International Film Festival Rotterdam has revealed that Belgian cinematographer Grimm Vandekerckhove will be the recipient of the fifth annual Robby Müller Award, which pays homage to the craft of artists working behind the lens in the spirit of the celebrated cinematographer.
Vandekerckhove is “known for delicately capturing the inner lives of characters,” the festival said, such as a cleaning lady on a late-night journey in “Ghost Tropic” or the encounter of a foreign construction worker and a moss researcher in “Here,” both directed by Bas Devos. He also shot Stephan Streker’s “A Wedding,” about a teenager forced into an arranged marriage.
“With profound commitment and a wondrous tranquillity he captures details and hidden shades of everyday existence in his own singular way that mirrors the emotionally moving images of Robby Müller,” the jury stated.
In other announcements, the festival, which runs Jan. 25 – Feb. 4, revealed that the jury for the Tiger Competition consists of Marco Müller, former director of Locarno, Venice and IFFR; Ena Sendijarević, a Bosnian-Dutch filmmaker known for her acclaimed debut “Take Me Somewhere Nice,” and the Netherlands’ Oscars submission “Sweet Dreams”; producer, industry expert and founder of Easy Rider Films, Nadia Turincev; renowned Hong Kong filmmaker Herman Yau; and L.A. Rebellion filmmaker Billy Woodberry, whose “Mário” will have its world premiere at IFFR next year. Together they will choose the winners of the Tiger Award, worth €40,000, and the Special Jury Awards, worth €10,000.
The jury for the Tiger Short Competition consists of Portuguese filmmaker Mónica Lima, director of IFFR 2023 Tiger Short Award winner “Natureza Humana”; Yasmina Price, a New York-based writer and film programmer focusing on anticolonial cinema; and Jade Wiseman, a Montreal-born film distributor now based in Amsterdam. They will award three Tiger Short Award winners, each worth €5,000.
The festival also announced that the Limelight program – a lineup of festival favorites – will include high-octane Indonesian thriller “13 Bombs in Jakarta” and epic Nordic island chronicle “Stormskerry Maja.”
In the Harbour program, Alexander Kluge premieres “Cosmic Miniatures,” a fusion of AI-generated space images; Lev Kalman and Whitney Horn present the dreamy, saturated “Dream Team: Season One,” a riff on 1990s sexy crime dramas; Leonardo Mouramateus returns with the world premiere of “Greice,” exploring loves lost and found in Brazil; Alexandra Gulea pays homage to her grandmother’s Balkan nomadic shepherd community in the world premiere of “Maia – Portrait with Hands”; and Daniel Hui presents “Small Hours of the Night,” a slow-burning psychodrama examining Singapore’s complex legal history.
The lineup for Cinema Regained, a program dedicated to restored classics, unknown masterpieces, documentaries about filmmakers, and explorations of cinema’s heritage, will include Clemens Klopfenstein’s “Cinema Bruciato,” which is an autobiography of sorts, as well as “Obsessive Hours at the Topos of Reality,” a film about Greek experimental filmmaker Antoinetta Angelidi made by her daughter, the filmmaker and theoretician Rea Wallden.
The program hosts the European premiere of the restored version of “Hair Piece: A Film for Nappyheaded People,” an animated satire on the self-image of Black women by Ayoka Chenzira. The short precedes Bridgett M. Davis’ 1996 U.S. indie gem “Naked Acts,” which follows a young Black actress about to make her acting debut in a low-budget film.
The program also presents the restored “The Great White Tower” by Yamamoto Satsuo from 1966, on the inner workings of the Japanese medical world where intrigue and lust swirl around Goro Zaizen, an ambitious assistant professor of medicine.
Italian duo Marco and Antonio Manetti, known as the Manetti Bros., are celebrated for their “creative brilliance” in a dedicated Focus program. Their work extends across music videos, series and films, including the “Diabolik” series of graphic novel adaptations. “With a keen eye for genre details, the Manetti Bros. infuse each project with a distinctive flair,” the festival said. IFFR will showcase 11 of their works, including the “Diabolik” trilogy.