Roffa Mon Amour + Oase

Djon Africa screening at Oase was a blast! Check the photos on our Facebook album.

Keeping up with the New Jury

Do you remember the New Jury? 5 brilliant youngsters who decided which film should have won the first New Amour Award. After a crazy 2-day during film marathon in the cinema of  Worm and passionate film debates at the Roffa Mon Amour Head Quarters, they declared Merawi Gerima as the New Amour Award winner.

The last time we saw them was more than half a year ago, chattering in the sculpture garden of AVL Mundo. But how are they doing now? What has changed in these past months? We asked them to keep us up with their life adventures.

Vera Erykalova

What are you doing now? What has changed in your life since the last time we met?
To be honest, not much has changed, still living my lovely cinematography studies life in Brussels. I did go to New York for the first time last month to visit my friends, one of which is jury member Ari! It was a great experience, truly a very film-able city.

What’s a memory related to the New Jury experience that will stay with you?
The experience that will stay with me is probably the 2 days we spend in WORM watching films. That’s my favorite thing to do, and I found it very comfortable and fun: watching films, talking about them with people who also enjoy watching films 🙂

Can you tell us a film you’ve watched recently and you loved?
Recently I watched Lake Forest Park at IDFA. I loved the idea of the filmmaker: she recreated her memories. So it wasn’t a documentary in the traditional sense, because the whole film was scripted, but the film was based on her memories and it was shot also in the same places where she experienced these memories. Also aesthetically very pleasing!

Instagram: veraerykalova

Arend Verbrugh

What are you doing now? What has changed in your life since the last time we met?
I am still studying at WDKA, and I wouldn’t say that much has changed, but I have been making more art since the festival. It fueled me with inspiration and interest in film.

What’s a memory related to the New Jury experience that will stay with you?
A memory from the New Jury Experience that stayed with me was doing the Q&A with Merawi Gerima. It was really nice to see a film, think about it for a while, and then to be able to ask the questions you have about the process to the director. Also it helped that Merawi was a humble and nice guy :).

Can you tell us a film you’ve watched recently and you loved?
A film I recently watched and loved was; “Short Cuts” by Robert Altman. A long but eventful film that connects strangers with each other and shows mundane but critical slices of people’s lives. For me it defines the power of film.

Instagram:arendverb

Zeddrich Starke

What are you doing now?
I’m currently finishing my bachelor’s degree. I only need to pass 3 courses and then I’m finally done! Also I’m working on my IT company Nomad Coding and clothing brand Day ‘n Nite. With Nomad Coding I’m doing freelance coding work and I’m helping companies with their digital transition. I help them design an infrastructure such that they can use their data to enhance decision making. Besides my coding work I also love to be creative and that’s where I’m focussing on with Day ‘n Nite. Together with my companion I’m building a clothing brand that gives creatives a platform through which they can flourish and connect with each other. My companion and I believe that empathy is the missing link in social interactions, therefore we collaborate with other creatives to spread knowledge about empathy through art and fashion.

What has changed in your life since the last time we met?
The last time we met was during the summer of 2021. During that time you blessed me with a workshop given by Romy and since that time I’m working together with her on the Pulse. The pulse is something very dear to me because it thought my how to better listen to my intuition. This in turn gave me the freedom to really express myself through movement. So in short, my perspective on life changed since the last time we met.

What’s a memory related to the New Jury experience that will stay with you?
I have multiple memories of kind of the same situation that will stay with me for a long time. The conversations I had with the other jury members. At first I didn’t know much about film and how to assess a movie, however through conversations, I learned that there is much more than just the storyline. There is the way they filmed, the colours used and so much more. So after last year’s edition, I started to look at film from a different perspective and I keep learning new things from interviews from filmmakers. I also bought my own camera to play around with the concepts that I find. Can you tell us a film you’ve watched recently and you loved? The last film that I watched was Interstellar. It is an amazing film that does a great job at explaining complex physics in a human-friendly way. I would really recommend watching if you like physics or sci-fi.
Instagram: heyzedd

Ari Duong Nguyen

What are you doing now? What has changed in your life since the last time we met?
I’m living in New York now for my Master degree in Media Studies 🙂 RMA and the experience I had with The New Jury really made me realize how much I love writing about films and how much I want to delve further into it in the form of analysis/critique, so that’s what I’m focusing on now. Probably the biggest change for me, naturally, is moving away – being a part of the New Jury was one of the last things I did in Rotterdam and it made me regret so much not having been able to stick around longer for later editions of RMA, as well as the friends I’ve met from the experience!

What’s a memory related to the New Jury experience that will stay with you?
One memory that stuck out for me was definitely the two-day film marathon. I remember coming back home the first day and just felt so unreal; it was the opposite of exhausting, I felt like mentally I could hang around for a few more films to go. And meeting the other Jury members (in full formation) was wonderful – such lovely people, all passionate about cinema in their own ways.

Can you tell us a film you’ve watched recently and you loved?
A film that I have watched lately is Je, Tu, Il, Elle by Chantal Akerman. I actually watched that immediately after watching another Chantal Akerman film for class. It was extremely patient with how vulnerable the main character was. Also, amidst trying to settle into a new city and a new life pace, I really appreciated such slow cinema that took its time to unfold its story and character. I felt as lonely and confused as the character, but I also saw her as a wise companion throughout the film.

Instagram: tdnl_

Ezra Vogt

What are you doing now?
I’m busy with studying and trying to live up to my single NY resolution which is to travel as much as possible in 2022!

What’s a memory related to the New Jury experience that will stay with you?
It was such a special experience. I just love cinema so actually being allowed on a panel and express my view on films was humbling and enriching. I especially loved the interview we did with Merawi Gerima (Residue)

What has changed since the last time we met?
nothing much. Some days slightly lost, other days on a mission!

What’s a memory related to the New Jury experience that will stay with you?
Interviewing Merawi Gerima and watching the movies in the cinema-like surroundings at performance bar (or klauw, not sure what that location is called)

Can you tell us a film you’ve watched recently and you loved?
Sous le sable (François Ozon)

Instagram: ezrajo.el

help ukraine

A message from Kyiv International Film Festival

Molodist

—-

As you know, Russia has started a full-scale war against Ukraine. Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Uman, Vinnytsia, and many other Ukrainian cities are being bombed by Russian occupiers; residential areas, kindergartens, hospitals, even ambulances – and not only military infrastructure – are under shelling.

On February 27, Putin ordered his military to put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert.

Because of the invasion, our friends at the Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, have had to postpone their 19th edition, scheduled to run March 25 – April 3, until martial law is suspended and Russian aggression on the territory of Ukraine stops. We at the Kyiv IFF Molodist, have suspended any preparations for our 51st edition, planned for May 28 – June 5, indefinitely as we join the battles on all fronts. Planning any activity is impossible when our very lives are threatened by this war. The war against Ukraine and against all values we stand for – liberty, sovereignty, and freedom of choice for citizens and nations. This is also a war against Ukrainian culture, which Russia has been attempting to appropriate or destroy for centuries. And so each and every one of us in the cultural and creative industries of Ukraine, along with other Ukrainians, is forced to fight for our existence.

