Mona Fastvold’s ‘The World to Come’ to Open Rotterdam’s Summer Edition

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Mona Fastvold’s “The World to Come,” starring Katherine Waterston and Vanessa Kirby, will open the hybrid summer component – running June 2-6 – of the International Film Festival Rotterdam’s 50th edition. Hirota Yusuke’s animated feature “Poupelle of Chimney Town” will close the event.

“The World to Come” is a romantic drama about the forbidden love between two women, played by Waterston and Kirby, in 1850s Upstate New York. The film will be shown as a timed premiere online on June 2, followed by physical screenings in Rotterdam theaters during the festival.

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The European premiere of “Poupelle of Chimney Town” is an adaptation of Nishino Akihiro’s children book. It is an imaginative family film with the climate crisis at its heart, produced by Studio 4°C, producers of “Children of the Sea,” which ran in Rotterdam last year. The film will be available on demand until June 9.

The first part of the festival, running Feb. 1-7, focused on the main Tiger, Big Screen and Ammodo Tiger Short competitions as well as the Limelight sidebar, a preview of upcoming arthouse releases, and the industry program.

A total 139 features, short and mid-length films will screen in June. These titles will cover the Harbour, Bright Future, Cinema Regained, Classics and Short and Mid-Length Film programs. All feature length films are eligible for the BankGiro Loterij Audience Award. The summer event will also feature VR projects and talks.

Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic said: “From the rediscovery of arthouse classics to celebrate IFFR’s history to the latest futuristic genre-bending TV series, there will be a wide range to choose from. All this in a way that captures the energy and excitement that has long been at the heart of IFFR, while adhering to the latest governmental regulations. We are raring to go and look forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary with audiences at home and in cinemas in Rotterdam.”

The festival’s lineup of discussion events, Big Talk, include a conversation with Fastvold, and director Dominik Graf, who has his latest film, “Fabian oder Der Gang vor die Hunde,” an adaptation of Kästner’s autobiographical interwar classic “Fabian,” in the Harbour section. The Srebrenica massacre is the topic of a Big Talk, which was the subject of February’s Audience Award winner “Quo vadis, Aida?” by director Jasmila Žbanić.

Indian filmmaker Pallavi Paul presents the Freedom Lecture, the fest’s annual talk organized by political and cultural center De Balie on the topic of freedom in the broadest sense. Paul is selected in June’s Short and Mid-length Film section for her essay on police violence in Delhi, “The Blind Rabbit,” and will take her own biography and work as the starting point for a reflection on freedom and resistance in this lecture.

The festival’s Classics program contains four titles from the festival’s history, which will be available online and in theaters. The program comprises New Zealand director Jane Campion’s debut “Sweetie,” which screened at the festival in 1990, as well as U.S. filmmaker Jim Jarmusch’s “Night on Earth” from the 1992 edition. “Caro diario” by Italian director Nanni Moretti from 1995 and Japanese director Fukasaku Kinji’s “Battle Royale” from 2001 complete the lineup.

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