What does a young selector do for IFFR?
“We’ll organise two film events based on a specific theme that appeals to young people. One event before and one during the festival. At least that was the original plan. In the end we also joined up with the Student Hotel for an extra event. The IFFR gives us a budget and this general assignment. This way the IFFR gives young filmmakers the opportunity to gain experience, while attract a younger audience at the same time.
“It’s actually the best job I have ever had! We do everything ourselves; from choosing relevant films to the side programming and the afterparty. For our first event, which took place before the start of the festival, we went through the IFFR archive, and eventually dug up the Danish film Pojkarna (Girls Lost). This film is about three girls who find a magical flower that makes them change into boys at night. After the screening we had a panel discussion with experiential experts on gender identity.
“On 1 February we’ll organise our second event in KINO, a screening of the film Beats, about two boys from the illegal rave scene in Scotland. After the film we’ll host a talk with a number of people from the same scene in Rotterdam in the nineties and now. ”
Why did you choose these films?
“This year we chose the theme of ‘Seeking Identity’. It’s a theme that’s on the mind of almost every young person these days, and it gives us the opportunity to get into more in-depth questions about the films we have chosen.
“The story of Beats revolves around two young people who derive their identity from illegal raves. You see that one of them is already a part of the scene, while the other person has to try constantly to belong to the group because his parents don’t approve. At the same time, their search for identity is strongly related to the rejection of civil society and the law, which creates a lot of tension in the film.
“It’s an interesting discussion because even in Rotterdam, many young people still derive their identity from, for example, the techno scene. Even though these techno festivals have now been legalised and are organised in the Maassilo, it is still important for them to reject the mainstream. ”
What’s the best experience at IFFR so far?
“That was our interview with the director of Beats, Brian Welsh. I find it amazing that IFFR suddenly gave me the opportunity to meet such an important directors. And the director was even willing to take the time for a good interview and to give advice to young filmmakers.
“Welsh in particular was so calm and at ease, and showed no ego or delusions of grandeur at all. Surprisingly, he was also very interested in us and our work. He was glad that we talked to young people about identity and thought that we had really understood this theme from the film. He liked the fact that our takeaway from the film was the universal feeling of solidarity and friendship and the rejection of the mainstream.”
Do you have any last minute tip for fellow students?
“Unfortunately, our event is already sold out, but fortunately there are still a lot of good options. There is the movie Shadow about martial arts which I found very cool. Another Day of Life is also great and I’m really looking forward to A Land Imagined. “