That’s why, on behalf of Ukrainian citizens, we ask you for international support.

– We ask you to push your government to order a no-fly zone over Ukraine. This practice was used in Libya in 2011 when NATO suspended all flights over the country’s territory. This measure should be introduced to protect Ukrainian civilians from Russian jets, drones, and missiles.

– We ask you to lobby for devastating sanctions on Russia, including a cut-off of the SWIFT banking system, an embargo on the import of Russian oil and gas, the freezing of Russian state assets abroad, and the closure of sea- and airports to Russian ships and planes. To stop the war, the world needs to introduce sanctions with immediate effects.

– The National Bank of Ukraine has opened a special account to raise funds for the Ukrainian Army. Anyone from any country can donate: any amount will be helpful, as will be spreading this information. Under this link, you can find bank details for many currencies, including US dollars and euros. Also, you can donate to the International Charitable Foundation ‘Come Back Alive’; you can find details here.

– We call upon all our partners, colleagues and friends to support Russia’s isolation until its troops leave the territory of Ukraine within its borders according to international law, and until Russia pays compensation for all the damage done to the people of Ukraine by their criminal actions. We ask you to abstain from participating in any film or other event hosted or funded, directly or indirectly, by the Russian Federation: any participation will indirectly legitimize all the horrors Ukraine is withstanding now. We ask you to not show any Russian films or to invite Russian filmmakers to your events. Russia uses culture for its propaganda and for making everyone believe that it shares the principles of democracy, rule of law, dignity, diversity, and equality. There is no “great Russian culture” anymore. We ask you not to be silent, and to vocally support Ukraine whenever it’s possible.

– Instead we urge you to pay more attention to Ukrainian culture and cinema in particular. To support Ukrainian cultural institutions, to acquire Ukrainian films for distribution, festival screenings, streaming, watch more of them yourselves and share with your contacts, to better understand the current situation and the history of Ukraine.

– Any foreigners willing to defend Ukraine and the global order as part of the International Legion of the Territorial Defense of Ukraine can contact Ukraine’s foreign diplomatic missions in your respective countries.

NB: Many people are fleeing from the war-torn cities to countries near Ukraine; they do not have shelters, many of them are stressed out, and it’s complicated for them to find out what to do. If you have any opportunities to help them to find a temporary place to stay, to find transport or to organize transfers from the border crossing points, please contact us separately by responding to this mail.

Any of these actions will be helpful. Please spread this message around as widely as you can.

This website gives all the info about Russian aggression towards Ukraine, and all the options to help our country: https://eu-ua.com/

Another website with additional information on how everyone can help: https://ukrainewar.carrd.co/

We hope for your support. Together we defeated Hitler, and we will defeat Putin, too.

#stoprussia #stopputin #standwithukraine #supportukraine

Best regards,

the Kyiv IFF Molodist team

Vacature Producent

Vacature Producent (V/M/X) Freelance, tijdelijke functie

Open vacature in pdf

Roffa Mon Amour is een jaarlijks filmfestival op een bijzondere Rotterdamse (buiten)locatie dat iedere zomer plaatsvindt rondom juli of augustus. Met het kleurrijke en avontuurlijke programma raken we ons publiek en prikkelen we de filmsmaak. In twaalf dagen presenteren we de meest excentrieke nieuwe en oude films, cinemaconcerten, introducties en Q&A’s. In 2022 bestaat Roffa Mon Amour tien jaar en dat gaan we vieren met diverse evenementen in samenwerking met Rotterdamse partijen.

Om een onvergetelijk en feilloos tienjarig bestaan te vieren is Roffa Mon Amour op zoek naar een enthousiaste, ervaren Producent die de gehele productie van het reguliere filmfestival en uiteenlopende filmevenementen op zich neemt. Het gaat om een freelance klus verspreid over 20 tot 25 dagen in de maanden april, mei, juni, juli en augustus.

Als Producent van Roffa Mon Amour ben je verantwoordelijk voor het opzetten en uitvoeren van de verschillende activiteiten. Je weet de grote lijnen uit te zetten en je hebt oog voor details om zo de ideale filmavond op te zetten voor onze bezoekers. Je pakt werk zelfstandig op en werkt nauw samen met de directeur, de partners en het team.

Jouw taken
•   Je voert het gehele productionele proces uit: van het zomerfestival en de losse filmvertoningen door het jaar;
•   Je beheert zowel de planning en het ticketing systeem als draaiboeken en materialenlijsten en bewaakt deze;
•   Je bent het aanspreekpunt van en behoudt het contact met alle leveranciers en partners;
•   Je beheert en bewaakt het productiebudget;
•   Je bent verantwoordelijk voor de aanvraag en afhandeling van de evenementenvergunning;
•   Je bent verantwoordelijk voor het aansturen en begeleiden van de stagiaire productie;
•   Je bent verantwoordelijk voor de werving en het inroosteren van vrijwilligers;
•   Tijdens het festival ben je het aanspreekpunt voor alle betrokken partijen, stuur je vrijwilligers aan en zorg je voor een algeheel goed verloop van de avond.

Wat breng je mee?
•   Je hebt ervaring in het produceren van evenementen/festivals, bij voorkeur in de openlucht;
•   Je bent een teamplayer, pro-actief en weet mensen te enthousiasmeren;
•   Je bent communicatief sterk en vindt het leuk om contacten met verschillende partners, leveranciers en vrijwilligers te onderhouden;
•   Je hebt affiniteit met onafhankelijke cinema en filmfestivals;
•   Je spreekt en schrijft vloeiend Nederlands en Engels;
•   Je bent beschikbaar in de maanden april, mei, juni, juli en augustus en werkt vanuit kantoor in het Schieblock in Rotterdam. Het gaat om een ZZP-klus voor circa 20 tot 25 dagen werkdagen verspreid over het bovengenoemde aantal maanden. Werkdagen zijn flexibel in te zetten en in overleg.

Wat bieden wij jou?
•   Een uitdagend, afwisselend project met als hoogtepunt het twaalfdaagse filmfestival;
•   Een gezellige werkplek in ons kantoor in het Schieblock;
•   Een hecht, internationaal team van filmliefhebbers, inclusief borrels en events;
•   Ruimte voor creativiteit, eigen inspraak en werkwijze;
•   Flexibele werktijden;
•   Een dagvergoeding op zzp-basis; conform vergoedingen in de culturele sector.

Organisatie en inclusie

Bij Roffa Mon Amour staat film en het enthousiasme voor dit medium voorop. We vertonen films van over de hele wereld, van, voor en door iedereen. Het festival wordt georganiseerd door een klein, gedreven team, waar eigen initiatief wordt gestimuleerd en er ruimte is voor meedenken. Iedereen is bij ons welkom, ongeacht je gender, geloofsovertuiging, handicap, culturele achtergrond, leeftijd of seksuele geaardheid.

Ben je enthousiast geworden?

Stuur voor 25 februari 2022 jouw motivatie en CV naar work@roffamonamour.com t.a.v. Lisa Smith, oprichter en festivaldirecteur Roffa Mon Amour. De gesprekken vinden plaats vanaf 11 maart 2022. Bij vragen over de vacature kun je ook terecht bij Lisa, per email: lisa@roffamonamour.com.

