Every year, Rotterdam changes into one big cinema. EM looks for students among all the movie lovers, actors and day-trippers. What is their personal highlight at the International Film Festival Rotterdam? Mariska de Zeeuw (22), Social Sciences master student, skips the modern artsy films during her first IFFR experience.

Festival strategies

“This is my first time at the IFFR. Even though I knew it existed, I have never had time to go. But this year my friend persuaded me. We are only going to the screenings during the weekend. No extra stuff, like exhibitions or workshops. Otherwise, it is gets too expensive. The film tickets are pricy anyways, so we buy last-minute ones for half the price.”

Picking a movie

“I usually look at the titles to see what sounds interesting. Then, I skim through descriptions to check if it is not too abstract. If it is this sort of modern artsy film, I skip it – usually that’s too strange for me. I also look at the country, because it’s interesting to see what life is like in other places.”

Always a twist

“So far we’ve seen We are brothers, Behind Closed Doors, Banana Pancakes and Sticky Rice and Somewhere, Sometime. I love a realistic, documentary-like style, so my favorite is Behind Closed Doors. It is a collections of three shorts about daily life in the family. At first glance, they show regular things, but there is always a twist that comes up. I also loved the Q&A with the directors after the screening. It made the experience even more special.” KS


Read more about the IFFR:

Witte de With as a break from all the IFFR movies

Review: Amour fou, light smile with a heavy heart

Movie Maniacs: Ashgan (21) prefers IFFR over Utrecht