ROTTERDAM: FOCUS ON GERMAN DEBUTS

The Rotterdam International Film Festival (23 January - 3 February 2019) has dedicated itself to the promotion of new filmmakers. The festival is once more set to live up to this reputation as a platform for up-and-coming talents in its 48th edition. Several German films will be premiered at the Netherlands' biggest film festival this year.

The Bright Future Competition, which is reserved for debut features, will present the world premieres of THIRTY by Simona Kostova (DFFB) and END OF SEASON by Elmar Imanov (DE/AZ, COLOR OF MAY).

THIRTY is Simona Kostova's feature film debut. Kostova began studying directing at the DFFB in 2010 after having originally worked in Bulgaria as an actress. Her 115-minute drama sees the director focusing on a group of six friends in a state of flux. In her sensitive portrait, she observes the friends as they are confronted by day-to-day life in Berlin and the question of what it means to be a thirtysomething.

Director Elmar Imanov begins his first feature film END OF SEASON with a musical homage to freedom: Nena's 80s hit „99 Luftballons“. His observation of an Azerbaijani family concentrates on the longing for independence as well as its pitfalls. While son Machmud is feverishly searching for a home of his own, his mother Fidan wants her independence back after years of service to the family. Father Samir just wants to be left alone. A dramatic incident reveals the cracks in the family structure during a trip to the beach.

AREN'T YOU HAPPY? by Susanne Heinrich (DFFB) will have its international premiere in Bright Future. The post-modern comedy sees a melancholic girl roaming through fifteen humourous encounters between yoga studios, art exhibitions and the beds of strangers as she looks for her place in the modern city.

This year's competition features two shorts - FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT by Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani (DE/IT) and MAMAN MAMAN MAMAN by Lucia Margarita Bauer (joon film) – which illustrate how events from the past influence life in the present. While the art installation FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT reflects on the political based on the example of the Ethiopian Olympic winner Abebe Bikila, the film essay MAMAN MAMAN MAMAN about the life of the filmmaker's grandmother focuses on the private.

A total of 29 German films and co-productions have been programmed to screen at the 2019 edition of the Rotterdam International Film Festival….

Contact: Dennis Ruh