International Film Festival Rotterdam has confirmed the first of two parts of its Signals programme. This section of Signals is to be broken down into four sections with the theme of ‘contemporary reality’ connecting all four, which are titled 24/7, Everyday Propaganda, What the F?! and Really? Really.
24/7 will examine what has become known as the ‘attention economy’. Everyday Propaganda, raises the question of whether we are aware of constant exposure to propaganda in our daily life. What the F?! pushes us to examine the ways in which we are caught up in, or at least confused by, a diverse mix of ideologies that all go by the name ‘feminism’ and Really? Really. will provide an insight into how artists and filmmakers exemplify and respond to these complexities and we discover within the artist’s response that surrealism is making a remarkable, yet overlooked, comeback. As part of the Everyday Propaganda programme, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis will be in Rotterdam to present his new film Bitter Lake, a film which tells a big story about why the narratives and explanations we are fed by the media and politicians have stopped making sense. The Signals programme will run for the duration of the Festival which is set for January 21st to February 1st.
On making the announcement Festival director Rutger Wolfson commented “This program examines one of the most interesting and challenging subjects: the here and now, or, to put it another way, the complex and often confusing reality we live in today. Without the benefit of hindsight this programme looks beyond the hype of daily news cycle and identifies themes that affect us all as well as typify the times we live in. The work selected for the programme will no doubt captivate the audience and promote debate and discussion well beyond the end of the Festival.”
24/7 will focus on the changing world & technology, and how the attention economy is affecting our lives, how we consume information and how it dominates not only our waking but also our sleeping moments. Our experience of time is mutating at the speed of light, due to the glass fibre and wireless networks that keep us entangled. How this affects our sense of reality now and its impact in the near future is one of the most important discussions in the world today. 24/7 will feature only one film screening in the cinema, Kevin Jerome Everson’s Park Lanes, an eight-hour observation of factory workers which will screen as a world premiere. Venturing out of the theatre and into hotel rooms across town, compilation programmes can be viewed, comprising short film works by Shambhavi Kaul, Lukas Marxt, Metahaven, Maria Luz Olivares Capelle, Gavin Hipkins and Leslie Thornton among others.
Everyday Propaganda will focus on contemporary images and techniques of propaganda. With the worldwide economic and ideological unrest, there is a boom in propaganda. It is being revived across the world in new, powerful and subtle forms, through the Internet and social networks, cinema, and TV. In times of social upheaval and digital revolution everyone is eager to produce, receive and spread messages that aim to define and clarify the world around us. Features to screen as part of the programme will include Adam Curtis’ Bitter Lake, No Country for Young Men by Oleg Mavromatti and PO98, Broken Land from Stéphanie Barbey and Luc Peter, Made in China by Kim Dong-hoo and War Book from Tom Harper plus a selection of short films from Pacho Velez.
Really? Really. will focus on Surrealism, its re-emergence, how we define it, how it has evolved since its birth in the early 20th Century, its place in the current climate and its effect on 21st Century culture. Surrealism is the creation of an era of turmoil: it was born from the experience of WWI. If Surrealism is making a major comeback, then it’s because of the way the world has developed these past two decades: the turmoil in which we live and are heading towards. Perhaps Surrealism is again becoming the aesthetic through which artists can best describe and respond to the complexities and contradictions of our contemporary reality.
What the F?! explores feminism as one of the hottest subjects (in the media) today. At a time where ever more women and men declare themselves feminists, the question arises: What defines this movement today? In the modern era, feminism no longer seems to be a strict dogma of rules but rather a popular, individual and very interesting mix of ideologies and ideas. WHAT THE F?! reflects on these by showing a collection of contemporary films that both challenge and celebrate the feminism debate. With equality being at the core of feminism, WHAT THE F?! presents unexpected takes on the F-word by women and men alike.
International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) offers a high quality line-up of carefully selected fiction and documentary feature films, short films and media art. The festival's Tiger Awards Competitions, Bright Future, Spectrum and Limelight sections contain new work by auteurs from all over the world including many World Premieres. In the Signals section, IFFR presents retrospectives and themed programmes. IFFR actively supports new and adventurous filmmaking talent through numerous industry initiatives including co-production market CineMart, its Hubert Bals Fund and Rotterdam Lab.