Several films and co-productions from Flanders were programmed at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR, 21 January – 1 February). Isabelle Tollenaere’s Battles, Sarah Vanagt’s In Waking Hours and Thierry Knauff’s Vita Brevis, a co-production with Flanders, premiered at the festival. Black, Sequenza and Kosmos were also part of the programme, while student shorts The Visitor, The Second of August and Hotel Red Shoes were shown in the Signals: 24/7 section. Finally, the Screen Flanders-supported feature Between 10 and 12 was part of the line-up in the Limelight section.

BattlesIsabelle Tollenaere presented her latest documentary Battles, a production by Michigan Films which had its world premiere in Rotterdam. Screening in the Bright Future programme, Battles explores the traces recent conflicts have left behind in Europe.

The short film programme As Long As It Takes included the world premiere of In Waking Hours, a Balthasar production in which filmmaker Sarah Vanagt observes her cousin, historian Katrien Vanagt, conducting an experiment to reveal the mystery of sight as described by 17th-century Dutch researcher Plempius. Other selected short films included Black by Anouk De Clercq and Manon de Boer; and George Van Dam’s Sequenza. Both are Auguste Orts productions.

Also selected for Rotterdam was Ruben Desiere’s creative documentary Kosmos. Mixed up with fictional elements, the story follows a Slovakian Roma family over the months leading up to the eviction of the Brussels Gesù monastery where they were staying. Thierry Knauff’s Vita Brevis, co-produced for Flanders by Inti Films, meanwhile, is a cinematic essay on beauty, nature and the power of film.

Signals: 24/7, another IFFR programme, provided a platform for The Second of August , directed by Jonathan van Essche; Rachel Monosov’s The Visitor; and Hotel Red Shoes by Lisa and Clara Spilliaert.

Also showing was Peter Hoogendoorn’s partly autobiographical feature film Between 10 and 12, about a family whose life will never be the same again. Presented in Rotterdam’s Limelight section, it is a Dutch-Belgian co-production, with Mollywood and Minds Meet as Flemish co-producers.

The CineMart also included several participants from Flanders. Rotterdam’s international co-production and financing platform not only welcomed Koen Mortier to pitch his upcoming feature Angel, a Czar production, but also invited Nathalie Teirlinck, who presented Tonic Immobility, with Savage Film producing.

Finally, Belgian musician and filmmaker Tom Barman (Any Way the Wind Blows) also made an appearance in Rotterdam, where he hosted the festival’s late-night talk show.

Battles, In Waking Hours and Vita Brevis, as well as Angel and Tonic Immobility, all received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz. Between 10 and 12 is backed by the Screen Flanders economic fund, under the aegis of Economic Affairs Minister Philippe Muyters and Minister Gatz.

Published on Thursday 15 January 2015

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