Rotterdam: Signals Sidebar Includes Venice Golden Lion Winner

Roy Andersson Filmproduktion AB

Roy Andersson’s 'A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence' and Tom Harper's 'War Book' made the cut for the 2015 Dutch film festival

The 2015 International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has announced the first films for its Signals sidebar program.

They include Roy Andersson's Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Winner  A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, the political documentary Bitter Lake from British director Adam Curtis (The Century of Self) and German Angst, a horror omnibus feature from filmmaking trio Jorg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowski and Andreas Marschall.

Read More Venice Review: 'A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

The expressed goal of Rotterdam's Signals program, according to the festival, is to address themes of "contemporary reality" through both fiction and nonfiction. The Signals program is subdivided into four sections: 24/7, which looks at how we consume information; Everyday Propaganda, which explores the "constant exposure to propaganda in our daily lives"; What the F?!, looking at feminist issues; and Really? Really, which features films exploring surrealistic themes.

Bitter Lake will screen in the Everyday Propaganda section along with titles including No Country for Young Men by Oleg Mavromatti, PO98, Broken Land from Stephanie Barbey and Luc Peter, Made In China by Kim Dong-hoo and Tom Harper's War Book, a drama set in the U.K. after a nuclear holocaust.

The 24/7 lineup will include the world premiere of Kevin Jerome Everson’s Park Lanes, an eight-hour look at the lives of factory workers. The remaining titles in the section will be short films that will screen in hotel rooms around the city of Rotterdam.

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A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence and German Angst will screen in the Really? Really section alongside Veronika Franz’s Goodnight Mommy, Shinya Tsukamoto’s Nobi, Quentin Dupieux’s Reality and Belluscone: Una Storia Siciliana from Italian director Franco Maresco.

Included in the What The F?! selection will be To the Editor of Amateur Photographer from directors Luke Fowler and Mark Fell and Dolares de Arena by Laura Amelia Guzman and Israel Cardenas.

Said Rotterdam festival director Rutger Wolfson: “This program examines one of the most interesting and challenging subjects: the here and now, or, to put it another way, the complex and often confusing reality we live in today. Without the benefit of hindsight, this program looks beyond the hype of the daily news cycle and identifies themes that affect us all as well as typify the times we live in. The work selected for the program will no doubt captivate the audience and promote debate and discussion well beyond the end of the festival.”

The 44th International Film Festival Rotterdam runs from Jan. 21 through Feb. 1.

Twitter: @sroxborough