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Rotterdam audience award to La Meglio Gioventu

33rd International Film Festival Rotterdam
January 21 - February 1, 2004

Giordana's LA MEGLIO GIOVENTÙ grabs KPN Audience Award

Closing up February 1, 2004, the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has equalled its 2003 attendance record of 355.000 visits to its films, exhibitions, debates and talkshows. Among the nearly 2,500 IFFR 2004 festival guests, the attendance of filmmakers Takeshi Kitano, Catherine Breillat and legendary footballer Johan Cruijff (subject of the Dutch documentary JOHAN CRUIJFF: EN MOMENTO DADO by Rámon Gieling) electrified the festival. The 33rd festival edition was marked by an honorary ceremony, Friday January 30, for director Simon Field who will leave the Rotterdam film festival. March 1, 2004 co-director Sandra den Hamer takes over as sole IFFR director. The next, 34th, IFFR will take place from Wednesday January 26 up to and including Sunday February 6, 2005.

Prior to the screening, Saturdaynight January 31, 2004, of the IFFR 2004 Closing Night Film GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING by Peter Webber, Italian director Marco Tullio Giordana received the Euro 5,000 of the IFFR 2004 Audience Award for LA MEGLIO GIOVENTÙ (THE BEST OF YOUTH). This monumental, six hour epic film will run in Dutch arthouses starting February 5, 2004.

IFFR presented the visitors of the 2004 Closing Night Film GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING a surprise by the attendance of Ben van Os and Dien van Straalen, recently Oscar nominated for art direction and costume design (along with Cecile Heideman's costume design) of Peter Webber's film about Dutch master Johannes Vermeer.

Friday January 30, 2004, THE MISSING by Taiwanese filmmaker Lee Kang-sheng became the biggest winner of IFFR 2004 by grabbing one of the three equal VPRO Tiger Awards, the KNF Award of the Dutch film critics and the NETPAC Award of the Best Asian festival title. The two other VPRO Tiger Award recipiants are the German film UNTERWEGS (EN ROUTE) by Jan Krüger and the Hubert Bals Fund supported, Bosnian film SUMMER IN THE GOLDEN VALLEY by Srjdan Vuletic who also took the young people jury's MovieZone Award.
Other excellently reviewed IFFR 2004 VPRO Tiger Awards Competition titles are AALTRA by Bénoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern (Belgium), DAYS OF SANTIAGO (DIAS DE SANTIAGO) by Josué Mendez (Peru), HOW I KILLED A SAINT by Teona Mitevska (Macedonië), FOUR SHADES OF BROWN by Tomas Alfredson (Sweden) and, from the Homefront USA sidebar, WAR by Jake Mahaffy (USA). Many visitors and festival guests came especially to Rotterdam for the screening of the rediscovered first version of John Cassavetes' classic SHADOWS.

The What (is) Cinema programme including interviews, debates and talkshows was succesfull with appearances by, among others, Michael Winterbottom (CODE 46), Artist in Focus Isaac Julien (UK) and each of the three Filmmakers in Focus Tunde Kelani (Nigeria), Raúl Ruiz (France) and Ken Jacobs (US). For the second consecutive year, the Rotterdam Film Parliament (discussing the motion 'This House Believes That The Digital Dream Will Destroy Cinema As We Know It') was the overture of the highly succesfull 21st CineMart edition attended by a recordbreaking 894 CineMart guests.

FACTS about the33rd International Film Festival Rotterdam

Total number of visits: 355,000 (2003: 355,000)
Totale box office receits: 1,200,000 Euro (2003: 1,200,000 Euro)
Number of page visits to festivalwebsite during festival period: 1,600,000 (2003: 1,600,000)

Total number of guests: 2,435 (2003: 2,344)
Total number of guests from The Netherlands: 760 (2003: 829)
Total number of foreign guests: 1,675 (2003: 1,515)
Total number of attending directors: 395 (2003: 331)

Total number of journalists: 541 (2003: 493)
Total number of international journalists: 236 (2003: 219)
Total number of Dutch journalists: 305 (2003: 274)

Total number of CineMart guests: 894 (2003: 798)

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