<rmm> 39th International Film Festival Rotterdam: Jan 27 - Feb 7

Niels Reedijk niels.reedijk at gmail.com
Thu Jan 14 14:11:23 CET 2010

Hey guys,

As the promotional posters are literally everywhere in town, and also
on all the train stations, I think it is time to get excited about the
International Film Festival in Rotterdam from January 27 until
February 7.

You can find the website here:

This festival is the largest international film festival in the
Netherlands and it has a really nice atmosphere. Traditionally, the
festival has a very strong selection of Asian films, though I find
that in recent years the programmer's tastes have expanded. Whether
that's a good thing, I don't know, that's up for you to decide.

I think it might be fun to do one festival day as a group. I would
suggest Friday January 29th. For those who never been to Rotterdam, I
can give you a small tour during the afternoon and I invite everyone
on this list to have dinner at my place during the evening. (Though
that's dangerous as I don't actually know how many people are on the
list ;-).

Will this date work for you? Anyway: information!

(If you have any questions, don't hessitate to contact me).

Getting to Rotterdam is easy. The festival locations are concentrated
around the Rotterdam Central station. From Amsterdam central the most
optimal trains are the intercities at :29 (to Vlissingen) and :59 (to
Dordrecht). These depart from platforms 13 or 14.

If you are living in the east of Amsterdam (near stations Amstel,
Muiderpoort, Duivendrecht, Bijlmer or Holendrecht) or you live near
the subway line that goes past these stations, it is best to take the
local train via Breukelen-Gouda to Rotterdam Central (the travel time
of the train is a bit longer, but it generally works out best if you
offset it with the time you need to travel to and transfer at
Amsterdam Central).

If you are in the south of Amsterdam, it is usually best to take a
train to Schiphol and transfer there to the intercity.

TIP: Get door to door travel information at www.9292ov.nl. This is the
best website for planning public transport travel in Holland.

First of all, my apologies for the lack of a real train station at
Rotterdam Centraal. At the moment the station is being rebuilt
completely in order to increase capacity inside the station, as well
as for the extension of the subway to Den Haag. It is a bit of a maze
the first time you're navigating around the perimeter, but I am pretty
sure that there will be signs guiding you towards the main festival
location in the Doelen building.

All festival locations are in walking distance from Rotterdam Central,
but if you want to do some exploring it is best to have an
OV-chipcard, as that's the only valid ticket in the subways. You can
still use a strippenkaart in the trams and busses (until February
11th!). The main arteries of the public transport system are the
subway lines (in the center lines A-B-C-D) and the tram lines.

Overview of the subway: http://bit.ly/5zsgoz
Map of the transportation network:
(Google maps also contains all the tram, bus and subway stops).

A map of the festival locations can be found here:
http://www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com/nl/waar-/ (Sorry, the English
version doesn't seem to work)

The most important thing you need to know is that the main ticket
office can be found at the Doelen building, 5 minutes away from the
train station (that's 1 on the map). It is the heart of the festival,
have a coffee and enjoy looking at all the people moving about.

The 'real' cinemas are Pathe Schouwburgplein (3 on the map), Cinerama
(4) and some halls in Lantaren/Venster (5). De Doelen (1), De
Schouwburg (2) and het Oude Luxor (6) are normal theatres and while
the atmosphere is great, I find that the projection quality is less
optimal. So I suggest to chose for the real cinemas whenever you have
the choice.

I also urge to you try to visit at least one film in Lantaren/Venster
(5). This small theatre is hidden in a residential street, but has a
really cool lounge. It is very likely that this theatre is going to
move to a new location - though I don't know whether this is meant to
happen this year - but this might be the last chance for you to visit
it. So I suggest trying to visit at least one viewing here. The shorts
programs run here, so big chance there is something of your liking.

Furthermore, the Boijmans van Beuningen (C) is a nice museum where
some artists are doing some split screen magic. I don't know what it
is exactly, but at least that exhibition is free entry when you can
show a cinema ticket (11:00-17:00, closed on Mondays).


