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Rotterdam Fest introduces changes & new sections

The International Film Festival Rotterdam introduces, during its upcoming 34th edition (January 26 - February 6, 2005), three new programme sections that will replace the Main Programme Features and Hubert Bals Fund Harvest. Together, the new sections contain around hundred fiction features and documentaries. Selected as Film-maker in Focus, French cinéaste Benoit JACQUOT receives a Rotterdam tribute programme of part of his film and television oeuvre along with the screening of his recent feature film À TOUT DE SUITE (2004). One of the thematic IFFR 2005 programme sections will be 'S.E.A. Eyes', presenting new films by the most promising film-making talents from the South East Asian region. PARADISE GIRLS by Dutch film-maker Fow Pyng HU has been selected for Rotterdam's VPRO Tiger Awards Competition.

Introducing the replacement of the now former Main Programme Features and the Hubert Bals Fund Harvest by three new programme sections, IFFR director Sandra den Hamer explains: "The three sections represent the IFFR's main strands of interest: young and innovative film-making, the commitment to global developments and the 'cinema d'auteur'. Together the new sections will give our audiences and guests a better insight what to expect. 'Cinema of the Future: Sturm und Drang' groups films by promising talents and offers an overview of recent developments within independent film-making. 'Cinema of the World: Time & Tide' brings together films that reflect the festival's social and political awareness or show the human condition in the film's regions of origin. The 'Maestro's: Kings & Aces'-section reunites the works of the more established auteurs whose oeuvre has the ongoing interest of the Rotterdam festival."

French writer-director Benoit Jacquot has been selected as the first Film-maker in Focus of IFFR 2005. Jacquot (1947, Paris) starts in the early seventies with assistant-directorships to Marguérite Duras' NATHALIE GRANGER (1972) and INDIA SONG (1975). In the course of the following thirty years, Jacquot has build an impressive oeuvre of psychological drama's, novel or stage play adaptations and television documentaries often inspired by literature. He makes his fiction feature début with the Dostoyevski adaptation L'ASSASSIN MUSICIEN (THE MUSICIAN KILLER, 1976). From the mid-nineties, Jacquot directs several films in which girls face existential questions with principal performances by, among others, Virginie Ledoyen (LA FILLE SEULE, 1995; LA VIE DE MARIANNE, 1997), Isabelle Huppert (L'ÉCOLE DE LA CHAIR, 1998; LA FAUSSE SUIVANTE, 1999) and Isabelle Adjani (ADOLPHE, 2002). The Film-maker in Focus hommage to Jacquot will include a choice of his lesser known television wor ks and of his films, including his most recent feature À TOUT DE SUITE (2004) in which actress Isild le Bresco returns in a leading role after starring in both his SADE (2000) and ADOLPHE (2002).

The special IFFR 2005 programme section 'S.E.A. Eyes', curated by programmer Gertjan Zuilhof, puts the spotlight on the South East Asian region where independent film production is emerging strongly through a new generation of film-makers. 'S.E.A. Eyes' will screen new films by Lav Diaz (Philippines), U Wei bin Hadji Saari (Malaysia) and James Lee (Malaysia) who already generate festival attention worldwide. But 'S.E.A. Eyes' will go further introducing more young film-makers. The programme section offers through their fiction features, documentaries and short films a reflection on a region currently undergoing fast changes in several parts of its societies.

Festival director Sandra den Hamer has selected the Dutch film PARADISE GIRLS directed by Fow Pyng Hu and produced by Motel Films for IFFR 2005's VPRO Tiger Awards Competition. The Rotterdam competition is limited to a series of around fifteen first and second features. After directing five short films, Fow Pyng Hu's feature film debut, JACKY (co-directed with Brat Ljatifi), was selected for Un Certain Regard at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. PARADISE GIRLS, selected for CineMart 2002, saw its world premiere in the World Cinema section of the current Pusan International Film Festival (Oct 7-15, 2004). After IFFR 2005, distributor 1 more film releases PARADISE GIRLS in The Netherlands on March 3, 2005.

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