how I choose movies at the International Film Festival Rotterdam

Every year since 1972 Rotterdam hosts the IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam), an event that offers a line-up of carefully selected fiction and documentary feature films, short films and media art.

In comparison with other international film festival this promotes and represents the strength and impact of independent film, filmmakers and film-related art with a specific focus on recent work by talented new filmmakers. In doing so, it becomes often challenging and hotly debated; it tackles issues and tensions of contemporary social relevance and brings them to a bigger audience.


Today, 23rd of January 2019, is the official opening of the 48th edition and in the next 12 days more than 500 feature, mid-length, and short films out of over 50 countries will be presented.

This said, I have no idea what movies to watch; like every year. There is too much to choose from and too many emerging artists who are not in the broader system yet. This festival is for movie experts and passionate people with plenty of time to check a wider selection of movies. Plus, for people who don’t mind paying to watch a shitty movie once in a while.

Since I don’t belong to none of the above categories, I had to look for another way to select movies and I think I found it: Rotterdampas + laziness.

I discovered last year that Rotterdampas holders can enter any movie for free on two conditions: that they purchase the ticket last minute (30 minutes before the start) and the movie is not sold out by then.
Because I like limited choices over too many possibilities, that felt already like a good start.

To optimize the choice, I then noticed that the laziness factor could come in handy. In winter time I wouldn’t prefer to get out of the house to watch an experimental movie, so I become a big fan of combined plans: straight from work, after coffee with a friend or before gym.


In this way the options of interesting movies are limited to a handful per day and this gives me the motivation to participate in this great festival.

Now I am just curious to see what movies I am going to end up watching.



originally written for Rotterdammer Girls