IFFR 2021 Preview

The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has firmly established itself as one of the most exciting and ambitious dates in the European festival calendar. Now in its 50th incarnation, it has amassed a reputation for showcasing the most exciting and cutting-edge filmmaking from across the world. This year’s event takes place in two parts. In June, crowds will descend on Netherlands’ second city, but in the first week in February Dutch residents have the opportunity to enjoy an online experience. We’ve scoured the programme to pick-out a few recommendations:

Lone Wolf

Set in contemporary Melbourne, Lone Wolf tells the story of Winnie, a young woman who runs a struggling political bookshop with her boyfriend Conrad and takes care of her disabled brother. But Winnie’s efforts to hold everything together get thwarted when Conrad becomes entangled in an act of terrorism. “Lone Wolf” is based on Joseph Conrad’s 1907 novel “The Secret Agent.”


In early 20th century, Liborio, a peasant, disappears in a hurricane and returns as a prophet. He says he’s been given a mission: to bring the good and take away the evil, curing the sick and teaching by example. People begin to congregate by his side and they move to the mountains to have total freedom and develop the dream of an independent community. Everything changes when the invading US Marines wants to disarm and disband the community. Liborio wants to avoid a confrontation but knows that they can’t run forever.

The Cemil Show

Long-suffering mall cop Cemil auditions for the bad guy role in a remake of a Turkish B-movie from the ‘60s from the so-called Yeşilçam era. Even while teaming up with a female colleague whose father played the vintage bad guy, Cemil doesn’t have a chance in hell. A true underdog, he keeps pushing for the role until the role gets him…


The exact details of what took place while Talib Ben Hassi, 19, was in police custody remain unclear. Police officers Jens and Mike are on routine patrol in Svalegården’s ghetto when news of Talib’s death comes in over the radio, igniting uncontrollable pent-up rage in the ghetto’s youth who lust for revenge. Suddenly, the two officers find themselves in a fair game and must fight tooth and claw to find a way out.


Sweat recounts three days in the life of fitness motivator Sylwia Zając, whose presence on social media has made her a celebrity. Although she has hundreds of thousands of followers, is surrounded by loyal employees and admired by acquaintances, she is looking for true intimacy.

Riders of Justice

Markus, a deployed military man, has to go home to his teenage daughter, Mathilde, when his wife dies in a tragic train accident. It seems to be plain bad luck – until mathematics geek Otto shows up with his two eccentric colleagues, Lennart and Emmenthaler. Otto was also a passenger on the wrecked train. He is convinced someone must have been behind the accident. As the clues pile up, it becomes clear to Markus that the incident might have been an orchestrated assassination, which his wife ended up being a random casualty of.

The North Wind

he fiancée of the main heir to the powerful Northern clan suddenly parishes. The war breaks out between his mother and wife – sister to his deceased beloved for control over him, influence across the Northern fields and a huge fortune of the clan. One of the two is supposed to die.

La nuit des rois

A young man is sent to “La Maca,” a prison in the middle of the Ivorian forest ruled by its inmates. As tradition goes with the rising of the red moon, he is designated by the Boss to be the new “Roman” and must tell a story to the other prisoners. Learning what fate awaits him, he begins to narrate the mystical life of the legendary outlaw named “Zama King” and has no choice but to make his story last until dawn.

First Cow

A taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune; soon the two collaborate on a successful business, although its longevity is reliant upon the clandestine participation of a nearby wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow.

To see the full programme and book tickets, visit the IFFR website.

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