Vacature Hoofd Marketing & Communicatie

Vacature Hoofd Marketing & Communicatie (V/M/X) Freelance, tijdelijke functie

Open vacature in pdf

Roffa Mon Amour is een jaarlijks filmfestival op een bijzondere Rotterdamse (buiten)locatie dat iedere zomer plaatsvindt in augustus. Met het kleurrijke en avontuurlijke programma raken we ons publiek en prikkelen we de filmsmaak. In twaalf dagen presenteren we de meest excentrieke nieuwste en oudere films, cinema concerten, introducties en Q&A’s, educatieve projecten en verdiepende randprogrammering. In 2022 bestaat Roffa Mon Amour tien jaar en dat vieren we, naast het filmfestival in de zomer, met filmevenementen op verschillende locaties in samenwerking met Rotterdamse partners.

Om ons 10-jarig jubileum onvergetelijk te maken en het komende jaar een strategisch en effectief marketing- en communicatiebeleid te ontwikkelen en uit te voeren, zijn wij op zoek naar een creatieve marketeer als Hoofd Marketing & Communicatie (v/m/x) met een grote liefde voor film en de stad. Het gaat om een freelanceklus verspreid over 25 tot 30 dagen in de maanden april, mei, juni, juli en augustus.

Als Hoofd Marketing & Communicatie van Roffa Mon Amour ben je de strategische sparringspartner van de directeur, onze partners en het team. Je weet als geen ander hoe je ons bijzondere filmprogramma zo kan neerzetten dat het een breder publiek bereikt, én hoe je de pers warm maakt hierover te publiceren. Je vervult een zelfstandige rol waarin je verantwoordelijk bent voor het uitvoeren van het marketingplan en het aansturen van het team.

Jouw taken:

• Je ontwikkelt en bewaakt het marketing- & communicatieplan en rolt strategieën uit op het gebied van publieksbereik, positionering en partnerships;
• Je onderhoudt het contact met de lokale en nationale pers, schrijft persberichten en verzamelt en analyseert de publiciteit rondom Roffa Mon Amour;
• Je bent de sparringpartner en het aanspreekpunt voor de social media manager, editors, partners, grafisch vormgevers en videomakers;
• Je beheert het marketingbudget en zet online en offline campagnes en marketingacties uit;
• Je schrijft en verstuurt nieuwsbrieven vanuit Mailchimp naar het Roffa Mon Amour klantenbestand en analyseert hoe deze geoptimaliseerd kunnen worden;
• Je initieert nieuwe samenwerkingen met scholen, culturele instellingen, (media)partners en creatieve collectieven om zo nieuwe doelgroepen aan te boren;
• Je duikt in de wereld van Roffa Mon Amour en weet diens identiteit naar een groot publiek te vertalen.

Wat breng je mee:

• Je hebt 3 tot 5 jaar ervaring in een soortgelijke functie, maar als je bovenstaande taken in een korte tijd hebt weten te realiseren – des te beter;
• Je hebt een netwerk aan (online) media, journalisten en lokale partners waarmee je gemakkelijk contact legt en Roffa Mon Amour activiteiten pitcht;
• Je hebt affiniteit met onafhankelijke cinema en filmfestivals;
• Je spreekt en schrijft foutloos Nederlands en Engels;
• Je bent een stressbestendige planner en een doortastende persvoorlichter;
• Je bent beschikbaar in de maanden april, mei, juni, juli en augustus en werkt vanuit kantoor in het Schieblock in Rotterdam. Het gaat om een ZZP-klus voor circa 25 tot 30 werkdagen verspreid over het bovengenoemde aantal maanden. Werkdagen zijn flexibel in te zetten en in overleg.

Organisatie en inclusie

Bij Roffa Mon Amour staat film en het enthousiasme voor dit medium voorop. We vertonen films van over de hele wereld, van, voor en door iedereen. Het festival wordt georganiseerd door een klein, gedreven team, waar eigen initiatief wordt gestimuleerd en er ruimte is voor meedenken. Iedereen is bij ons welkom, ongeacht je gender, geloofsovertuiging, handicap, culturele achtergrond, leeftijd of seksuele geaardheid.

Ben je enthousiast geworden?

Stuur voor 25 februari 2022 jouw motivatie en CV naar work@roffamonamour.com t.a.v. Lisa Smith, oprichter en festivaldirecteur Roffa Mon Amour. De gesprekken vinden plaats vanaf 11 maart 2022. Bij vragen over de vacature kun je ook terecht bij Lisa, per e-mail: lisa@roffamonamour.com.

happy new year!

What a year!

And just like that, we’re in 2022. This is the time of the year when people take stock of the work done in the previous year and make a list of all the good intentions for the new year. We don’ want to get you bored with those long lists no one cares about, but we want to celebrate all the good moments we had last year. We wished we could say 2021 was an amazing year, but let’s be honest, we all know how hard it was. Anyway, despite the lockdown and months of cinema being forced to stay closed, we are proud to say that Roffa Mon Amour was the light at the end of the tunnel, an amazing period of the year where our community met again by celebrating the passion that unites us: Cinema.  

The 9th edition of Roffa Mon Amour was great for many reasons. We couldn’t desire a better location than the eccentric sculpture garden of AVL Mundo. Besides, we met young brilliant film geeks such as the members of the New Jury who introduced the first of a long series of New Amour Awards. Let’s not forget the events we had outside the festival dates in collaboration with De Maaskantine, Stichting Architectuur Instituut Rotterdam AIR, and Paviljoen aan het Water. We even brought the Cinema Concerts together with Radio Operator and Go Short – International Short Film Festival Nijmegen to ADE, the coolest dance festival in The Netherlands.

Tell us what film touched you the most

At Roffa Mon Amour we want our films to leave you something special. Did you laugh, cry, had fun, get emotional, get angry, or did any of our films just touch your soul in a particular way? Please let us know what film touched you the most by answering this form.

Future plans

All the achievements we reached last year are giving us energy and enthusiasm to prepare the 10th edition of Roffa Mon Amour. Well yes, Roffa Mon Amour is going to put its first 10 candles on the cake, and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate its birthday. Although it’s still too early to give you spoilers, expect to celebrate it with unforgivable film screenings and much more!

projects 2021


We’re thankful for the various cinematic projects we worked on in 2021 during summer and autumn after a long, dreadful lockdown.

June

In June we hosted a short film program with Galerie de Jaloezie during Architecture Month Rotterdam. We presented Tripsitter (2020) by Frederique Pisuisse and You Can’t Automate Me (2021) by Katarina Jazbec. Two rising cinematic talents based in The Netherlands.

July

In July we set up three sun bed cinema nights under the stars at hotspot Maaskantine Rotterdam. We screened Poetic Justice (1993) John Singleton, Spring Breakers (2012) Harmony Korine and Clueluess (1995) Amy Heckerling. That was fun!

We curated the film-edits for 5 The Pulse events at Garage Rotterdam, a new movement initiative.

August

In August we had the annual film festival at AVL Mundo in Rotterdam. It was all we dreamed of.

