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Anatomy of hell selected premiere at Rotterdam

IFFR 2004 will screen the world premiere of famous French director Catherine Breillat's ANATOMY OF HELL (ANATOMIE DE L'ENFER) just prior to its release in France. This film is one of the highlights in a series of premieres of the upcoming Rotterdam edition. IFFR also announces the first seven titles selected for the 2004 VPRO Tiger Awards Competition. Two more filmmakers are honoured with a 'Filmmaker in Focus' programme: Ken Jacobs (USA) and Tunde Kelani (Nigeria).

The following seven titles are selected for the IFFR 2004's VPRO Tiger Awards Competition. Two of them are world premieres: HOW I KILLED A SAINT by Teona S. Mitevska (Macedonia) and DAYS OF SANTIAGO by Josue Mendez (Peru). The other four are European premieres: SUMMER IN THE GOLDEN VALLEY by Srdjan Vuletic (Bosnia-Herzegovina), THREE STEPS DANCING by Salvatore Mereu (Italy), UNIFORM by Diao Yinan (China) and THE MISSING by Lee Kang-sheng (Taiwan). SOMNAMBULANCE by Sulev Keedus (Estonia) will see its international premiere. A full Competition line up is expected by the first week of January 2004.

Based upon her novel PORNOCRATIE, and starring Amira Casar and Rocco Siffredi, Breillat's ANATOMY OF HELL could well be her most controversial and challenging yet. Continuing the themes of her earlier ROMANCE she explores, with great visual economy and style and under the sign of surrealism, the most direct encounter between a man and a woman. Simon Field: "As was suggested by our choice to Focus on her work in 2000, Catherine Breillat is a director who for us is an exemplary film-maker: challenging, unsettling and original. We are enormously pleased to be welcoming her back to Rotterdam for this world premiere." IFFR's CineMart Selection 2004 includes Catherine Breillat's film project AN OLD MISTRESS (UNE VIEILLE MAÎTRESSE).

The IFFR 2004 programme includes in its different sections a series of world, international and European premieres. The Hubert Bals Fund harvest of recently completed films holds eagerly awaited premieres like the Russian titles ARSENY TARKOVSKY ETERNAL PRESENCE by Viatcheslav Amirkhanian, THE GARDEN by Zeka Laplaine (Congo) and SPREADING by Chinese filmmaker He Jianjun. Within the Main Programme Features includes TOMORROW'S WEATHER by Jerzy Stuhr (Poland); DEADLINES, a drama set in wartorn Lebanon directed by Ludi Boeken and Michael Alan Lerner. The Homefront USA sidebar includes the fiction feature WAR by Jake Mahaffy and the documentary PERSONS OF INTEREST by Alison Maclean and Tobias Perse. Within the Romani Cinema-sidebar, IFFR will presen the international premiere of TAKE ME AWAY by Italian filmmaker Tonino Zangardi. Among the new Dutch films in the IFFR 2004 programme are world premieres of SOUTH (HET ZUIDEN) by Martin Koolhoven, JUSTICE (JUSTIÇA) by Maria Ramos, JOHAN CRUYFF: EN EL MOMENTO DADO by Ramón Gieling and the martial arts film FIGHTING FISH by Jamel Aattache.

Following the announcement of earlier selected Filmmaker in Focus Raúl Ruiz and Artist in Focus Isaac Julien, two more directors will be honoured with screenings of part of their oeuvre during IFFR 2004: US director Ken Jacobs and Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani. In a comment on selecting Ken Jacobs and Tunde Kelani as Filmmaker in Focus, IFFR co-director Simon Field states: "Like Stan Brakhage (a Filmmaker in Focus in 2002), Ken Jacobs is one of the masters of the American independent cinema. Rotterdam's five programme tribute presents a selection of films made in the 50s featuring the legendary 'underground' performer and film-maker Jack Smith and one highlight of the programme is his magnum opus STAR SPANGLED TO DEATH, begun in 1957, but now just put in a final and offering a biting critique of the age of Bush. Jacobs will also present two of his legendary Nervous System film and magic lantern live performances - relatively rarely seen in Europe." Simon Field continues: "Tunde Kelani is one of the leading and most recognised figures within the astonishing phenomena of 'Nollywood', as it is becoming known, the direct-to-video movie making that is finding enormous popular success in Nigeria. It is a popular cinema very different in ambition and style from the 'art' films of Africa so familiar to festival goers, but it is a remarkable development in low-budget film-making. This focus on Kelani a very professional and prolific film-maker represented here by five films including his perhaps best known feature THUNDERBOLT is intended to highlight and debate this phenomena."

IFFR 2004 will feature, compared to last year's first edition, a larger Cinema Regained sidebar. This programme combines new features and documentaries with screenings of films from the past that have inspired or influenced the contemporary filmmakers. Tsai Ming-Liang's new feature GOODBYE, DRAGON INN gets accompanied by King Hu's classic DRAGON GATE INN (1966) and Thom Andersen's LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF by the very rarely screened THE EXILES (1961) by Kent Mackenzie. Also in this section will be Rafi Pitts portrait of Abel Ferrara in ABEL FERRARA: NOT GUILTY and a major re-evaluation of the Dutch avantgarde cinema titled D-Light.

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