Two weeks before kicking off its 44th edition, the Rotterdam Film Festival has completed a globe-spanning selection of 13 contenders for its annual Tiger Awards. The lineup of feature films from either frosh or soph helmers includes 11 world premieres, with Indonesia, Peru and the Netherlands itself among the countries represented.
Of the two international premieres in the mix, one is the lone U.S. entry: “Tired Moonlight,” from first-time writer-director-producer-editor Britni West, centers on the romantic travails of a lovelorn middle-aged woman in a small town.
West is one of four femme helmers up for a Tiger: Japan’s Lisa Takeba contributes the whimsical fantasy “Haruka’s Paranormal Laboratory,” while Argentine duo Laura Citarella and Veronica Llinas will compete with “La Mujer De Los Perros (Dog Lady),” a portrait of an elderly woman in lower-class Buenos Aires.
Award-winning Danish docmaker Jeppe Ronde will compete with his first narrative feature, “Bridgend”; young actress Hannah Murray (“Game of Thrones”) headlines this social drama about a series of teen suicides in the eponymous Welsh town. Moving further along the Blighty map, “Norfolk,” from British director Martin Radich, is the U.K.’s only film in competition.
Argentina, meanwhile, is represented by three films. Alongside the aforementioned “Dog Lady,” the country has a stake in two Euro-Latin American co-productions: Carlos Quintera’s “La Obra Del Siglo” and Lukas Valenta Rinner’s Tigre-set “Parabellum.”
Both “Dog Lady” and “La Obra Del Siglo” were funded in part by the fest’s Hubert Bals Fund, as were three other Tiger selections: Thai helmer Jakrawal Nilthamrong’s “Vanishing Point,” “Videophilia (and Other Viral Syndromes)” from Peru’s Juan Daniel Fernandez Molero, and Indonesian fantasy “Another Trip to the Moon,” from director Ismail Basbeth.
The lineup is rounded out by Swiss-German production “Above and Below,” directed by Nicolas Steiner, Remy van Heugten’s Dutch drama “Gluckauf” and Cypriot-Greek-Slovenian entry “Impressions of a Drowned Man,” from director Kyros Papavassiliou — a former Cannes Palme d’Or competitor for his short film work.
The festival has also named a five-person jury for the Tiger Awards, including local actress Johanna ter Steege, best known internationally for George Sluizer’s “The Vanishing”; Dutch-Australian director Rolf de Heer, whose last feature, “Charlie’s Country,” was a 2014 Cannes prizewinner; Japanese producer Shozo Ichiyama; Filmoteca Espanola chief Jose Maria Prado Garcia; and Serbian actress-helmer Maja Milos, whose directorial debut “Klip” was a 2012 Tiger winner.
This year’s Rotterdam fest will take place from Jan. 21 to Feb. 1, with Tom Harper’s “War Book” and J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year” bookending the program.