52nd Annual Rotterdam International Film Festival Highlights

Feb 10, 2023
Dimitris Passas

NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: (Barbara Scharres).

Emerging from the Covid era of virtual festivals with a seeming new resolve to top itself in what it does best, the 52nd Annual Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR) opened an all in-person festival on January 25, for a run through February 5, with a broad slate of 455 films, including 242 features, 97 of them world premieres. Behind the scenes, virtual access to high-profile sections of the festival and press conferences was enabled for selected international press, which made my coverage from afar possible. An on-site friend and her cell phone camera provided me with a virtual front-row seat for events including the opening ceremony.

Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic welcomed the opening night audience in De Doelan, Rotterdam’s vast concert and conference venue, expressing relief at IFFR’s full return to the communal experience after a three-year wait. Kaludjercic went on to aptly capsulize the festival’s legacy and mission as “to look where others don’t look, and to go where others don’t go,” confronting audiences with “images, sounds, and words that rip the rug from under our feet.” “We are quite good at doing that,” she declared, underlining IFFR’s well-known gravitation to a cinema that is relentlessly adventurous and experimental in all its international manifestations.

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