It’s that time of year again: IFFR 2019 is here! Today I’m sharing my five picks for the film festival.

Tonight marks the official start of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), which takes place in cinemas and theaters all throughout the city. During these upcoming 12 days, Rotterdam becomes a cinematic hub filled with film makers, journalists and movie enthusiasts – including me.

Over the course of IFFR 2019, there are so many screenings, workshops, quizzes and talks it can become quite overwhelming. So I’ve made a special Almost Famous Writer edit with my five picks that I definitely want to see at IFFR, including new featured films by Claire Denis and Ena Sendijarevic.

High Life

High Life is probably the film that I’m most looking forward to seeing at IFFR. It’s a space opera, directed by Claire Denis (who is a bad-ass French female director) and starring Robert Pattinson (I almost forget he was in Twilight) – and this combination completely intrigues me. The film follows the story of a group of prisoners who are send into space to investigate whether or not a black hole can be used as a power source. However, the members of the space expedition function as guinea pigs in Juliette Binoche’s crazy sexual experiments.

You can check the screening times and tickets for High Life right here.

Take me somewhere nice

I know it’s a little bit of a faux pas to recommend a film that is completely sold out already (except for professionals, so if you are one, I say GO!), but I can’t make an edit of the IFFR films I’m looking forward to the most without mentioning this one. Plus, you can usually score a ticket right before the film’s screening time, so there are definitely posibilities here. Last year I interview director Ena Sendijarevic for Cineville and it was such a great talk about feminism, Ena’s love for film making and her first featured film, which is now screening at IFFR! Take me somewhere nice is a road-trip film in which a Dutch/Bosnian goes on a trip with her nephew and his charming friend, and explores the edges of absurdity and reality.

You can check the screening times and tickets for Take me somewhere nice right here.

At Eternity’s Gate

Any film starring Willem Dafoe and Mads Mikkelsen immediately gets brownie points, so of course At Eternity’s Gate intrigued me. The film (directed by Julian Schnabel) focuses on the last years of painter Vincent van Gogh, as he is tormented by both lucid dreams and horrid realities. Schnabel supposedly filmed At Eternity’s Gate in the style of Van Gogh’s paintings, expressionistically, and I’m very curious to see what that looks like on the big screen.

You can check the screening times and tickets for At Eternity’s Gate right here.

Una banda de chicas

When you’re not in the mood for a featured film, how about going to see a documentary? The premise for Una banda de chicas sounds super interesting, with director Marilina Giménez exploring women in the Argentinian music scene. She dove into the underground music scene and documents female musicians and artists, who are building a career for themselves in a world that is still mostly dominated by men.

You can check the screening times and tickets for Una banda de chicas right here.

Vox Lux

Natalie Portman stars in Vox Lux, a satirical drama about fictional popstar Celeste, who has grown incredibly cynical under the influence of fame and fear. The film is set against historical events like 9/11 and the Columbine shootings, and director Brady Corbet poses tough questions on contemporary American society. Vox Lux includes voice-overs by Willem Dafoe (normally I’m not a huge fan of voice-overs, but for Willem I’ll make an exception) and original songs by Sia.

You can check the screening times and tickets for Vox Lux right here.

And those were my five picks for IFFR 2019! The film festival takes place from January 23rd to February 3rd in cinemas and theaters all throughout Rotterdam. You can find all of the info on their website.