Young Film Critics at the 34th International Film Festival Rotterdam By Belinda van de Graaf

in 23th Rotterdam International Film Festival

by Belinda van de Graaf

The 34th International Film Festival Rotterdam (26th January – 6th February) invited three young talents from around the world to join the annual trainee project for young film critics. For the 7 th edition of this successful trainee programme, that was followed by the festivals of Berlin and Vienna, three young talents from Russia, Colombia and Scotland were chosen to participate in the deliberations of the Fipresci jury, to write about their festival experiences in the festival daily ‘The Daily Tiger’ and to explore the world of an international film festival devoted to independent world cinema.

Hassouna Mansouri, president of this year’s Fipresci jury in Rotterdam, states: “The trainee programme is a very nice way to get a younger generation of film critics involved in Fipresci. The young critics, that were all in their twenties, participated in our jury debates, and were very eager to discuss the films with us, the official jury members. I think, for them it is a nice way to get aquainted to this exciting world of a big film festival, and for us it was just refreshing to have three ‘young dogs’ in our middle. It made the jury deliberations more lively, for sure.”

The three young film critics that were involved in this year’s trainee programme will shortly introduce themselves:

Evgeny Gusyatrnskiy: “Hi, I am from Moscow, Russia. And I am 21 years old. I studied film theory and film history (VGIK), and I am working as a film critic and an editor for Film Art Monthly Review (Iskusstvo Kino Magazine). This is the third time that I visit a film festival. I have been to the film festivals of Moscow and Venice before. In my article for the Fipresci website I will concentrate on one of the films that was in this year’s Tiger Award competition: Paradise Girls by Dutch-Chinese director Fow Pyng Hu.”

Susitha R. Fernando: “I am from Colombo, Sri Lanka. And I am 27 years old. I am an undergraduate in arts (BA), and I studied English literature/communications and methodology. I am a filmcritic for the Daily Mirror Newspaper, an English daily in Sri Lanka. This is the first time that I visit an international film festival. In my article for the Fipresci website I will focus on the Tiger Cub Competition, the new installed competition for short films that brought forward three winners: Nuuk by German director Thomas Koener, Interlude by Dutch director Joost van Veen and Veere by Dutch director David Lammers.”

Ninian Doff: “I am from Edinburgh, Scotland. And I am 23 years old. I studied film & theatre in Bristol University (BA), and right now I am working for BBC Radio Scotland. I have only been in one film festival before, in my hometown Edinburgh. For the Fipresci website I will reflect on the fourteen films that were selected by festival director Sandra den Hamer to compete for this year’s Tiger Awards.”