Jury’s riding Tigers

Rotterdam sets panel for fest's artistic fare

ROTTERDAM — French director Claire Denis; leading South Korean new waver Jang Sun-Woo; vet Brazilian helmer Julio Bressane; Dutch writer Hafid Bouazza (“The Feet of Abdullah”); and Chris Dercon, director of the House of Art, in Munich, have been named to the jury for the VPRO Tiger Awards, the main kudos category at the Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam.

Fest will kick off a 12-day run Wednesdayin this seaside port, drawing more than 2,500 professionals including 350 directors.

IFFR is the largest film event of its kind in Holland. “It distinguishes itself because it is aimed at independent cinema of an artistic quality and is not open to commercial pressure,” Sandra Den Hamer, co-director of the fest with Simon Field, told Daily Variety.

For a Euro fest, IFFR is distinctive for the number of international helmers making the trek from outside North America and Europe.

Many owe support to the fest’s Hubert Bals Fund, a Dutch government, broadcast and private subsid kitty for development and distrib of non-Western pics. Fund has had a role in helping harvest 30 films at IFFR this year, including five in competish, 11 world premieres and two European bows.

U.S. filmmakers including Esther Bell, Michael Jackson Chaney, John Landrum, Jenny Perlin, Deborah Stratman and Lauren Halsey Brown will accompany the world preems of their films in sidebar Homefront USA.

A substantial Japanese delegation will include Takeshi Kitano, Fukasaku Kenta, Kawase Naomi and Kurosawa Kiyoshi; also making the trek will be French directors Bruno Dumont and Julie Bertucelli, Indian helmers Kamal Haasan and Bahman Kiarostami, Iranian directors Jafar Panahi and Babak Payami, Thai helmer Pen-ek Ratanaruang and China’s Wang Xiaoshuai.

Cinema Regained sidebar will screen for the first time in 45 years the so-called lost first version of John Cassavetes first feature, “Shadows” (1959). IFFR co-director Den Hamer will become general director of the fest March 1. Field is stepping down to become director of U.K. arthouse TV and film outfit Illuminations Films.

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