The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. This year, the 2020 edition runs from 22 January – 2 February at venues around the city of Rotterdam.

With hundreds of films on offer, as well as retrospectives, showcases, workshops, masterclasses, night events, and more, we have gathered 10 films on this year’s program that catch our eye. Keep in mind, IFFR 2020 will also feature a handful of the best from 2019 including the likes of Uncut Gems, The Lighthouse, Parasite (in a special black & white edition, screening alongside a Bong Joon-Ho masterclass!), Little Women, and more.

Atlantique (Dir. Mati Diop)

From the first black female director ever selected for the main competition in Cannes, French-Senegalese director Mati Diop delivers a beautiful interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey.

Communism and the Net or the End of Representative Democracy (Dir. Karel Vachek)

In a 6-hour film essay, Karel Vachek weaves a collage of collective memory to show the exposure, conflict, crisis, and catharsis of the post-communist society.

Adults in the Room (Dir. Costa-Gavras)

The renowned filmmaker returns at 86 with a thriller following Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s former finance minster during the worst days of his country’s financial crisis.

Air Conditioner (Dir. Fradique)

With a jazzy soundtrack and a concise look into its modern dynamics, the film depicts a mysteriously hot day in the Angolan capital where air conditioners start falling off buildings.

Bring Down the Walls (Dir. Phil Collins)

A look at the US prison industrial complex through the lens of house music and nightlife.

The Halt (Dir. Lav Diaz)

In black-and-white, award-winning filmmaker Lav Diaz depicts the middle ground between political satire and the Phillipines psychological temperature gauge.

Exposed (Dir. Beth B)

Traversing the 21st Century underground, eight young performers use their bodies to challenge our notions of sexuality, disability, and gender.

Family Romance, LLC (Dir. Werner Herzog)

Werner Herzog follows a Tokyo-based rent-a-family company, alternating depictions of the work process with the reasons why people turn to the company for help.

If We Burn (Dir. James Leong, Lynn Lee)

A peek at the recent Hong Kong protests through the eyes of those whose fates, like their city’s future, hang in the balance between freedom, democracy, violence, and suppression.

The Magic Mountain (Dir. Eitan Efrat, Daniel Mann)

Investigating the human desire to extract natural resources from the ground in three chapters: quarries, tunnels and caves