenen Pia Marais  Germany
Bog of BeastsBaixio das BestasClaudio Assis  Brazil
AFR Morten Hartz Kaplers  Denmark
2008 Go With Peace JamilGå med fred Jamil - Ma salama Jamil Omar Shargawi  Denmark
Wonderful Town(เมืองเหงาซ่อนรัก) Aditya Assarat  Thailand
Flower in the Pocket Liew Seng Tat  Malaysia
2009 Be Calm and Count to SevenAram bash va ta hatf beshmar Ramtin Lavafipour  Iran
BreathlessDdongpari Yang Ik-june  South Korea
Wrong RosaryUzak ihtimalMahmut Fazil Coskun  Turkey
2010 Cold Water of the SeaAgua fría de mar Paz Fábrega  Costa Rica
AlamarTo the Sea Pedro González-Rubio  Mexico
Mundane HistoryJao nok krajok (เจ้านกกระจอก)Anocha Suwichakornpong  Thailand
2011 The Journals of MusanMusanilgi Park Jung-bum  South Korea
Finisterrae Sergio Caballero  Spain
EternityTee rak (ที่รัก)Sivaroj Kongsakul  Thailand
2012 KlipClip Maja Miloš  Serbia
Thursday Till SundayDe jueves a domingo Dominga Sotomayor Castillo  Chile
Egg and StoneJidan he shitouJi Huang  China
2013 My Dog KillerMôj pes Killer Mira Fornay  Slovakia
 Czech Republic
Soldier Jane Soldate Jeannette Daniel Hoesl  Austria
Fat ShakerLarzanandeye charbiMohammad Shirvani  Iran
2014 Anatomy of a Paper ClipYamamori clip koujo no atari Ikeda Akira  Japan
Something Must Break Nånting måste gå sönder Ester Martin Bergsmark  Sweden
Han Gong-juHan Gong-ju Lee Su-jin  South Korea
2015 The Project of the Century La obra del siglo Carlos M. Quintela  Argentina
Videophilia (and Other Viral Syndromes) Juan Daniel F. Molero  Peru
Vanishing Point (2015 film) Jakrawal Nilthamrong  Thailand
2016 Radio Dreams Babak Jalali  Iran
 United States


  1. Rotterdam_International_Film_Festival
  5. Heijs, Jan Heijs & Westra, Frans (1996). Que le tigre danse. Huub Bals a biography. Otto Cramwinckel: Amsterdam.
  6. "CineMart History". International Film Festival Rotterdam. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
  7. Mundell, Ian (January 13, 2009) "CineMart thriving in tough times". Variety. Retrieved September 24, 2011. (subscription required)
  8. Smith, Nigel M. (December 17, 2010). "Rotterdam’s CineMart Selects 33 Projects for 2011". IndieWire
  9. Hivos Tiger Awards Competition. IFFR.

Indebioscoop (April 21, 2014). "Epiloog IFFR 2014".

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