During 12 festival days, the International Film Festival Rotterdam offers a quality selection of independent, innovative and experimental cinema, video and media art. The IFFR actively supports independent filmmaking from around the globe, being a recognized international platform in Europe for launching new films and talent from Asia, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America.
The festival programme consists of sections that may all comprise feature films, short films and art installations.
Tiger Awards Competition
Awards for the next generation. Each year, around fifteen young filmmakers compete with their first or second feature film for three equal Tiger Awards.
Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films
Around thirty films shorter than 60 minutes compete for the three equal Tiger Awards for Short Films.
Fresh blood. First or second films by filmmakers from whom the festival expects a lot in the future.
Rotterdam at its broadest. The festival selects topical, powerful and innovative work from all corners of the world, from veterans to less well-known directors.
Signals presents a series of thematic programs and retrospectives offering insight in topical as well as timeless ideas within cinema.
Supporting independent cinema: CineMart and HBF
The IFFR actively supports independent filmmaking from around the globe. The IFFR 2012 marks the 29th edition of CineMart, IFFR's co-production market for small and medium sized film projects. CineMart was the first platform of its kind to offer filmmakers the opportunity to launch their ideas to the international film industry and to find the right connections to get their work financed.
The IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund is designed to bring remarkable, socially relevant and important feature films by innovative and talented filmmakers from developing countries closer to competition. The HBF provides grants that often turn out to play a crucial role in enabling these filmmakers to realize their projects. Each year, the festival programme contains a rich harvest of Hubert Bals Fund supported films.
IFFR promotes training and talent development within its Rotterdam Lab for young film producers and the IFFR Trainee Project for Young Film Critics.
IFFR’s YouTube Channel
contains a growing catalogue of freely accessible films screened during the festival. December 2009, the festival launched Cinema Reloaded
, an online crowd funding platform for independent film projects. Within The Netherlands, the IFFR’s DVD label Tiger Releases
publishes some 20 films supported by the Hubert Bals Fund yearly.
Reflecting the ambitions of the IFFR towards supporting upcoming cinematographers, main prizes handed out during the festival go to films as well as to film projects. Eligible films are feature length works selected in the Tiger Awards Competition for first and second films (three equal Tiger Awards of each 15,000 Euro) and short films selected in the Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films (three equal Tiger Awards for Short Film of each 5,000 Euro). Other juried prizes are the FIPRESCI, KNF, NETPAC and MovieSquad Awards given to Best Film in Competition, Best Film not yet acquired for Dutch distribution, Best Asian Film and Best Young People’s Film respectively. One of the competing short films will become the Rotterdam Short Film Nominee for the European Film Academy 2012. Audience votes decide which filmmakers will be distinguished with the UPC Audience Award (10,000 Euro for Best Film in Official Selection) and the Dioraphte Award (15,000 Euro for Best Hubert Bals Fund supported film in Official Selection).
Film projects selected for CineMart 2012 may be distinguished with the ARTE France Cinema Award and the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award.
Tiger Film Mecenaat
The International Film Festival Rotterdam wishes to involve festival visitors and film-lovers in the finance of exceptional film projects, and has taken the initiative to set up of its own fund for this purpose: the patrons’ fund Tiger Film Mecenaat. This fund has been realised in cooperation with the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, and takes the form of a Registered Culture Fund.
Funders and business partners
The International Film Festival Rotterdam is subsidized by the national and local governments. For theme sections, collaborations with other Rotterdam cultural institutions and special projects, the festival receives donations from private funds. Ultimately, the festival would not be possible without its large festival audience, hundreds of volunteers and support from its main business partners de Volkskrant and VPRO as well as many other partners and suppliers.
Famously, seventeen people attended the opening night of the first Film International Rotterdam on June 28, 1972. An initiative of the Rotterdam Arts Foundation, Film International (later: International Film Festival Rotterdam) showcased films purchased for distribution to the newly established circuit of art house cinemas in The Netherlands. For the 1973 edition, the festival moved its dates to February and attracted over 7,000 visitors. Driving force, famous figurehead and inspirational director until his early death in 1988, Hubert Bals gave the festival its solid reputation of commitment to and active support of independent cinema as well as of a welcoming meeting place for filmmakers, audiences, film professionals and film critics. Under the subsequent directorships of Anne Head (1989), Marco Müller (1990-1991), Emile Fallaux (1992-1996), Simon Field (1996-2004), Sandra den Hamer (2000-2007) and currently Rutger Wolfson, the IFFR grew out to become one the largest audience driven film festivals in the world, while maintaining its focus on innovative filmmaking by talented newcomers and established auteurs as well as on presenting cutting edge media art. Successful IFFR initiatives like its coproduction market for film projects CineMart and its Hubert Bals Fund for filmmaking in developing countries became roles models for many festivals worldwide.