After we jumped on plane to Croatia for open air screenings during electronic music festival Dekmantel Selectors.

September

In September we collaborated with local chef Soma and prepared an Asian inspired noodle meal and screened our favorite Wong Kar Wai film Fallen Angels (1995). The sky coloured pink and so did our feelings.

October

In October we presented the Cinema Concerts again with Alberta Balsam and DJ Overdose during Amsterdam Dance Events at the Melkweg.

 

 

 

winner new amour award: residue

We are happy to announce that Merawi Gerima, the director of Residue is the winner of the New Amour Award. The winning film tels about a young filmmaker who returns home after many years away, to write a script about his childhood, only to find his neighborhood unrecognizable and his childhood friends being scattered to the wind.

The New Jury
For the first time this year, a youth jury decided who the winning filmmaker should be. A team of 5 talented film lovers (Ari, Arendt, Ezra, Zedd and Vera) watched the films from the New Makers Competition prior to the festival, and decided that Merawi Gerima of Residue should go home with the New Amour Award – a cash prize of 1,000 euros and the New Amour Award designed by sculpture artist Laura Schurink.

Jury Statement
“Residue follows Jay, a filmmaker who returns to his home neighborhood in Washington DC after many years away to write a script about where he grew up, only to find that gentrification has swept his beloved Q-street beyond recognition. Residue’s camera holds a kind of intimacy that compels attention and empathy from the viewers. The different styles of camerawork are stitched together elegantly through the collage-like editing; the audience is invited to experience different terrains of recollection. Remembrance, as shown in Residue, are fragmented attempts at replicating a desired vision of the past while navigating through inevitable interruptions from a changing present. Equally fragmented is the portrayal of characters within Jay’s world, as each participant in his memory takes a distinct stance on his return and wish to make the film, and each also handled the gentrification of their neighborhood with varying degrees of resistance.”

Design Award: Laura Schurink

Noodle & Film

Roffa Mon Amour x Noodlebar Soma x Paviljoen aan het Water

9 September, 18.00 – 23.00

Let’s combine the two of our favorite things in the world: film and food.

Paviljoen aan het Water
In Rotterdam Charlois accommodates the cutest hidden spot: Paviljoen aan het Water. We love this place; located at the water, looking over the skyline of Rotterdam, serving you affordable homemade delicious food by local home chefs.

Noodlebar Soma
We invited queen of the homemade noodles Tess de Ruiter to prepare an Asian-inspired dinner you have never tasted before.
Team Roffa Mom Amour will be at the service.

Cinema
Bellies full? Time to dive into one of our favorite Asian films.

Don’t miss out and reserve your spot!

talks with new makers 2021

This year the pandemic did not allow us to invite New Makers film directors for the live Q&A sessions, but we like to think that it spurred us to be creative and ingenious. Because we did not want to give up on making you meet the New Makers, we recorded intriguing Q&A sessions with Dash Shaw from Cryptozoo, Ekwa Msangi from Farewell Amor, Mauricio Leiva-Cock from The Night of the Beast, ismaël from Black Medusa, and Hadas Ben Aroya from All Eyes Off Me.

 

Interview Hadas Ben Aroya, director of All Eyes Off Me

Interview Ekwa Msangi, director of Farewell Amor

Interview ismaël, director of Black Medusa

Interview Dash Shaw, director and Jane Samborski Embark, animation director of Cryptozoo

Interview Mauricio Leiva-Cock, director of The Night of The Beast

Interview Merawi Gerima, director of Residue

conversation on gentrification

On Friday August 6 we screen Residue by Merawi Gerima. This personal story centers around the filmmaker’s unrecognizable neighborhood in Washington DC, where he experiences the impact of gentrification and has to deal with a great sense of loss and not belonging.

We feel the urgency of these matters here too – Rotterdam housing policy and exclusion have been high on the political agenda this year and Rotterdam residents might recognize the issues raised in the film. To offer context to Residue and to take a closer look at the problems of gentrification here in The Netherlands, we invited two guests to join a conversation.

Massih Hutak, journalist, artist, and author of the book Jij hebt ons niet ontdekt, wij waren hier altijd al, and Meryem Slimani, photographer, art director and culture scout, will be interviewed – sharing their personal experiences, diving deeper into the origin of gentrification, and most of all, showing how the power of community can fight this problem.

Want to read and listen more?

Listen to the Groene Amsterdammer podcast with Massih here, read his book on gentrification in Amsterdam Noord, and check his community initiative Verdedig Noord. Find more on Meryem’s work on her Instagram or read about her experiences in Rotterdam West in this Vers Beton article.

The Pulse

Film moves us and to establish new cinematic experiences Roffa Mon Amour started a collaboration with THE PULSĖ & Garage Rotterdam. 

ABOUT THE PULSĖ

This summer THE PULSĖ kicks off with a weekly break to spark your imagination, to fill your body with joy, and create a space for new friendships to blossom.

Do you remember the sense of aliveness after a first kiss, when tasting your favorite dish, or when you laughed so loud it made you cry? Our bodies can create these feelings on purpose when we give them permission to do so.

The feeling of aliveness is contagious and that is the sweet spot we explore during THE PULSĖ nights at Garage. Guided by soundscapes and moving images a multilayered experience will exist.

We invite curious and open minds to playful movement sessions at a former car garage transformed into a gallery known as Garage Rotterdam.

LOCATION 

Garage Rotterdam, Goudsewagenstraat 27

DATES

Thursday, July 22, Tickets here
Thursday, July 29, Tickets here
Thursday, Augustus 05, Tickets here
Thursday, Augustus 12, Tickets here
Thursday, Augustus 19, Tickets here

TIME
20:00 – 21:30

PRACTICAL INFO

∘ No talking

∘ No drugs/alcohol

∘ Barefoot

∘ Respect yourself and one another

SEE ALL TICKETS

CREDITS

Photo: Florine van Rees

Styling: Serena Zom

Models: Terrell, Eline, Geneau, Weia, Tim, Jewel, Jasmijn

Meet The New Jury of RMA 2021!

For the first time ever, we have a youth jury on board. The New Jury will take a critical look at our films in competition, follow workshops by film professionals and decide which of the New Makers will go home with The New Amour Award. We have found five fantastic youngsters to form The New Jury, and we proudly present them to you here. To get to know them, we asked them a few burning questions…

Arend Verbrugh

Our first jury member is Arend. He is a 22-year-old photography student at the Willem de Kooning Academy. Arend loves film so much that he has made it a challenge for himself to watch a new film every day.
Favourite film: La Haine (1995) by Mathieu Kassovitz
What film moved you the most last year and why?
“Sound of Metal; As someone who suffers from tinnitus, I was blown away by this film. It shows an intimate look into a deaf community, and with the insane performances by the actors, you get drawn into this world and its problems. It really reminded me why telling stories and making films is so important.”
Why are you looking forward to joining The New Jury?
“I can talk about films for hours, so I can’t wait to discuss the films we’re going to see at the open-air film festival with the other members of the New Jury. Ranking movies is different though, so picking a winner for the New Amour Award is going to be very difficult. But I think this New Jury will do a great job.”
Instagram: arendverb

