Five Reasons Why You Should Check Out the Rotterdam Film Festival

Rotterdam film festival
Photo by Ingrid Veninger

With more than thirty years experience under its belt, International Film Festival Rotterdam is one of the top film festivals in Europe. And with a special niche carved out in the community of experimental filmmakers, Rotterdam is always offering a window into the future of filmmaking techniques.

Forget the fanfare that comes with other influential film festivals. Rotterdam is for the purist. The festival organizers do everything in their power to make the event about the films, the techniques involved in the “experiments”, and the relationship between the filmmakers and the true film connoisseurs in attendance. We have a tendency to blur film festivals together. That’s a mistake and Rotterdam is prime evidence. Here are five reasons why you should check out the Rotterdam Film Festival.

It’s never watered down

Photo by Jan de Groen

Skip the red carpets, cameras, trailers, and all other promotional nonsense that attendees have to get through at other festivals. While Rotterdam has the reputation, it’s very much focused on the art and less on the fireworks. This makes it ideal for the true film fans looking to get straight to what they came to see.

Filmmakers interact with attendees

Rotterdam film festival
Photo by Marcel Kollen

Roughly 90 percent of ticket sales are to supporters who attend every year. Many of them are connected to the filmmakers in attendance and that general connection creates a special environment. Attendees can watch a film and then sit down with the director and discuss scenes and techniques that resonated with them.

Rotterdam’s architecture is an attraction on its own

Rotterdam often falls under the shadow of Amsterdam, its neighbor to the north, but the city offers its own wealth of attractions. Chief among them is architecture. Almost completely destroyed in WWII, Rotterdam became a testing ground for modern architecture, and just walking the streets can be a wonder for those with an architectural eye. Rotterdam Market Hall and the Cube Houses are just two sites on a long list.

The films are called “can’t-miss” for a reason

Rotterdam film festival
Photo by 31pictures nl 2

We’ve already mentioned that the festival places a special emphasis on experimental filmmaking. The must-see films at Rotterdam are almost always testing a new technique that has the film world abuzz. These films are ahead of the curve and for the film fans deeply interested in what the future holds on the screen, this is the cutting edge.

The filmmakers

Rotterdam film festival
Photo by Jan de Groen

International Film Festival Rotterdam is obsessed with what’s new, and many of its featured filmmakers fit that category. These are some of the new faces on the scene whose films are grabbing attention for their new styles. Who knows? Maybe a film you catch here will be the springboard for the next young director to make big waves in the film world.

Find the widest selection of accommodations options for the Rotterdam Film Festival

Alistair is a journalist by trade currently learning the ropes in Medellin, Colombia. Although the football to futbol transition is off to a rough start, the rest of the equation is balancing out well. If he wasn’t an AllTheRooms content writer, he would almost certainly be neck-deep in the Medellin reggaeton scene.

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