New Jury: 2022 edition!

Who decides which New Makers film gets to take the prize at the Roffa Mon Amour festival? That’s right, it’s the New Jury! A group of creative and determined film lovers: meet Tatum, Mayra, Luka, Francesco and Showendrick! They will soon be the ones to determine the winner of the New Makers competition – come join us at the festival to find out who their top pick was!







Roffa Mon Amour + Het Podium

Legowelt’s vibrant Ambient Trip Commander was a huge success! Follow these delightful moments to see how this amazing night went.

Merch line: live now!

Ready to rock the summer, Roffa Mon Amour style? 

We are finally launching our merch line! Get ready to snatch the cutest t-shirts with your favourite festival’s logo and show the world your best cinema geek self!

The shirts are avaliable in black+white and lime+black, sizes S to XXL, and cost € 24,00 incl VAT.

Stock is limited, so be sure to reserve by emailing us with the color, size and quanitity of your choice at 🎬 The first 5 reservations get free tickets for the opening night!

After you’ve done that, expect an invoice+confirmation email, and you’ll be able to pick your stylish shirt at our office:

Schiekade 189, 2nd Floor, space 207

We are open between 10:00 – 16:00 every Wednesday from 13th July onwards.

Wanna share even more vibes with Roffa Mon Amour? Apply to volunteer at:

Roffa Mon Amour + Maaskantine

With the relaxing beach atmosphere at Maaskantine, we couldn’t help but enjoy the chaotic heist that was Sexy Beast (2001). Have a look at how chill the vibes were!

Roffa Mon Amour + Maaskantine

The hot summer vibes are in! Every Friday of June and July, we will host summery film screenings at Maaskantine. 

Check out these films under the stars in our late-night showings with Maaskantine.

For the second year in a row we join forces with your favorite terrace and comfiest restaurant. Located on the edge of the Maas river, Maaskantine offers the yummiest food and the best view around! The warm sand and the dreamy stars over your head – what else could you need for a perfect film outing? Relax on the colorful sunbeds and enjoy our selection of fun and thoughtful film:

  • June 3rd 22:30-00:30, The Beach (2000): this cult summer film from the 2000s follows Richard as he travels to a dreamy island in Bangkok only to discover things are not as they seem.
  • June 10th, 22:30-00:00, Sexy Beast (2000): an aging criminal who thinks he left the dangerous life  is suddenly thrown into one last heist.
  • June 17th, 22:30-00:00, Body Electric (2017): in our collaboration with Rotterdam Pride, follow the nightlife of Elias as he parties away after long work hours.
  • June 24th, 22:30-00:00, Tangerine (2015): another partnership with Rotterdam Pride is an unexpected Christmas comeback! Two sassy trans sex workers embark on a journey of revenge to teach a cheating boyfriend a lesson.
  • July 1st, 22:30-00:30, BlacKkKlansman (2018): Ron Stallworth, the first black police officer in the Colorado Springs Police Department, is tasked to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan.
  • July 8th, 22:30-00:00, Mid90s (2018): a young boy named Stevie escapes his abusive household into a wild skater group. But will this new company take a toll on him?
  • July 15th, 22:30-00:00, Lady Bird (2017): Christine, as every rebellious teen does, hates everything around her. Will she manage to pursue her only dream – a liberal arts degree?
  • July 22th, 22:15-00:00, Garden State (2004): losing all emotion under questionable medication for his “anger management issues”, Andrew Largeman decides to turn his life around and finally feel again.
  • July 29th, 22:00-23:50, Buffalo ‘66 (1998): Billy just got out of prison and is about to face his family after this long. How does he feign a successful family life? Through the unconventional means of kidnapping himself a wife.

Our +Events page has all the tickets live now! Hurry up – the spots are limited!

Roffa Mon Amour + Paviljoen Aan Het Water

On May 19th, we gathered at Paviljoen Aan Het Water to see Bar Bahar: a movie about Arab-Israeli women in a delicate balance between tradition and the modern world. And what a fun, illuminating experience this has been! See for yourself in our picture report.

Roffa Mon Amour + Oase

Djon Africa screening at Oase on April 29th was a blast! Live music by Americo Brito and an artistic movie to boot sure kept everyone in high spirits. 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.


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



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:

Another website with additional information on how everyone can help:

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 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 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:

rma 2017 interview boo junfeng on apprentice

Aiman is a 28-year-old Malay correctional officer is recently transferred to Singapore’s top prison. When he is asked, on his first day of work, why he’s chosen this profession, his answer is perfectly Christian and clear: He wants to help those who want to change. However, the real reason has everything to do with his family’s history, which is gradually revealed.  