Ari Duong Nguyen

Our second jury member is the 21-year-old Ari. Ari was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam and she has been living in Rotterdam since she was 17 years old. Right now, Ari is taking a gap year after studying at Erasmus University College for three years with a major in Visual Cultures and Media Literacy.
Favorite film: 
“My all-time favorite film is definitely Synecdoche, New York (2008) by Charlie Kaufman. It’s the one film that I could really feel within my body, like some kind of weight of existence. The screenplay is so good that I religiously reread it like a literary masterpiece.”
What film moved you the most last year and why?
“I was really struck by The Vertical Ray of the Sun by Tran Anh Hung. In the film, in its world and story and characters, I see silhouettes of what I’ve always known, growing up Vietnamese. However, that intuition was reinterpreted so gently and sensually by Tran Anh Hung: I’ve never seen Vietnamese relationships, conflicts, and sentiments told in such a visual language before!”
Why are you looking forward to joining The New Jury?
“I’m looking forward to joining Roffa Mon Amour this summer because it really has everything I love wholeheartedly: summer nights, (open!) cinema, Rotterdam. I also have never experienced a film festival from this perspective before, and all first-times are exciting!”
Instagram: tdnl_

Ezra Vogt

The 21-year-old Ezra is our third jury member. Ezra is a first-year medicine student at Erasmus University Rotterdam who does modeling work on the side. The themes that Ezra values in film are sexuality, spirituality, and psychology.
Favorite film: The Holy Mountain (1973) by Alejandro Jodorowski
What film moved you the most last year and why?
“Climax (2018) by Gaspar Noe: A group of international dancers gathers in an empty school building to rehearse and celebrate. But once they learn one of their own has spiked the sangria with LSD, well… shit goes down. If you’re wondering what a ‘bad trip’ feels like, but don’t quite want to experience it yourself, I would absolutely recommend this masterpiece of aesthetic horror. Intense, chilling, hallucinatory and so French! I was absolutely captivated.”
Why are you looking forward to joining The New Jury?
“As the jury, we get to get immersed into an extensive body of films and decide which filmmaker will take home the prestigious award. This is a whole challenge, as there’s no framework to define what makes a good film! I’m full of energy and excitement to meet the other jury members and ultimately discuss art with a critical but very open-minded eye. We’re all from different walks of life and I’m curious to see which perspectives we can all bring to the table.”
Instagram: ezrajo.el

Vera Erykalova

Our fourth jury member is Vera. She is a 21-year-old cinematography student at RITCS in Brussels, who grew up in Rotterdam. We have met Vera at Roffa Mon Amour before when she was our loyal volunteer at Weelde in 2020.
Favorite film: To Live and Die in LA (1985) by William Friedkin
What film moved you the most last year and why?
“Chronicles of a Summer (Chronique d’un été, 1961). This film investigates the influence a camera can have on the behavior of people, it puts people under a magnifying glass. The film leaves from the idea that people are probably not their ‘real-life’ selves on camera, but they are a different, performing version of themselves. I was touched by the insecurities and irrationalities of the people portrayed, to me this film is a reflection of the world and the persons living in it.”
Why are you looking forward to joining The New Jury?
“I’m excited to join The New Jury because I have been loving the RMA programming and I am curious to see what pearls there will be this year. Also talking about and discussing films with new people that are also passionate about films is something I really like to do. I have never really been a part of a film jury before (of course I have been judging films), so I’m looking forward to that! And watching great films in the open summer air!”
Instagram: veraerykalova

Zeddrich Starke

Our fifth jury member is the 23-year-old Zedd. Zedd was born in Suriname and he grew up in The Netherlands. While almost being graduated as a programmer, Zedd also has his own ICT and clothing business.
Favorite film:
“My all-time favorite “wake-me-up-when-you-watch-this-otherwise-I-will-get-mad” film is Inception (2010) by Christopher Nolan.”
What film moved you the most last year and why?
“A film that really moved me last year is a Turkish film called ‘Paper Lives’. It’s about a sick man who collects garbage in the neighborhood with homeless youth. The reason that this film moved me so much is the message that when someone is traumatized from their childhood, and they don’t get the right help and love, there is a chance that this person keeps lingering at this age. In other words, a 30-year-old man can still be 13 in his head.”
Why are you looking forward to joining The New Jury?
“I’m mainly very curious about joining The New Jury this summer. I’m curious about the knowledge that will be shared with me and the people that I will meet. I’m very grateful to be a part of this festival.”
Instagram: heyzedd

Willem de Kooning trailers for Roffa Mon Amour

We are very pleased and proud to announce our collaborations with the class of the first-year Bachelor in Audio Visual Design at Willem de Kooning Academy. The talented students Kick Hoogewerf, Olga Malinowska, Anas Qadamani, Lukas Balskus, Anna Jones, Sietske Kupperman, and Hasse van Leeuwen realized the trailer for the 9th edition of the Roffa Mon Amour film festival. The students put into practice what they have learned so far by creating artsy and playful videos that deserve to be shared with you.   

The excellent quality of the final trailers made it difficult to pick up the best video, but Anas’ trailer stood up among others. We’ve interviewed him to get to know him better:

Why did you choose to study at Willem de Kooning? 

Well, I studied music my whole life. And I’ve always been fascinated by taking photos, the directing side of filmmaking, and cinematography. I’ve always wanted to combine images with sound, but I needed a free space where to experiment and to find my own style. So I went to the WdKA open day and I felt that it could be the right school for me since it permits students to experiment with images and sound freely.

What inspires you? 

I get inspired by anything honest, genuine, and preferably simple. I don’t get inspired by specific sources such as media or art.  Anything can be inspiring, like a conversation, a song, a film.   

How did you come up with the idea for the Roffa Mon Amour trailer?  

I wanted to focus on the core idea of the festival, so I wanted to make a teaser that represents not only the 9th edition of the festival but the essence of it. So I decided to develop a narrative where the actress represents the festival as she’s moving from one location to another.  She’s projecting films that attract a young audience who represents the audience of Roffa Mon Amour. 

What adjectives would you use to describe this artwork?  

I would say it’s intriguing even though it has a warm and tender feeling. But it is also dynamic and has aesthetically beautiful imagery.  

What did you learn from this experience?  

It’s my first commercial project so I was interested in finding this balance between my artistic vision and what the client wanted. It was nice to go to the feedback sessions, discussing the project with teachers and friends, and then working on it. So, I wanted to find my position as a creator trying to balance the client’s requests with my artistic perspective

What are your plans for the future?   

I don’t have plans. I used to have a lot of plans and scenarios in the past but a while ago I stopped making plans, and I decided to just experience the space I have here happily. Right now I just want to experiment with other fields and styles as well as with acting, directing, writing, and making music. I will find my way and I’m not looking to have plans. 

Anas Qadamani’s trailer

 

 

Hasse van Leeuwen’s trailer

 

 

Kick Hoogewerf’s trailer

 

 

Lukas Balskus’ trailer

 

 

Olga Malinowska’s trailer

 

 

Anna Jone’s trailer

 

 

Sietske Kupperman’s trailer

 

call: the new jury

Want to have a say about films? Be part of a festival jury? Present the very first New Amour Award? Become a jury member of The New Jury!

