Rotterdam unveils first competish pix

Contenders include Eliza Hittman's 'It Felt Like Love'

BRUSSELS — “It Felt Like Love” by U.S. helmer Eliza Hittman is among the first titles announced in competition at the 2013 Rotterdam Film Festival. Seven contenders from an eventual lineup of 15 titles, all first and second features, were unveiled Thursday.

Hittman’s debut feature is set on the outskirts of Brooklyn. It tells the tale of a 14-year-old girl testing the boundaries between obsession and love as she pursues an older man.

Rotterdam will mark its international bow after a world preem out of competition at Sundance in January.

Also making the journey to Rotterdam from Park City, where it has a competing slot, will be Austrian pic “Soldier Jane” by Daniel Hoesl.

Meanwhile, Thai film “36” by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit earns a berth after sharing the New Currents award at this year’s Busan film festival.

The remaining four features were all made with support from the fest’s Hubert Bals fund, which aids film-makers in developing countries.

Two come from Mexico: “Halley” by Sebastian Hofmann and “Penumbra” by Eduardo Villanueva. “Night” by Leonardo Brzezicki hails from Argentina, while “Fat Shaker” by Mohammad Shirvani is from Iran.

Fest’s 42nd edition unspools Jan. 23 to Feb. 3.

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