Yeukai Karengezeka-Chisepo Arts Correspondent—
The inaugural edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam roared into life last Friday night at Theatre in the Park, with scores of people attending the event. IFFR which is one of the biggest festivals in Europe comes to Zimbabwe for the first time with the main 47th edition taking in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The film fete is running under the theme “A History of Shadows” and will run until February 3 with a line-up of six international films and six local films.
The opening film was titled “Pin Cushion” an all- girl, gothic fairy tale set in British working class suburbs. It entails single mother Lynn and her teenage daughter Lona excited about their new life in a new town, but the transition does not go as smoothly as planned It was followed up by “La Holandesa” a film that interrogates how one can deal with bareness in life.
The jamboree continued on Saturday and yesterday with screenings of the movies “Amateurs”, “Blue My Mind”, “Nico 1988” and “Nina” respectively and live streaming the proceedings from Netherlands. From today classic local films will be screened among them “Lobola”, “Playing Warriors”, “Mind Games”, “Neria”, “Flame” and “Cook Off”.
“Flame” of 1996 was the last local film to première at the IFFR in Netherlands over 22 years ago. In an interview with Herald Arts, Rooftop Promotions director Daves Guzha who runs Theatre in the Park, said he was happy with the response. “We have taken off very well and the turn out so far is quite overwhelming considering that we are hosting this event for the first time. The live streaming has enabled us to connect and share our sentiments with those in Netherlands,” he said.
The official opening was also attended by Netherlands ambassador to Zimbabwe Barbra Von Hellemend. IFFR offers a high-quality line-up of cautiously selected fiction and documentary feature films, short films and media art and the festival’s focus is on recent work by talented new filmmakers from around the globe.