Iranian Cinema, Dominik Graf Center Stage at 2013 Rotterdam Film Festival

Dominik Graf - H 2012
Caroliine Link

The 42nd Rotterdam Fest will also feature a special live music event with Sound Stages devoted to cinema acoustics.

COLOGNE, Germany – Current Iranian cinema and the work of German art house director Dominik Graf will be in sharp focus at next year's International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).

Rotterdam will devote a retrospective to Graf, who has been a pioneering force both in film and television in Germany for some 30 years. He has won the country's coveted Adolf Grimme Prize, arguably Germany's most prestigious small screen honor, an astounding 10 times and, in 1988, won the local equivalent of the Oscar, the German Film Prize, for best directing for his thriller The Cat.

But Graf remains largely unknown outside his home country. Rotterdam hopes to correct that with the first major retrospective of his work outside Germany. Under the title Hidden in Plain Sight, the retrospective will run as part of the IFFR's Signals section and be curated by Christoph Huber and Olaf Moller.

Iranian filmmakers have long enjoyed international acclaim, in no small part due to the support from Rotterdam and its Hubert Bals Fund, which regularly backs works by established and up-and-coming Persian directors. For its 2013 edition, Rotterdam will screen a selection of new films by directors living in Iran and by expatriate Iranians. Among the featured titles in the Inside Iran sidebar will be From Tehran To London by Mania Akbari; Mani Haghighi's Modest Reception and Parviz from director Marjid Barzegar. Rotterdam will also host a series of discussions, conferences and screening of short films and video art from Teheran-based filmmakers.

To highlight the unique experience of seeing a film in the cinema, the IFFR will present a series of live music events together with special screenings as part of a program, titled Sound Stages, dedicated to the auditory art of film. The Sound Stages program will include several one-time screenings at locations such as a church or jazz cafe in Rotterdam and will involve live music and art installations from the likes of U.S. multimedia artist Tony Cokes, British filmmaker John Akomfrah and Finnish director and visual artist Mika Taanila.

Arguably the leading festival for art house and experimental films, the IFFR last year drew 274,000 viewers and some 2,700 film professionals over the 12 days of the festival. The 42nd Rotterdam Festival runs Jan. 23 – Feb. 3, 2013.