Rotterdam Festival Picks First Competition Films

Eliza Hitmann's "It Felt Like Love," Mexican drama "Penumbra" among titles in competition for the 2012 Hivos Tiger Awards.

COLOGNE, Germany - The International Film Festival Rotterdam has named the first seven films for its 2013 competition lineup.

They include five directorial debuts: It Felt Like Love from American filmmaker Eliza Hitmann; Mexican horror title Halley from Sebastian Hofmann; Leonardo Brzezicki's Night from Argentina; Daniel Hoesl's Austrian feature Soldier Jane and the drama 36 from Thai director B which premiered at the Pusan Film Festival, where it was co-winner of the New Currents Award.

Eduardo Villanueva's sophomore effort Penumbra and the Iranian drama Fat Shaker from
director Mohammad Shirvani, both of which received backing from Rotterdam's Hubert Bals fund, will also screen in competition next year.

In total, 15 first or second feature length films will compete for Rotterdam's Hivos Tiger Awards. The three, equally weighted Tiger honors each come with a $20,000 (€15,000) cash bursary. Rotterdam will announce its final line up January 8.

The 42nd International Film Festival Rotterdam runs Jan. 23 - Feb. 3, 2013.