The Rotterdam International Film Festival (24 January – 4 February 2018) is not only the largest film festival in The Netherlands, but has also made a particular name for itself by presenting up-and-coming talents. It offers them a high-profile forum which includes the competition sections. 2018 will again sees several German films there with world premieres. The German director Valeska Grisebach is a jury member of the Hivos Tiger Competition. Her film WESTERN is being shown in the festival program.

The Bright Future Competition, which is reserved for debut films, is featuring ELLA & NELL by Aline Chukwuedo (DFFB, Chokofilms, HILDEBRANDT FILM) and WINDSPIEL by Peyman Ghalambor (Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF) with its world premiere.

ELLA & NELL is the first feature film by Aline Chukwuedo, who is studying Directing at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB). She tells a tragicomic story about a friendship confronted by growing disparity. Ella and Nell used to be best friends. Now both in their early 40s and in the prime of life, their daily routines and different ideas of how to lead their lives leave them little time for one another. Determined to change this, they set off on a hike together through the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. During their trip, they try to revive their old friendship, but sadly have to acknowledge how much they have grown apart over the years.

WINDSPIEL is the bachelor graduation project for Peyman Ghalambor's studies of Directing at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. The focus is the story of the 13-year-old boy A. who arrives at a children's home in the middle of a Brandenburg forest. This is where discipline and work is supposed to turn "difficult" teenagers into socially accepted people and where they can also be protected from their parents. A. is isolated and can't relate to the other young people. When the opportunity arises, he escapes and sets off aimlessly on an uncertain journey.

Films by German directors have also been programmed in the sidebars for medium-length films and the competition for short films. EVERYONE IN HAWAII HAS A SIXPACK ALREADY by Marvin Hesse (DE/ES) and VILLAIN ROBERT OTTO by Florian Haag can be seen as world premieres in Bright Future Mid-length. MORE THAN EVERYTHING by Rainer Kohlberger and VIEW FROM ABOVE by Hiwa K are screening in the Tiger Competition for Short Films.

In addition, Rotterdam is showing some successful international festival hits from Germany like THE CLEANERS by Hans Block & Moritz Riesewieck (DE/BR, gebrueder beetz filmproduktion) – as a European premiere straight after its world premiere in Sundance – or Robert Schwentke's THE CAPTAIN (DE/FR/PL, Filmgalerie451) as well as DRIFT by Helena Wittmann (Fuenferfilm). THE RED SHADOW by Dominik Graf (Sommerhaus Filmproduktion) will be presented as an international premiere.

A total of 48 German films and co-productions have been programmed at the 2018 Rotterdam International Film Festival…

Dennis Ruh (Festival Relations)
Birgit Koch (Press & PR)