We are looking for three youngsters who will form The New Jury 2021. For the first time, we give Rotterdam film lovers the opportunity to watch RMA films, to decide which filmmaker will take home the New Amour Award. So, if you are a film freak with a critical eye and you are in the mood for a cultural summer project, we invite you to become a jury member at Roffa Mon Amour 2021! The application deadline is June 1. 

Find the full description and sign up here!

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Wil jij meepraten over films? Onderdeel zijn van een festivaljury? De eerste New Amour Award uitreiken? Word jurylid in The New Jury!

Wij zoeken drie jongeren die samen de The New Jury 2021 vormen. Voor het eerst bieden we Rotterdamse filmliefhebbers de kans de films uit het programma van Roffa Mon Amour te bekijken, om samen te beslissen welke filmmaker met de New Amour Award naar huis gaat. Dus, ben je een filmfreak met een kritische blik en heb je zin in een cultureel, zomers uitstapje, dan nodigen we je uit om jurylid te worden tijdens de 9e editie van Roffa Mon Amour. De deadline om je aan te melden is 1 juni. 

Bekijk de oproep en meld je hier aan!

la haine (1995): a hybrid, heterogeneous cultural patchwork.

By Floris Mosselman

In 1995 Mathieu Kassovitz introduced Western Europe to aspects of urban France that was until then, scarcely available to most of the general public. He did this through La Haine (Hate), his second directional feature-film about three men in Chanteloup-les-Vignes, a Paris banlieu. We follow Vinz, Said and Hubert for 24 hours after a violent riot happened in their neighborhood and in which the police severely wounded a friend who is now in the hospital. The film is based on actual events.

La Haine presents a more close-up view of the banlieu and its daily reality and interaction of its inhabitants with the police and the rest of society to a broader public. Many people only knew (and still know) these neighborhoods through their newspapers or tv screens, from camera crews filming from behind the riot police. In the most ‘hot’ or highly active part of these neighborhoods (les quartier chauds), the riot police have an almost permanent presence as can also be seen in the movie which focuses heavily on the relation between these men and the police.

Through its rough camerawork, setting, street-wise dialogue and emotional and tense situations the movie feels very real for most of its viewers and it immediately became a hit in France. It actually seemed so real, that The Interior Minister and Prime Minister of France supposedly watched it three times in order to understand the underlying causes of the riots the film is based upon. They even ordered the whole Parliament to watch it. I don’t really know if this should be seen as something positive, in the sense that these statesmen were genuinely interested in what was going on in their own backyard, or as something negative, in the sense that these men had absolutely no clue how to deal with these neighborhoods so they turned to a movie.

This suburb of Paris like many other neighborhoods of big cities in Western Europe are characterized by the collapse of models of productivity built on factories and workers. These workers were imported from other countries or came from former colonies. Most of these men and women were perfect for the simple jobs at hand; they worked hard, took care of their own communities were content with what they got and needed minimal education or other investments from the state. Modernity rushed forward however, and within a few decades more favorable production conditions were found elsewhere, leaving these neighborhoods with extremely high unemployment rates, low educational levels, increasing relative poverty and all its consequences.

The movie sparked a lot of debate on how these suburbs and social housing projects were handled by the government and the police brutality that was going on there. For the most part the film was received positively, but there were also critical voices. Some critics from the hip-hop community remarked that Mathieu Kassovitz was not seen as authentic enough, because his film was so stylized and cinematic literate that he was not ‘keeping it real’. According to others, he could not speak for the banlieu as he was clearly from a bourgeois, leftist family and had not really experienced that environment. Others however praised him for staying true to the realities of the communities, also because the La Haine project was not just a movie, but also a CD in which local hip-hop artists give their own views on the subject of the film and a photo exhibition showing the production process of the film in the neighborhood. According to some, the film is not just made by an ‘insider’ or an ‘outsider’, a ‘high’ or a ‘low’ cultural production, a ‘white’ or a ‘black’ movie: it is a hybrid, heterogeneous cultural patchwork.

I tend to agree with this last statement, although the debate of being able to represent someone else’s life-experiences is still ongoing. Actually I am more interested in why people want to see this movie, and why they like or dislike it and its characters. And if we think this is a proper depiction of the banlieu, isn’t watching this movie comparable to the controversial ‘neighborhood safaris’ we have here in Rotterdam, in which people that are interested in a poor neighborhood and its people, are ‘safely’ walked around so they can look intrigued at its ‘authentic’ inhabitants. And finally, almost 25 years after its release, is viewing this film and forming an opinion about it (again) enough? Can people watch this and go home telling themselves ‘now I understand how these people act and feel’ while still not being able to interact naturally with some young men that are standing on the streets. I look forward to learning about all your views and telling you about my research, the movie and why I think it is hard for some people to interact with those from neighborhoods with a different cultural and socio-economic environment.

Floris Mosselman studies the way groups of young adults give meaning to – and embody – conflict situations. After graduating in Cultural Sociology he worked at the Netherlands Institute of Crime and Law Enforcement mapping how robberies unfold using video analysis. As a PhD candidate he is now part of the Group Violence Research Program at the University of Amsterdam. Headed by Don Weenink they focus on how group behavior affects the likelihood and severity of violence.
At Roffa Mon Amour, Floris talks about how La Haine (1995) was received back when the film came out, and how the film could be watched today.

interview: caroline poggi and jonathan vinel on jessica forever

“In an apocalyptic world, a Lara Croft-like mother-figure takes care of a group of outlaw orphan boys who are on the run from murderous drones.”

Directors Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel met in university in Paris where they separately worked on short films but always supported and advised each other.
In 2014 their first collaboration came out, the short film Tant qu’il nous reste des fusils à pompe. The film was selected in Berlinale’s prestigious short program where it even won the Golden Bear. This gave them the opportunity to create a first feature-length film: Jessica Forever which premiered in Berlinale 2019.

[Caroline] “Working together, we have the same kind of characters, locations, diverse facts in mind. We take every step together, from writing to editing. The preparation is maybe even more intense than the shooting of the film. We both need to know exactly where we need to place the camera and how we need to direct the actors. Preparing well allows us to shoot fast and also provides us from fighting in front of the team [laughs].”

[RMA] Jessica Forever was received well in the film media. Hollywood Reporter described the film as somewhere between art-house and grindhouse, what do you think of that description?

[Jonathan] I think it’s the best description for this film! We do not consider ourselves merely ‘cinephiles’. We are influenced by a lot of other stuff like the Internet and video games. Jessica Forever is somewhere in between contemporary art and cinema. I think the fact that people feel the film is lost between genres is another way to show that some films don’t belong anywhere. It was inspired by lots of different styles.

[RMA] How did u come up with this super interesting idea of Jessica Forever?

[Jonathan] One of the first things that we wanted to talk about was people being rejected by society because they have committed a horrible crime. We asked ourselves; is there a possibility of redemption? Jessica Forever was a way for us to racheter [ed: redeem] the people who committed horrible crimes and try to help them find a place. And eventually, even to help them find beauty.

