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The 6th edition of Curaçao International Film Festival Rotterdam is over and we can look back on a beautiful edition. This year, 50 films were screened with no less than 3 world premieres, six debut films from Caribbean filmmakers in the Yellow Robin Award competition, and seven short films in the first Caribbean Shorts Competition. There were 9,500 tickets sold and over 4,000 students from elementary and secondary education visited the screenings in the education program. The festival welcomed 28 filmmakers and film professionals from all over the world.
The festival opened Wednesday, 5 April, with the Finnish film The Other Side of Hope in the presence of lead actor Sherwan Haji. Haji also gave an exclusive acting workshop for students of Instituto Buena Bista on Friday afternoon. For local and international film professionals, there were various workshops on film pitching, international film distribution strategies, and one-on-one mentor sessions by Wendy Mitchell (British Film Council), Pierre Menahem (Founder Still Moving, International Film Production and Distribution) and Marit Van den Elshout (head IFFR CineMart). The panel discussion and master class (by Nathalie Alonso Casale) were attended and appreciated. The 6th edition finished with the Berlin Golden Bear winner, the Hungarian love story On Body and Soul.
The fifth edition of the Yellow Robin Award competition showed that Caribbean filmmaking is booming. The final winner, El Hombre que cuida (The Watchman), the feature film debut of Alejandro Andújar (Dom. Republic), is the first title for the 2018 edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam and will also screen at next Morelia International Film Festival.
In the first edition of the Caribbean Shorts competition, seven short films competed for the opportunity to have their work screened at various Caribbean film festivals. The winning film E yobida di Ayera (Yesterday's Rain) from Aruban film maker Armand Simon claimed this award.
A record number of over 4000 students from 28 elementary and secondary schools visited CIFFR's school screenings of The Red Turtle and Landfill Harmonic. For the screenings of The Red Turtle, CIFFR had teamed up with Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao whose volunteers were ready to tell students about their project and raise awareness of the importance of clean beaches and seas. The additional sold out screening on Sunday morning of the Oscar nominated animation film was followed by the creative Kids Only Workshop by art center Instituto Buena Bista.
Neighborhood Film Screenings
Before and during the festival week, free screenings of Landfill Harmonic were offered in the community centers of Rooi Santu, Westpunt and Seru Fortuna. The Westpunt film evening included the screening of short films made by students from Joseph Civilis vocational school of Barber who had, for the first time ever, experienced filmmaking in the workshops conducted by Instituto Buena Bista.
Tribute to Oliver Hardy
The popular, traditional concert by the Dennis Aalse Youth Orchestra included a musical tribute to one of the world's greatest comedy actors Oliver Hardy. The Hardy tribute could also be found in the theater with Laurel & Hardy film clips screened before some main features.
Poetry in Motion and Music Calls Program
Music lovers flocked the theaters for Playing Lecuona, The Violin Teacher and Casamance, just a few of the titles from the Music Calls program. The well-attended Poetry in Motion program (including a.o. Neruda, Paterson, Burma Storybook, and the classic Il Postino) was presented in style with poetry readings by local young poets from Cultural Center Curaçao and well-known writers such as Philip Rademaker and Laura Quast.
Enjoy the photo impression and see you in 2018!