The International Film Festival Rotterdam has announced the official lineup for 2022, which, due to the rise of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the Netherlands, will be an online-only event.
The Omicron wave has also influenced this year’s lineup, including the opening night drama, with Amanda Kramer’s US drama Please Baby Please replace dutch feature Along the way by Mijke de Jong is the film that will open IFFR 2022 on January 26.
Andrea Riseborough and Harry Melling star in Please Baby Please when newlyweds question their sexual identities, the people become the obsession of a menacing lube gang. Demi Moore co-star.
Mijke de Jong’s Along the way had to be scrapped making the opening night film of Rotterdam after the festival switched to an all-virtual format. The film, about twin Afghan teenagers in a refugee camp in Greece, will be released when cinemas in the Netherlands reopen.
Rotterdam has also suspended screening plans Sunshine State, a new art installation commissioned from Academy Award-winning filmmaker and Turner Prize-winning artist Steve McQueen (12 years of slavery) in this year’s festival. The work will be presented at the Dutch landmark Kunsthal as part of Rotterdam’s multidisciplinary sidebar Art Direction. Rotterdam and McQueen hope to release the work at a later date when audiences can experience it firsthand. Sunshine State will mark McQueen’s first major commission since Year 3, bowed before Tate Britain in 2019.
Rotterdam on Friday announced its full 2022 lineup, which includes films for the main competition on the Big Screen and Tiger. Previous highlights include Splendid Isolation, a new TV series from Polish-Dutch filmmaker Urszula Antoniak (Nothing personal, Blue code); surreal animation features Island from Romanian animator Anca Damian (Marona’s Fantastic Tale); and Harbor, a new feature from Indian filmmaker Rajeev Ravi, director of the year 2016 Kammatti Paadam and the cinematographer in Anurag Kashyap .’s 2012 film Transcendental Wasseypur’s Gang. Rotterdam audiences will vote for the best film in the Big Screen section, with the winner receiving a cash prize of 30,000 euros ($34,000) as well as a guaranteed theatrical screening in the Netherlands and a slot broadcast on Dutch TV.
Rotterdam’s premier Tiger competition, which focuses on emerging film talent, will include 14 early screenings this year, among them Met mes, experimenting with the latest neon-lit visuals from hit Dutch director Sam de Jong (Goldie, Prince), drama about the WW2 period Achrome from Russian director Maria Ignatenko and EAMI, a magic-realism feature by Paraguayan director Paz Encina.
A professional jury consisting of Belgian director Gust Van den Berghe, Romanian film industry expert Zsuzsi Bankuti, Brazilian film producer Tatiana Leite, Dutch actress Thekla Reuten and Dutch writer Farid Tabarki will judge the Tiger Award. Awards and awarded three prizes: 40,000 euros ($45,000) the Tiger Award for best film and two special jury prizes of 10,000 euros ($11,300).
The virtual Rotterdam Film Festival runs from January 26 to February 6.