IFFR Sessions - Call for applicants

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New for IFFR's 49th festival edition. IFFR Sessions is a series of discursive ‘sessions’ in which selected participants will take part in workshops designed for discussion and learning.

Taking place daily over the first weekend of IFFR 2020 (23–27 January), and hosted by our location partner Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, IFFR Sessions promise to offer a platform for discussion, time and space for reflection and a laboratory for critical engagement. Each morning, IFFR will invite a professional (artist/filmmaker, curator or writer) to lead a three-hour session involving a presentation and screening, specially put together and solely for the group, followed by a discussion.

For the upcoming festival, IFFR Sessions will be held around the theme Collectivity. Celebrating the spirit of collective discussion and action, the sessions will explore alternatives to the cult of personality and explore the possibility of collaboration outside of hierarchical relations. The theme will resonate with aspects of IFFR’s programme in 2020.

The sessions will be moderated by curator and writer Rachael Rakes, Programmer at Large for Film at Lincoln Center, where she co-curates the annual festival Art of the Real, and Editor at Large for Verso Books. Until recently she was Head Curator and Manager of the Curatorial Programme at De Appel, Amsterdam. The five professionals invited to lead the individual sessions, selected by IFFR programmers and Rachael Rakes, will be announced by mid-December:

First-confirmed names: 

  • Eric Baudelaire
    The work of the French artist and filmmaker is wide-ranging and tentacular. Valuing long-term research and collaboration across different projects, Baudelaire develops close bonds with his subjects over time, producing work that inevitably and purposefully problematises the question of authorship. He was recently awarded the Prix Marcel Duchamp – France's biggest art prize. His latest film Un Film Dramatique is currently screening across the festival circuit.
  • The Nest Collective
    A multidisciplinary arts collective living and working in Nairobi. Founded in 2012, the Nest Collective has created works in film, music, fashion, visual arts and literature such as the critically-acclaimed queer anthology film Stories of Our Lives. They were with us at IFFR 2018 to screen this film, which featured as part of the Pan-African Cinema Today (PACT) programme.

How to join IFFR Sessions?

If you’re interested in participating, please apply with the following by 31 October (extended deadline).

  • Self-introduction
  • Short CV
  • Letter of motivation explaining why you are interested in participating and what you think you could contribute

The fee is € 400, with which you will receive:

  • An IFFR festival badge
  • Exclusive film screenings and presentations for five mornings
  • Group discussions and workshops
  • An invitation to our IFFR Sessions opening dinner and closing drinks

The number of participants is limited to 20, and they will be chosen by a selection committee. There is no age limit but young and/or early career applicants will be prioritised. Our guest department will help you find accommodation (at your own costs).


Thursday, October 31, 2019 (All day)

Exhibition dates: 

Thursday, January 23, 2020 (All day) to Monday, January 27, 2020 (All day)

Contact Email: 

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Thursday, October 31, 2019 (All day)

Exhibition dates: 

Thursday, January 23, 2020 (All day) to Monday, January 27, 2020 (All day)