The full ticket info can be found here:


Short overview:
* Normal tickets: € 9,00. (No single ticket student discount available!)
* There is a festival pass called the tiger pass. It costs €10 with
student discount (€15 regular). HOWEVER, the website says that you can
get the student discount with the OV-studentcard which some of you do
not have. I would suggest contacting them to ask whether the UvA
student card is valid as well. NOTE that you can already order the
Tiger Pass online, it will be sent to your home address then.
* Tickets bought with a tiger pass are € 6,50, that means that if you
go to more than four viewings you are saving money (with the student

There is a online ticket sale, but I haven't tried it. The online sale
starts 20.00 on Friday the 22nd of January.

In my experience the weekends are really busy. You might manage to
score tickets for the day films on the day itself (though the most
popular ones are usually sold out), but the evening's are usually sold
out in advance. Your chances are better on a weekday, though evenings
are tricky there as well.

If a viewing is sold out, usually there is a second viewing during the
festival (if the first is on an evening in the weekend, the second is
usually during a weekday in the daytime). If you visit more than one
day I suggest you buy all the tickets you want on your first visit.
You can also buy tickets at the venues, but if I recall correctly,
only for the viewings that are in that theatre (and it might even be
restricted to the day itself).

The central ticket office opens on Tuesday the 26th of January from 09.00.

The preview of the different categories can be found at:

The full program will be announced on the 21st of January. A print
version (with Dutch film descriptions) is distributed with the
Volkskrant on that day. That is the only day in the year I buy a
Volkskrant, and I usually toss out the rest. I suggest everybody else
to do the same.

The program will also be available online in English. A print version
is available at the central ticket office during the festival, though
I never paid attention to whether there was one in English.

The films to look out for are those in the Tiger Awards competition
(the main festival competition). There are also several blogs and news
sources that preview the program and pick out the good stuff.

Lunch can be found everywhere over town, but a few suggestions for you:

* Nostra. Mid-price, located at the Maurritsstraat 79 (Between the
Schouwburgplein and the Van Oldenbarneveldstraat). This is a nice
place with good 'broodjes' and salads. Busy during lunch time, but not
impossible. http://bit.ly/64UJDH
* Bram Ladage. Cheap. For the quick snack, the best fries in town. Can
be found at the Kruisplein (accross the Doelen) and at the
Binnenwegplein (http://bit.ly/7By00v).
* La Place. Mid-price. Good restaurant (part of the V&D department
store) with a really nice view. http://bit.ly/8EAphO

* Several restaurants in the Witte de Withstraat. Mid-price. This is
the 'art street' of Rotterdam. You can find here Bazar with a really
nice atmosphere and North-African/Middle Eastern cuisine (the one in
Amsterdam is the 'copy' of the Rotterdam one. The Rotterdam one has a
very different atmosphere). You can also try Opa which serves descent
food. [http://bit.ly/72bkIf] I have had a good experience at Werelds,
but many people had a bad one, so try that one at your own risk.

* Stalles. Student-price (with weekday offers) in the Nieuwe Binnenweg
(at the corner with the Eendrachtsplein) [http://bit.ly/6zmAJf]. Nice
good pastas and pizzas and whatever else can be made at a good price.
Note that nextdoor is Rotown, a well-known cafe and concert venue for
'indie'-bands. They also have a restaurant which is slightly more
expensive but also good.

* Sijf. A nice Dutch 'eetcafe', good food at descent prices. Can be
found at the Oude Binnenweg. [http://bit.ly/4H9Skr]

Finally, where to go partying depends on your mood and more
importantly the day. Unlike in Amsterdam, people in Rotterdam actually
work during the weekdays so most of the action happens in the
weekends. During the film festival, the Schouwburg (2 on the map) is
transformed into a 'Film Cafe', where you can hang about. After 23:00
there is a DJ there. Access after 23:00 is free provided you can show
a film ticket. In my experience this is a nice intro to the night

Anyway, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.

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