Analyzing the psyche of the executioner Apprentice offers an inside on the Death Penalty that is not preachy, but instead provides a different point of entry into the discussion. Choosing physical scars over violence and introspection over aggression Bunfeng delivers a prison film that is horrendous and shocking.

[RMA] Did you always know you wanted to be a filmmaker?

[Junfeng] I wanted to be a filmmaker since I was 15! I loved the idea of make-belief, that films can take the audience into a different world, and give people a perspective they otherwise wouldn’t see. Since 15, I’ve wanted to be in filmmaking, but I first started doing art direction and production design when I first went to film school.

[RMA] How did you get the idea for the story?

[Junfeng] I wanted to explore the point of view of an executioner. But instead of looking at someone who is already doing the job, I thought the moral and ethical dilemmas of someone who is about to take on the job would be more interesting to look at. I’m against the death penalty, but I hold the unpopular view where I come from. I felt that a film that is not preachy, but provides a different point of entry into the discussion about the death penalty would be helpful.

[RMA] Why did you name the film Apprentice? It makes sense, because it is about a young man learning a profession, but it is obviously a very shocking profession.

[Junfeng] Because the film is very much about Aiman “learning the ropes” from Rahim. And through that learning, they develop a father-son type of relationship, which pulls Aiman into a deeper dilemma.

[RMA] How did you research the character of Aiman? Have you spoken with executioners?

[Junfeng] Yes, I interviewed a couple of retired executioners and tried to understand where they stood on the issue and how they felt doing their jobs. I also spoke with religious counselors who had walked with inmates on their final walks, and families whose breadwinners had been executed, to understand the kinds of traumas that they might have been through. It was a fascinating journey. The first prison that I got to visit was actually an abandoned prison in Australia called Maitland Gaol. It is now a prison museum. It ended up being one of our filming locations because we couldn’t find locations in Singapore or Southeast Asia that were suitable or available for filming.

[RMA]  Do you believe as a filmmaker it is your responsibility to raise awareness?

[Junfeng] I wouldn’t call it a responsibly. I happen to care about issues that concern human rights and I find a lot of compelling human stories that come from these issues. I believe through films and storytelling, an issue no longer remains just an issue, but a human experience – so it’s not just cerebral or intellectual, but emotional and psychological as well. And that helps people understand things they otherwise wouldn’t understand.

Interview by: Charlotte van Zanten

IFFR interview Gabriel Mascaro on Boi Neon

Already in 2011 Boi Neon, or Neon Bull, was presented at Cinemart. It was Gabriel Mascaros first feature film script, but he eventually debuted with Ventos de Augusto in 2014.

“I felt the need to make something. Ventos de Augusto was a small film with a simple story line that was much easier to realize than Boi Neon. I decided to do it without budget and I did a lot of work myself like the cinematography and some acting. Boi Neon was a complex project: I needed time.”

Not that much time, because merely a year after his debut came out Boi Neon premiered in Venice. The award-winning film has since then been travelling most of the major festivals and the name Garbiel Mascaro has been written down on every talent-to-watch list.

Iremar works at the Vaquejadas, a traditional rodeo in the north east of Brazil where two men on horseback try bring down a bull by grabbing its tail. It’s dusty and back-breaking work, but Iremar is a natural ‘Vaqueiro’ feeding, prepping and taking care of the bulls.

Home is the truck used to transport the animals from show to show which he shares with his co-workers; Galega, an exotic dancer, truck driver and mother to her spirited and cheeky daughter Cacá, and Zé, his rotund compadre in the bull pen. Together they form a makeshift but close-knit family.

I meet Gabriel Mascaro in a very crowded Doelen. I think I am what people call a bit starstruck because I absolutely love his work and I soon realize it is kind of hard to talk or to say something smart. No problem of course because it is not about me, but about Gabriel Mascaro and his incredible, beautiful film: Boi Neon.

RMA: You are from Recife, the Brazilian capital of art house film. How did you get into filmmaking?

GM: I had the chance to work as a trainee for Brazilian director Marcello Gomez. [Cinema, Aspirins e Vultures, 2005] His film premiered in Cannes, so it was very special. Many people in Recife from my generation who are now working in the film industry were involved in this project. We discovered film by working.

Nowadays I use many different tools to make different kinds of art, such as visual installations, documentaries and photography. I was very happy to make a feature film, but I am just as happy when I work on a simple visual installation or do a photography project.


“I was very happy to make a feature film, but I am just as happy when I work on a simple visual installation or do a photography project.”


