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Impressive 358,000 visits to Rotterdam Festival

The 35th International Film Festival Rotterdam attracted the same number of visitors as in 2005. The organisation registered 358,000 admissions to its films, exhibitions, debates, talkshows and other festival events. The festival closed on Sunday, 5 February 2006, with the Volkskrantdag. Together with the Holland Festival, the festival is organising a summer edition from Thursday 15 through Sunday 18 June 2006. The 36th International Film Festival Rotterdam will take place from Wednesday 24 January through Sunday 4 February 2007.

On Saturday evening, 4 February 2006 in the Grote Zaal in De Doelen in Rotterdam, State Secretary for Culture Medy van der Laan presented the Tiscali Audience Award, consisting of an amount of € 7,500, to Michael Hofmann, director of the German production EDEN. This was followed by the screening of the IFFR 2006 Closing Film: GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK. by George Clooney. The romantic food film EDEN beat the highly appreciated NUIT NOIRE, 17 OCTOBRE 1961 by Alain Tasma, about the brutal suppression of a demonstration by Algerian immigrants in France. EDEN will be released later this year in the Netherlands by Cinemien Film & Video Distributie.

On Friday evening, 3 February 2006, the VPRO Tiger Awards were presented to the film makers Han Jie for WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE, Manuel Nieto Zas for THE DOG POUND (LA PERRERA) and Kelly Reichardt for OLD JOY; the winners of the Tiger Awards for Short Film are BEGINNINGS by Roy Villevoye and the animated films RABBIT by Run Wrake and WHO I AM AND WHAT I WANT by David Shrigley & Chris Shepherd. The Tiger Awards Competition for Short Film was sponsored by the Binger Filmlab. The KNF (Dutch film journalists’) Award went to LOOK BOTH WAYS by Sarah Watt, and the winner of the FIPRESCI Award 2006 is MADEINUSA by Claudia Llosa.

It was not only the winners of the VPRO Tiger Awards Competition that were well received by press and audiences both from the Netherlands and abroad, however. GLUE, the debut film by young Argentinean director Alexis Dos Santos, attracted a great deal of attention from festivals and distributors. The Dutch film NORTHERN LIGHT (LANGER LICHT) by David Lammers was a well-fancied contender for the main awards from the start, but like the much lauded THE LEGEND OF TIME (LA LEYENDA DEL TIEMPO) and ODE TO JOY just missed out on an award. More new talent than ever before was also present outside the competition programmes. This included a large number of titles supported by the Hubert Bals Fund, such as the Iraqi production AHLAAM by Mohamad Al-Daradji and the Armenian documentary RETURN OF THE POET by Harutyun Khachatryan. Two films supported by the Hubert Bals Fund are to screen in competition at the Berlinale from next week, THE MINDER (EL CUSTODIO) by Rodrigo Moreno (Argentina) and GRBAVICA by Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia).

Following the successful retrospective of the work of Japanese film maker Nagasaki Shunichi, a great deal of interest has been generating in showing his work elsewhere. Nagasaki’s hotly debated HEART BEATING IN THE DARK opened the festival, which featured twelve days of lively discussion, busy debates and lively public Q&A sessions after screenings.

The festival is satisfied with the organisation of ticket sales. Following the decision not to sell tickets on the internet this year, but to expand telephone sales and box-office capacity, there were hardly any queues or technical problems. This year saw a considerable decrease in the number of films in the festival programme with a distributor in the Netherlands already attached before the festival began. The total number of films was also less, as was the number of screenings. Given the traditionally large numbers of audiences and guests, this lead to somewhat fuller cinemas.

The Film Office, a new inititative by IFFR, reported a large number of visits by young film makers and producers in its first year. This unique service for film makers offers free expertise, contacts and mediation in the area of sales, production, distribution and festivals.

The new, concentrated presentation of the short film programme, Short: As Long as it Takes, was hailed as a significant improvement by directors and audiences alike. For five days, the Lantaren/Venster cinema was the meeting place for short film makers from all over the world. The winners of the One Take Competition (organised in cooperation with broadcast foundation NPS) can be seen on the new website Xtra Small (

The festival’s television station Exploding Television
( has to date attracted 15,000 viewers of all kinds. The productions by the five programme teams can be seen for period of one year after the festival. Other festival events, such as the Late Night Talkshow, can also be seen at

35th International Film Festival Rotterdam in figures:

Total number of visits: 358,000 (2005: 358,000)

Total box office receipts: 1,250,000 Euro (2005: 1,250,000 Euro)

Number of page visits to festival website during festival period: 2,400,000 (2005: 2,000,000)

Total number of guests: 2814 (2005: 2586)
Total number of guests from The Netherlands: 1036 (2005: 1087)
Total number of foreign guests: 1788 (2005: 1499)

Total number of attending filmmakers: 450 (2005: 467)

Total number of journalists: 476 (2005: 455)
Total number of foreign journalists: 191 (2005: 169)
Total number of Dutch journalists: 285 (2005: 286)

Total number of CineMart guests: 850 (2005: 901)

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