[Jonathan] It also came from our desire to talk about a recomposed family. People feeling isolated and who are looking to build a new, heartfelt family in a new world with their own rules.
Together with Jessica, the characters are able to reconnect with something ‘pure’. She symbolizes light and hope.
The two words that are the most important in the film are ‘orphan’ and ‘monster’. We aimed at telling a simple story in a fantastical contemporary universe taking images of our ‘own’ world: the suburb, the beach, the forest, and the muscular man. We aimed at placing those images in a legend, a more in-temporal and universal place. Our influences come from a lot of different places. We like cinema obviously, but we also love music, video games, Internet, Tumblr, Instagram. We don’t write with cinematographic words, and maybe that’s why this movie is a hybrid between contemporary cinema and many other forms, images and types of screens that we grew up with.

[RMA] We also screen Yann Gonzalez’s Knife + Heart (2018) this year, another film that toys with genres. And in 2018, we programmed Bertrand Mandico’s Les Garçons Sauvages (2017), another film with the flair of contemporary art. Maybe it is a bit early to conclude, but could there be a new kind of movement in France that likes to mix ‘genre’ with interdisciplinary art forms?

[Caroline] We are well connected with Bertrand and Yann. I don’t know how to explain; maybe we are close to a sort of belief in a precise universe with characters that are ‘pure’. We share a love for form and shape and we want to try, to experiment. I think it is where we are all connected, in a cinema that is not naturalist.

[Jonathan] Nowadays, it is way more tolerated to toy with genre cinema. It used to be underappreciated because it was not noble and sacred. It was something for the beauf [ed: people having bad taste]. Now it has become cool, so it is about fashion and movement. Films like ours are now tolerated and are even well received.

[RMA] How did you decide to use the drones? For me, they are deeply connected to modern war.

[Jonathan] Drones have two very different logics. They are an object of war and terror but also of leisure and fun. We were looking for an object that could incarnate the enemy in a universal way. They have a similar meaning as the birds in The Birds (1963) by Hitchcock. What scares people is that these objects are not rational. You can’t project anything, you cannot identify with them, so they easily become the ‘enemy’.

[Caroline] Drones are completely melting into our world. You cannot see them, like the Hitchcock birds they are invisible, a surveillance camera.

We tried to create a drone in a contemporary manner: small and deathly, between an animal and a machine, able to place in a heroic-fantasy. If you look closer, the drones have spikes, they have a sort of medieval armor and they fly like insects, not like actual drones.

Jessica Forever will be distributed in Dutch cinemas in fall 2019.

Interview by: Charlotte Van Zanten

interview: partho sen-gupta on slam

While interviewing Partho on his third feature film, he expresses his appreciation for selecting his most recent film Slam (2018). Why? We wonder. We are the ones who should be grateful he made this film and we are very happy to be able to add it to our special program Activism Now!
But somehow Slam (2018) is not being selected in European festivals. And that’s strange, because it was one of the rare films that was both selected for Cinemart – IFFR’s co-production market – and after, also for Berlin’s co-production market. Producers and its financing was found easily and the story didn’t change since, but both festivals didn’t select the end-result. How is that possible?[Partho] I think that there is a serious problem of inherent Islamophobia that exists in people’s minds. I mean, one can see the way things are going with the European elections. And I think that’s a serious problem. I can’t give it any other explanation. Slam was a French co-production but the film has no distributor in France. When I spoke with the distributor who did Sunrise (2014) – a Muslim Tunisian woman – she said she liked the film but the rest of the office was against the film. That’s an almost violent reaction. They didn’t say: “We don’t like the film”, but “We hate the film. We are against it.”

[RMA] But it’s also a really strong emotion you evoke with your film. Don’t get me wrong, but I think Slam makes a more impression on a younger audience. That’s why it’s a perfect fit with our festival. I believe our audience will be blown away by the film and moreover learn from it.

[Partho] That’s exactly on my mind; I think that it’s an age thing. The older generation is ruling the festivals in the world; I’m very excited to see how young people react to this.

[RMA] Maybe young people can emphasize more easily with the character whereas the (white) older generation, might be offended by the way you, for example, depict white men.

[Partho] That’s right; I think that’s the problem. In Europe we always want to relate racism to Nazis or skinheads, the extreme. But what I wanted to show was that there is an inherent racism in our society and that this everyday racism happens all the time and that that guy is not always a Nazi. I wanted to make a film about violence, not just about racism.

[RMA] Sometimes watching something is more confronting than when you read on paper.

[Partho] I think in retrospect that in their minds, they still thought that it was a film about radicalization. I don’t think they realized what I was trying to say. They didn’t see that whiteness was being accused of something.
Most liberals believe that they’re on our sides. And if you accuse them then they get really angry: “Oh, how dare you tell me”. But I’m not accusing anyone; I’m just saying this is how it exists. This is how it gets constructed. It’s about the everyday little things that happen, that make this work. There is violence, there are assholes everywhere, and there are extremists everywhere. You can’t just blame a whole community for that. You can’t blame every young woman who’s walking on the road in the hijab as being part of some kind of Islamic Republic. As I can’t blame every white person I meet on the street to be some kind of Nazi. It doesn’t work like that.

[RMA] Compared to Sunrise where you had very little dialogue to explain what’s happening, Slam is an audience-friendly and dialogue-driven film.

[Partho] I was asked to make it more accessible, by the French and Australian producers. But it was not only that. Slam gives a voice to a group of people that has never been depicted in cinema before. Look at what just happened in Cannes! The Dardenne Brothers were selected with a film [Le Jeune Ahmed (2019)] about a small kid that radicalizes. I haven’t seen the film yet, but what I read from the reviews is that there is no explanation on why the child gets radicalized.
This film got the Prix de la mise en scéne – the Best Director Award! Though they got terrible reviews, and everyone says: there is no explanation on why is this little boy suddenly gets radicalized. There is NO explanation given by the brothers. It’s the hatred: you’re born like that and there’s no way out.

[RMA] Did you base Slam on some actual events or the several stories that you hear all the time?

[Partho] Yes and no. I did not base it on anything that happened, but unfortunately things are happening which are based on the film.
When I just arrived in Australia I went to a poetry slam in Western Sydney where I shot the film. Western Sydney, Bankstown is a suburb, which has the largest Muslim population. There is an art center, where they hold a poetry slam. 80 percent of the poets are Muslim poets, mainly Muslim women poets.
I watched a section and there was a woman in a hijab who came and started saying these crazy, strong words and I was really impressed. The image that the media gives you about hijabi women is that they’re weak and it’s all about the men and they have no voice and I was like: wow, this is really a contrast. Visually and cinematographically it was inspiring and I realized: I have to do something – I don’t know what – but I have to do something. And I said: what happens if she disappears tonight? That experience was the beginning of the story and how I started writing years ago.

