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Rotterdam Film Festival and Holland Festival to collaborate

In a first-time collaboration, the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Holland Festival will present a programme of some twenty fiction, documentary and short films, from June 8 to 11 in Amsterdam. The 59th Holland Festival (June 2 – 25, 2006) is the largest performing arts festival in the Netherlands. The new film section, curated by IFFR, includes the world première of BLACKWATER FEVER by Dutch film-maker Cyrus Frisch, the European premiere of UTOPIA SUITE by Canadian visual artist Clive Holden and a focus on the works of the Quay Brothers. The Quays will also, for the first time, exhibit twenty of their film sets. The film programme will be available from May 30 on www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com and www.hollandfestival.nl.


The film section (titled ‘Rotterdam, Holland’) will screen recent, innovative and culturally inspired cinema relating in part to the performing arts. Cyrus Frisch’ BLACKWATER FEVER (The Netherlands) depicts a man (Roeland
Fernhout) travelling through desert landscapes in a film that asks questions about how we armour ourselves against the world’s atrocities. Clive Holden (Canada) presents the European premiere of his multi-media project UTOPIA SUITE, recently launched in Toronto (Canada). Holden’s five year project explores the topicality and value of the utopian perspective using film, video, sound, performance and online art. Furthermore, the programme includes two Berlinale laureates supported by Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund: GRBAVICA by Jasmila Zbanic (Golden Bear
2006) and EL CUSTODIO (THE MINDER) by Rodrigo Moreno (Alfred Bauer Prize 2006).

Some of the films in the Holland Festival film section relate to the performing arts, such as LES ARTISTES DU THÉÂTRE BRÛLÉ (THE ARTISTS OF THE BURNT THEATRE) by Rithy Panh, about lost Cambodian theatrical traditions, and THAT’S ALL THERE IS by Austrian film-maker Michael Pilz. In 1988, Pilz filmed theatre director Jack Garfein, who, invited by Georg Tabori in Vienna, was working on the performance of a series of plays by Samuel Beckett. IMMERGRÜN UND DIE MODERNE – THE AUDIENCE (FOREVER GREEN AND MODERNISM – THE AUDIENCE) by Edgar Honetschläger forms part of an opera project by composer Peter Ablinger in Graz, Austria.

The film programme will focus on the works of film-makers Stephen and Timothy Quay, screening a selection of their short films, video clips and their feature film INSTITUTE BENJAMENTA. And at another Holland Festival venue, the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, monitors will show compilations of video films illustrating the Quay Brothers’ interest in music and modern dance. In a world première, the Quay Brothers will exhibit twenty of their
(miniature) sets and maquettes. They will thereby for the first time give insight – almost literally – into their creative process. The exhibition illustrates not only how skilfully the brothers conjure up a complete universe from modest miniature worlds. It also demonstrates their versatility as set designers for opera, dance and theatre performances. Their relationships with the world of the performing arts are not widely known, yet these are a very important part of their works. The Holland Festival is exactly the right place to shed light on this. The Quays (USA 1947, but working from London since the early 1970s) are among the most original and most imitated film-makers worldwide, partly owing to a series of video clips made for MTV. Their films stand out because of the use of puppets and objects, of the fantasy worlds they create and of their focus on detail, colour, texture and choreographic camera movements.

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