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The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) is an annual film festival held in various cinemas in Rotterdammarker, Netherlandsmarker at the end of January. It is one of the larger film festivals in Europe, arguably in the Big Five, alongside Cannesmarker, Venice, Berlin, and Locarno. The festival uses a tiger as its mascot.


The festival office in Rotterdam

The film festival is not only famous for the unique variety of international films (it's hard to find such a diverse festival). It is also famous for being a visitor-friendly one. No red carpets for the filmmakers and directors, but mingling with the crowd is the motto. No screenings with guests only, but 90% of the tickets (or more) are sold to the regular crowd (who queue for a long time to be able to get in). In the evening the afterparties of the festival attract loads of cultural lovers from all over the Netherlands and abroad.

The film screenings are without trailers or other commercials.

The IFFR Exploding Cinema festival sidebar has been one of the most prominent showcases of emerging digital film and video. Programming has included experimental animation, web-based entertainment forms, and music video. onedotzero has been invited to be part of this event since 1997 with screening programmes and speaking on panels.


Rutger Wolfson Director of the Film Festival Rotterdam
The first festival -- then called 'Film International' -- was organized in June 1972 under the inspired leadership of Hubert Bals. From the beginning, the festival has profiled itself as a promotor of alternative, innovative and non-commercial films, with an emphasis on the Far East and developing countries. Despite financial difficulties in the mid-1980s, the festival has grown steadily, reaching 367,000 visitors in 2007.

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 Artsmarker, became director of the festival. In 2004 Sandra den Hamer took over as director of the festival, and since 1 September 2007, the leadership is in the hands of Rutger Wolfson.

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 Doelenmarker 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.


Worm is the main venue for the Starting from Scratch activities with filmscreenings, performances, installations, the Metamkine workshop, theScratching 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.

De Rotterdamse Schouwburg

The Rotterdam 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.

VPRO Tiger Award winners

Year Film Director Country of origin
1995 Postman He Jianjun China
Fuyu no kappa Kazama Shiori Japan
Thalassa, Thalassa, Ruckkehr Zum Mmer Bogdan Dumitrescu Germany/Romania
1996 Sons Zhang Yuan China
Like Grains of Sand Hasiguchi Ryosuke Japan
Small Faces Gillies MacKinnon United Kingdom
1997 Last Holiday Amir Karakulov Kazakhstan
The Day a Pig Fell into the Well Hung Sang-soo South Korea
Robinson in Space Patrick Keiller United Kingdom
1998 Buttoners Petr Zelenka Czech Republic
Giro di lune tra terra e mare Giuseppe Gaudino Italy
Die Siebtelbauern Stefan Ruzowitzky Austria
1999 The Iron Heel of Oligarchy Alexander Bashirov Russia
Plus Qu'hier, Moins Que Demain Laurent Achard France
Following Christopher Nolan United Kingdom
2000 Suzhou River Lou Ye China
Mundo Grúa Pablo Trapero Argentina
Bye Bye Blue Bird Katrin Ottarsdottír Denmark
2001 Bad Company Furumaya Tomoyuki Japan
The Days Between Maria Speth Germany
25 Watts Juan Pablo Rebella & Pablo Stoll Uruguay
2002 Tussenland Eugenie Jansen The Netherlands
Everyday God Kisses Us on the Mouth Sinişa Dragin Romania
Wild Bees Bohdan Sláma Czech Republic
2003 With Love. Lilya Larisa Sadilova Russia
Extraño Santiago Loza Argentina
Jealousy Is My Middle Name Park Chan-ok South Korea
2004 The Missing Lee Kang-sheng Taiwan
Summer in the Golden Valley Srđan Vuletić Bosnia-Herzegovina
En Route Jan Krüger Germany
2005 Changing Destiny Daniele Gaglianone Italy
4 Ilya Khrzhanovsky Russia
The Sky Turns Mercedes Alvarez Spain
2006 Walking on the Wild Side Han Jie China
The Dog Pound Manuel Nieto Zas Uruguay/Argentina/Canada/Spain
Old Joy Kelly Reichardt United States of America
2007 Love Conquers All Tan Chui Mui Malaysia
The Unpolished Pia Marais Germany
Bog of Beasts

AFR (ex aequo)
Claudio Assis

Morten Hartz Kaplers

2008 Go With Peace Jamil Omar Shargawi Denmark
Wonderful Town Aditya Assarat Thailand
Flower in the Pocket Liew Seng Tat Malaysia
2009 Be Calm and Count to Seven Ramtin Lavafipour Iran
Breathless Yang Ik-June South Korea
Wrong Rosary Mahmut Fazil Coskun Turkey


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