Interview by: Charlotte Van Zanten

interview: markus schleinzer on angelo

“Costume drama about a young black boy who is kidnapped from his home country to serve as a mascot for Austria’s aristocrats” 

Director Markus Schleinzer was more in love with theater than cinema when he was young. For him it was the true form of art, whereas cinema was a lie as its actors never had to adjust to the moment. That was until a friend showed him Peter Greenaway’s Drowning by Numbers (1988). He was 15 years old, did not understand a single word of the film but felt like a bus had hit him.
He started watching more independent and European cinema.
Accidentally, he got into the casting world where he stayed for almost two decades and worked with directors such as Ulrich Seidl and Michael Haneke. In 2011 his first feature film Michael came out, Angelo (2018) is his second film.

[RMA] How come you decided to start making your own films?

[Markus] As a child I grew up with little borders. I had the feeling that I could be part of any discussion. So, maybe this is the reason I was not used to ‘stay on my side’. As a casting director, I read the script and when I didn’t understand something I would go to the director and explain what I found interesting and what I could not understand. I would present a scene in a way that I thought could be more intriguing and natural for the actors.
Writing became part of my job and often I would be asked to come to the set and help direct a scene because the directors felt they could not do it the way I had presented it in the office.
At the age of 26, I met Michael Haneke for the first time. I worked on six or seven films with him. From the beginning he gave me a lot of opportunities. When we did The Piano Teacher (2001) with Isabelle Huppert, I was on set most of the time to direct all the extras.
When we did The White Ribbon (2009), he gave me the opportunity to not only cast but also direct all the children on set. And after we finished he told me: “OK, now it’s time to move on. Write your own script and finally make your own movie.”
So, that’s how – at the age of thirty-eight – I became a director.

[RMA] Your first feature film was called Michael (2011) and your second one Angelo (2018). In both films you follow the (real) lives of two men. Could you tell us more about Angelo Soliman? How did you stumble upon his story and what intrigued you to decide that you wanted to make a feature film about him?

[Markus] What I’m mostly interested in are outsiders. You can become an outsider pretty easily; it does not take much. I’ve always been intrigued by characters who want to go somewhere but are not able to, because of taboos or repressions from society. Both men in their own way represent these outsiders.
As mentioned before, I like films that deal with mixed media. Peter Greenaway came from painting. In his work he makes various references to paintings. If you’re not an expert you cannot decode them, but you can still see all of this superb artworks.
But making Michael (2011) I could not explore this path, as I did not want to make a film about a child locked away in a basement where everything is beautifully shot. That would have been disgusting. It had to be dry and sober and not beautiful or sexy at all.
After this film, I decided it was time to do something in which I could bring beauty. Angelo Soliman is a famous figure in Vienna, Austria and I grew up with a lot of stories about him. I started my research and soon found out that most of the stories I learnt in my childhood were wrong. This human being was used by the Austrian society, but never given the chance to tell his own story.
People always said he was grateful to our society which gave him the opportunity to make something out of his life and that at the end of his days he donated his own skin because he was so grateful. It is something I doubt very much. There were people who said he was a great example of a well-done immigration job. How can you use this man as a good immigration example? He was kidnapped; it is a crime. He did not decide to come here for a better life. We forced him. He came to Austria just to shine for us and not for himself. He was an ornament.

[RMA] It must have been confronting to have your childhood stories crushed like this.

[Markus] Stories often become truer than the truth itself. I think it was Orson Welles who once said that the Vienna that does not exist is the most beautiful.

[RMA] Was it hard to find the ‘true’ story about Angelo Soliman?

[Markus] No, very easy. When you know where you have to go you can find it, but it’s not a loud voice. There are plenty of scientists and experts working on him, but what they have to tell is not as interesting as the huge amount of sweet little stories.
For a while, Angelo worked for the count of Liechtenstein. In the house of Liechtenstein – which still exists – there was a very interesting book in which they wrote down what they spent. So, that much for horses and that much for carriages and things like this. And in every year, there’s also one column for Angelo Soliman. You can read what kind of presents they bought him, like a feather for his head and new shoes.
They had this part in the book for every servant who worked there, male and female. And after every name there is the job description. So, you have Mr. Charlie Hoover, servant number one and Duke Palast servant number two. The titles of the job for Angelo Soliman change every year and are confusing. One year he is a ‘bywalker’ who you could take a walk with whenever you wanted. The next year he is someone to chat with, like an old lady. Or someone who can read you a book.
It seems like they did not know how to name his job. As I said before, he was just there to be an ornament. But for me, in the end, Angelo was a true actor.  He was brought to Austria, to play for us in different ways. Whenever we wanted him, he had to come and have this monologue about an Africa that never existed. And we dressed him the way he had to be and the way he had to react and the way he had to shine, it was also a part of his role.

Interview by: Charlotte Van Zanten

liliana cavani: a european eccentric phenomenon

By Francesca Brignoli

Liliana Cavani is the only female Italian director to be recognised at a global level. Her story is interconnected with her productive and political involvement – an activity that she has never fully worked out – making her a truly unique humanist. Cavani considers cinema a tool for understanding and conversing with contemporaneity. The historic, cultural and spiritual lands she crosses make her cinema eccentric: the caution with which it is received, especially in Italy, is proof. She has been followed with more sensibility abroad, where she has been considered more as a European phenomenon than an exclusively Italian one: her productions reveal a very strong cosmopolitan vocation.

She belongs to the generation that definitively freed itself from Neorealism; from her earliest beginnings her name has been paired, also from the generational point of view, with those of Marco Bellocchio and Bernardo Bertolucci. Their cinema invented new forms of interpreting the real from an intensely subjective point of view. But to truly understand the space within which the filmmaker moves, one must actually look to Luchino Visconti and Pier Paolo Pasolini. She shares the concept of the “foreign body” with Pasolini, of that which is different and subverts the established order. With Visconti she instead shares a propensity to use history as a scenario of experiences, as a stimulus for a cultured, sophisticated and cruel human story.

Her vision, free from any kind of Manichaeism, has made her a fascinating but complicated figure: in some cases her originality has shadowed her sophisticated mindset and dedication. RAI (national television channel) produced her first films, which were documentaries and historical-social inquiries. The Cannibals (I cannibali, 1970) captured the interest of international critique, with Susan Sontag bringing the film to the New York Festival. In the sixties she founded Lotar Film in order to acquire creative independence, which produced The Night Porter (Il portiere di notte,1974) – her masterpiece – and Beyond Good and Evil (Al di là del bene e del male, 1977). These films were very successful in the European box offices and stimulated intellectual debates abroad. In Italy, on the other hand, the films were regarded as scandalous and raised discussions about the power of censorship and a filmmaker’s autonomy, especially in the case of women. She continues to direct in modern times, also with significant foreign productions: Ripley’s Game (2002) for the British Fine Line Features.Francesca Brignoli (IT) is an independent researcher and cinema specialist of Liliana Cavani, to whom she dedicated her thesis, graduating with a degree in Cinema History and Criticism at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Pavia. She continued her research on Cavani’s cinema, writing speeches, essays and the monograph Liliana Cavani. Every possible journey (2011).
She and Nuccio Lodato edited historical-critical monographs dedicated to Ingrid Bergman. The Vertigo of Perfection (2010), Marilyn Monroe. Deceits (2014) and Orson Welles. Fourth power (2015). At Roffa Mon Amour she will talk about the work of Cavani.