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Testfilm #1, The Barefoot Emperor and Occupied Cinema at IFF Rotterdam 

Three Croatian films are about to screen at the 49th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, held from 22nd Jan to 2nd Feb. The short experimental film, Testfilm #1, by the artistic collective Telcosystems, will have its world premiere at Rotterdam, while the fiction feature minority co-production, The Barefoot Emperor, will screen in the Voices competition. The feature documentary, Occupied Cinema, also a Croatian minority co-production, will screen in the non-competitive programme, Perspectives.   

Telcosystems experimental film collective’s Testfilm #1, a Croatian-Dutch co-production, which is the result of a collaboration between Bonobostudio (producer Vanja Andrijević) and Spatial Media Laboratories, will premiere in the Bright Future Shorts programme of the 49th International Film Festival Rotterdam.     

In Testfilm #1, Telcosystems explore the creative possibilities of the Digital Cinema Package (DCP), the new cinema infrastructure that has replaced analogue film projection, and the future of experimental film in this new alignment. The Telcosystems artistic collective is comprised of Gideon Kiers, David Kiers and Lucas van der Velden and their audiovisual practice pursues the liberation of machines from the rules and limitations imposed by standardized software and hardware.

The Croatian minority co-production, The Barefoot Emperor, directed by Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens, will screen in the Voices competition programme. Soon, the Belgian-Croatian-Ditch-Bulgarian co-production will also screen at one of the biggest film festivals in Scandinavia, the Göteborg Film Festival, while its world premiere took place in September of 2019, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The same programme of IFFR will also include the world premiere of Eden, a film by Hungarian director Ágnes Kocsis. Starring Croatian actress Lana Barić, it is a story about Éva who lives cut off from the outside world in her sterile blue apartment because she is allergic to just about everything. Her only contact with the outside world is her brother Gyuri who brings her food and keeps her company. Everything changes when András enters her world – a psychiatrist who advises her in a court case about whether her condition is the result of pollution or whether her psychological state is so frail that, in fact, she is the one causing her allergies. Is she really sick or is the world making her this way? The film is a Hungarian-Romanian co-production.    

In addition, the IFFR Perspectives programme, dedicated to films that examine relevant social and political issues, will feature Serbian director Senka Domanović’s Occupied Cinema, a feature documentary created in co-production with the Croatian company, Nukleus Film (co-producer Siniša Juričić).   

The International Film Festival Rotterdam is one of the biggest and most influential film festivals in the world that not only attracts tens of thousands of film professionals and visitors each year, but also  shapes future trends in filmmaking and shines a light on up-and-coming filmmakers. Find out more about the festival at its official website.   

Furthermore, starting March 1st, a native of Pula, Croatia, Vanja Kaluđerčić, takes over as IFFR Festival Director. Together with Managing Director Marjan van der Haar, Kaluđerčić will head the jubilee 50th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam held in 2021.   

Cover photos: International Film Festival Rotterdam; scenes from films Testfilm #1, The Barefoot Emperor, Occupied Cinema

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