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Leopold, Maddin and Reygadas commissioned by IFFR to make films for outdoor screens

The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announces that three internationally renowned directors long associated with the festival have accepted special commissions to make films that will receive their world premiere during IFFR 2009: Nanouk Leopold (The Netherlands), Guy Maddin (Canada) and Carlos Reygadas (Mexico). All are made especially for projection on XXL outdoor screens high on the fronts of three office buildings in Rotterdam’s city centre.

Size Matters, one of this year’s special programmes in the Signals section of the festival, focuses on the ways in which screens now are everywhere: from cinemas, TVs and computers to planes and trains, and mobile phones. One part of the Size Matters programme, titled Urban Screens, focuses on public space, where screens are also becoming omnipresent. The content on these urban screens is often limited to advertisement and information or light design. With this project the IFFR wants to explore what film-makers can bring to these screens. Excited to see them respond to making cinema on this grand scale and in the context of modern architecture, the IFFR has specially commissioned three brand new films from internationally recognised directors.

Nanouk Leopold will collaborate on this project with visual artist Daan Emmen, with whom she forms the Leopold Emmen image collective. Leopold is a native of Rotterdam; her first feature ILES FLOTTANTES was in the 2001 Tiger Awards Competition. She has gone on to become a regular at international festivals with her features GUERNSEY and WOLFSBERGEN which premiered in Cannes and Berlin respectively.

Guy Maddin will collaborate on this project with Isabella Rossellini, the resplendent, glass-legged star of his feature THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD. MADDIN has been a regular visitor to Rotterdam and in 2003 as part of his Film-Maker in Focus presented the much talked about installation COWARDS BEND THE KNEE.

Carlos Reygadas could be said to have been ‘discovered’ in Rotterdam with his extraordinary début feature JAPÓN which went on to screen in Cannes. He has since shocked audiences with BATTLE IN HEAVEN and then moved them with his most recent feature STILL LIGHT which won Cannes’ Jury Prize in 2007.

Conceived to take account of where they will be screened, the three films will be presented on the Nationale-Nederlanden building right next to the main station and on the Robeco building on the bustling main street, the Coolsingel. A third location will be announced later.

The films produced by Illuminations Films, London will premiere at the opening night of the 38th International Film Festival in Rotterdam, the 21st of January 2008.

The Urban Screens project has been made possible with generous support of the City of Rotterdam and Nationale-Nederlanden.

Size Matters further consists of ‘Aspect Ratio’, a group exhibition in TENT. ‘Aspect Ratio’ confronts media art and art installations with a focus on the human factor in a progressively expanding technological universe. The exhibition will include works by Ken Jacobs, Simon Starling, Roy Arden, Louise Decordier, Carlo Zanni, Morgan Fisher, Joachim Koester and Jodi. The referential work will be Ray and Charles Eams’ short film POWERS OF TEN (1977).

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