Rotterdam 2017: Recommendations And Anticipations

Editor, Europe; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
This evening (or morning if you're West of the Atlantic), the International Film Festival Rotterdam starts. In the next ten days, Rotterdam venues will be filled with roughly 600 films, shorts and other events for film-lovers to attend.
And as in every year, making some sort of personal schedule out of this huge selection is a daunting task.

Being right in front of the Berlinale, Rotterdam often loses out on the big flashy world premieres, and the festival is known for focusing on unknown, beginning talent. Its major awards are the Tigers, and as a film-maker you can only enter the Tiger contest with your first or second film. Coupled with one of the lowest financial thresholds for entering a film, this assures that the festival encourages and fosters newcomers.

That's not to say there are no famous names at the festival, or famous titles; many of Toronto's success stories end up being shown in Rotterdam as well. But in general, Rotterdam is about discovering something rare and new. Usually, the best films only become known through word-of-mouth after a few days, and I've often needed to use my press credentials to still be able to catch one of the surprise crowd-pleasers during its last screening.

Well, in this overview, I can't yet predict those "surprise crowd-pleasers" (they're surprises, after all...) but I can give a recommendations list based on some things we DO know.

So have a good browse-through, check the festival's line-up, and do comment about films I've forgotten to put in here!

Opening the festival this evening is Janicza Bravo's Lemon, a comedy-drama in which a struggling egotistic actor (played by the director's husband Brett Gelman) has to face the truth of his failing career, especially when his blind girlfriend gets fed up with him and leaves.

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