‘Riders of Justice,’ Starring Mads Mikkelsen, to Open 50th Rotterdam Film Festival

Anders Thomas Jensen’s action comedy “Riders of Justice,” starring Mads Mikkelsen, will open the 50th International Film Festival Rotterdam. The festival will be staged in two parts this year: the first, in a hybrid format, running Feb. 1-7, and the second, hopefully a physical event, June 2-6. The awards ceremony will take place on Feb. 7.

In “Riders of Justice,” Mikkelsen plays Markus, a military man who returns home to look after his daughter Mathilde following his wife’s death in a train accident. At first it looks like she was the victim of a tragic piece of bad luck, but then mathematics geek Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), a fellow passenger on the train, shows up with his two eccentric colleagues, Lennart (Lars Brygmann) and Emmenthaler (Nicolas Bro), and floats the theory of a possible murder conspiracy. The film plays in the Limelight section.

Jensen is Denmark’s top screenwriter, with credits that include “After the Wedding,” “Brothers” and “Mifune.” He won an Oscar for his 1998 short film “Election Night.” He returns to the director’s chair after his 2015 film “Men and Chicken.”

Sixteen films have been selected for the festival’s Tiger Competition, which was revealed Tuesday. Fourteen films are world premieres and the other two are international premieres.

Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic said: “In a year like no other, filmmakers have gone above and beyond to complete works in challenging circumstances, and there has been no shortage of great films looking for a home at IFFR.”

She said the edition’s Tiger Competition, Big Screen Competition, and the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition, “encapsulate IFFR’s spirit as a platform for the discovery of visions that pique our curiosity and capture our imagination. The sheer determination of these striking new voices is exhilarating.”

The Tiger jury consists of filmmaker and visual artist Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, artistic director of International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Orwa Nyrabia, visual artist and filmmaker Hala Elkoussy, screenwriter and critic Helena van der Meulen and film producer Ilse Hughan.

The February program will also include conversations with leading filmmakers, including Kelly Reichardt, the recipient of this year’s Robby Müller Award. Reichardt’s latest feature, “First Cow,” plays as part of the Limelight lineup.

Tiger Competition
“Agate mousse,” Selim Mourad, Lebanon, world premiere
“Bebia, à mon seul désir,” Juja Dobrachkous, Georgia/U.K., world premiere
“Bipolar,” Queena Li, China, world premiere
“Black Medusa,” Ismaël, Youssef Chebbi, Tunisia, world premiere
“A Corsican Summer,” Pascal Tagnati, France, world premiere
“The Edge of Daybreak,” Taiki Sakpisit, Thailand/Switzerland, world premiere
“Feast,” Tim Leyendekker, Netherlands, world premiere
“Friends and Strangers,” James Vaughan, Australia, world premiere
“Gritt,” Itonje Søimer Guttormsen, Norway, international premiere
“Landscapes of Resistance,” Marta Popivoda, Serbia/Germany/France, world premiere
“Liborio,” Nino Martínez Sosa, Dominican Republic/Puerto Rico/Qatar, world premiere
“Looking for Venera,” Norika Sefa, Kosovo/Macedonia, world premiere
“Madalena,” Madiano Marcheti, Brazil, world premiere
“Mayday,” Karen Cinorre, U.S., international premiere
“Mighty Flash,” Ainhoa Rodríguez, Spain, world premiere
“Pebbles,” Vinothraj P.S., India, world premiere

Big Screen Competition
“Archipel,” Félix Dufour-Laperrière, Canada, world premiere
“Aristocrats,” Sode Yukiko, Japan, international premiere
“As We Like It,” Chen Hung-i & Muni Wei, Taiwan, world premiere
“Aurora,” Paz Fábrega, Costa Rica/Mexico, world premiere
“Carro Rei,” Renata Pinheiro, Brazil, world premiere
“The Cemil Show,” Bariş Sarhan, Turkey, world premiere
“Drifting,” Li Jun, Hong Kong, world premiere
“The Harbour,” Rajeev Ravi, India, world premiere
“The Last Farmer,” M. Manikandan, India, world premiere
“Lone Wolf,” Jonathan Ogilvie, Australia, world premiere
“The North Wind,” Renata Litvinova, Russia, world premiere
“El perro que no calla,” Ana Katz, Argentina, European premiere
“Sexual Drive,” Yoshida Kota, Japan, world premiere
“Les Sorcières de l’Orient,” Julien Faraut, France, world premiere
“The Year Before the War,” Dāvis Sīmanis, Latvia, world premiere

Limelight
“Beginning,” Dea Kulumbegashvili, France/Georgia, Dutch premiere
“Dead & Beautiful,” David Verbeek, Netherlands, world premiere
“Dear Comrades!,” Andrei Konchalovsky, Russia, Dutch premiere
“First Cow,” Kelly Reichardt, U.S., Dutch premiere
“Mandibules,” Quentin Dupieux, France, Dutch premiere
“Mitra,” Kaweh Modiri, Netherlands, world premiere
“La nuit des rois,” Philippe Lacôte, France/Côte d’Ivoire/Canada, Dutch premiere
“Quo vadis, Aida?,” Jasmila Žbanić, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dutch premiere
“Riders of Justice,” Anders Thomas Jensen, Denmark, international premiere
“Septet: The Story of Hong Kong,” Sammo Hung/Ann Hui/Patrick Tam/YuenWoo-ping/Johnnie To/Ringo Lam/Tsui Hark, Hong Kong/China, Dutch premiere
“Shorta,” Anders Ølholm/Frederik Louis Hviid, Denmark, international premiere
“Suzanna Andler,” Benoît Jacquot, France, international premiere
“Sweat,” Magnus von Horn, Poland, international premiere

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