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The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has announced the dates for its 52nd edition next year and unveiled restructuring plans after two years of online-only events have hit its bottom line.
The 2023 Rotterdam Festival, which organizers say will be “circumstances permitting” the IFFR’s first fully in-person event since 2020, is set to run January 25 to February 5, 2023.
Festival Director Vanja Kaludjercic and Managing Director Marjan van der Haar on Thursday also outlined a new organization for Rotterdam, which they said was “entering a new phase in its half-century-long history.”
The restructuring plans will see the IFFR cut its core staff by 15 percent and realign the remaining staff members under five divisions: Content, Communication and Audience Reach, Funding and Business Growth, Business Affairs, and Operations. All five divisions will be overseen by the IFFR board of directors. Kaludjercic and van der Haar will announce their new team at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in May, where Rotterdam will provide full details of the new organizational structure.
All the major international film festivals have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which made it difficult or impossible for people to travel or for the holding of large public events of any kind. COVID restrictions forced Rotterdam to hold its last two festivals online.
“Like many organizations, the reduction in business has impacted us financially, and changes in both audience behavior and the industry landscape have meant that we emerge into a different world as we begin planning for the 2023 edition and beyond — one which demands more than ever before a focussed vision, and a team driven to deliver it,” van der Haar said in a statement. “The creation of a new staffing setup is anchored to our updated programming structure and engineered to enable audience growth, increased impact and revenue stream diversity — allowing us to become both more sustainable and dynamic. This is vital in order to ensure the future of IFFR.”
Despite a lack of public screenings, the 2022 IFFR recorded more than 177,000 online admissions and had more than 1,500 accredited film professionals attending.
“We have a deep respect for our team which has been able in these past two challenging years to engage the audience and support our filmmakers in innovative new ways — and we are proud to have managed to continue learning, sharing knowledge and collaborating with partners in a rapidly changing environment,” said Kaludjercic. “Our goal is to create a leading cultural platform accessible to all that champions compelling cinema and audiovisual art.”
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