Rotterdam fest lines up major sponsors

Internet service outfit boosts film backing

AMSTERDAM — The Rotterdam Film Fest has secured a major sponsor: Internet service provider Tiscali joins Dutch broadcaster VPRO and major broadsheet De Volkskrant as supporters of the event.

It is the latest move on the part of the Internet service provider to get involved in showbiz.

Tiscali financially backed slain Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh’s last pic “06/05,” which had its world premiere on the Internet on Wednesday and hadrecorded more than 20,000 downloads by Friday.

It also sponsors the Dutch Film Festival and is in talks with Cinekid, the world’s largest kidfest, to participate in that event.

Tiscali content topper and a member of the board for Benelux and Denmark, Patricia Spuijbroek, told Daily Variety the fest had proven it was “eager to embrace new opportunities and had no fear of change,” one of the reasons Tiscali enlisted for sponsorship.

Filmmaker in Focus

Fest also announced Yevgeny Yufit, the Russian experimental filmmaker, has been selected as its third Filmmaker in Focus. Some 10 of Yufit’s feature pics and short films have been chosen for the sidebar.

It also selected French filmer Benoit Jacquot (“A tout de suite”) and Albanian French video artist Anri Sala as its other candidates for the Filmmaker in Focus sidebars.

The fest, which runs from Jan. 26 to Feb. 6, has also announced it is selecting some 30 short films for its new Tiger Cub Awards Competition, with the E3,000 ($3,974) prize going to each of three winners.

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