RMA: I see. That’s why the cinematography of August Winds was such a delight.

GM: Thank you. It was a big challenge to not do the cinematography on Neon Bull. But at the same time it was important to have time to give attention to the actors. Their parts were very demanding. There was a lot of tension in the script and there are many sex scenes. I had to be confident as a director to take them along with me.

As for the DOP, I wanted to work with someone from Uruguay, but she couldn’t do it and recommended me to work with Diego García. After he did my film, he went to Thailand to work on Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s new film Cementary of Splendour.

RMA: Another rising star.

GM: Yes, he is really talented. And young: only 35 years old. I was so lucky to have him before Apichatpong! [Laughing] He would have never come back to me. His latest project is Carlos Reygadas new film. No, he is probably not coming back to Brazil.

RMA: How did the idea of Boi Neon develop?

GM: I grew up, and still live, in the North-East of Brazil, which a very poor region. The land is dry and problematic; there are a lot of social conflicts. In the past ten years the country and region have been going trough a socio-economic and cultural transgression. Therefore, I wanted to make a film where people do not want to leave the place where they live, but they want to change the way they live in order to achieve their aspirations. I wanted to make a film where people are travelling, but instead of travelling away from a place, they travel circular. They live a nomadic life in an area they feel affection for. They are dreaming of doing something special, like being a fashion designer or owning a horse. Each character has its one odd, different, special and mostly sincere dream. These are also ambiguous dreams, because our body houses both vileness and pleasure. The film is about the dualism of our existence. Our day to day live is full of it.
While I was doing research for the film, I in fact met a cowboy who was besides working backstage at the Vaquejada also working at a textile factory. People often work different jobs and double shifts in order to survive. I was fascinated by the way he ritualized the cleaning of the bulls tails and then, a few hours later, would be sitting at a sewing machine for his second shift. This was the starting point for creating a fictional character who accumulates roles that combine force and delicacy, bravura and sensitivity, violence and endearment. Same for Galega who is an erotic dancer, but also a truck driver. Or the perfume seller, who also works as a guard for the factory. We all have multiple lives and I wanted to expand the notions of our identity and gender. The film does not judge anyone as the characters do not judge each other. The film only creates certain expectations, but these expectations are not fulfilled, because there is no actual plot.


“This was the starting point for creating a fictional character who accumulates roles that combine force and delicacy, bravura and sensitivity, violence and endearment.”


RMA: What does the relationship between humans and animals mean for you?

GM: In history humankind has always portrayed animals in art. I tried to find an esthetic and symmetric way to look at humans and animals instead of a hierarchical one. I didn’t want to animalize the humans nor humanize the animals. But I asked myself: how can we look at bodies in an honest way and how can we find connections. That’s why there is for example a scene where they massage the horse.

RMA: And that is why Galega dresses up like a horse when she is dancing?

GM: Yes, these are all ways to have you see beyond the narrative and the rational ways of thinking.

RMA: I have never seen such an erotic scene with a pregnant woman. No, the sex scene with the pregnant woman was probably one of the most erotic scenes I’ve ever seen.
[Laughing] Do you want to say something about that?

GM: Some people have asked me if the actress accidently got pregnant: she didn’t. I casted a woman who had to be pregnant around eight months by the time we would shoot the film. It is a real pregnancy.
In the North-East of Brazil the macho life is very present and associated with the ‘cowboy’ life. At some point in the film we create the expectation that Iremar is gay.

RMA: Until he makes love with the ultimate symbol of femininity?

GM: In Hamburg a film critic said the film could be a queer film, because the scene does not prove nor support masculinity. It is something completely new.
Iremar does not even ask about her pregnancy and the normalization of this taboo creates friction. We tend to associate a pregnant woman with purity. A pregnant woman is untouchable. But in the film we experience that she too desires pleasure.
What takes away the taboo is the fact that the scene is long. If you would have just seen a fragment and we had cut to the next scene, it would have been shocking. But now we forget about the taboo because while we watch them we start to feel the same pleasure as the actors.


“If you would have just seen a fragment and we had cut to the next scene, it would have been shocking.”


RMA: Are you working on a new feature film? And will this new project also focus on rural, rough Brazil?

GM: Not necessarily. I’m very interested in contemporary society and human contradictions. You should see my website! I’ve made an installation called: My Free Time and it involves people from all over the world.
In March and April I’m going to participate in an artist in residency program in the US. Until that time I won’t be doing a lot of script writing. I like to do more than film and I want to start the residency fresh.

Neon Bull will be released in Dutch cinema’s around June.

Interview: Charlotte van Zanten