Koen Mortier, Atom Egoyan, Paula van der Oest to direct segments in Rotterdam, I Love You
Renowned film directors Koen Mortier, Atom Egoyan, and Paula van der Oest will each direct a segment in the international feature film Rotterdam, I Love You. This was announced by the producers during a press conference, this morning at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).
Rotterdam, I Love You is the next instalment in the ‘Cities of Love’ series of films, in which a selection of filmmakers bring an ode to various world cities. Previous successful films in the series include Paris, je t’aime (2006) and New York, I Love You (2009). Rotterdam is the next city to be placed in the international spotlight, in which eleven directors and a global cast tell their stories, all set and filmed in Rotterdam.
The three directors just announced join Shariff Nasr, up-and-coming Rotterdam film director, who was already announced as a part of the directorial team. The names of the other directors will be announced leading up to the shoot this summer.
About the announced directors
Belgian filmmaker Koen Mortier made a splash with his feature debut Ex Drummer in 2007 and has since followed up with the acclaimed politically charged drama 22nd of May (2010). His story in Rotterdam, I Love You will take place within the Chinese subculture in Rotterdam. Mortier: ”When I first attended IFFR in Rotterdam years ago, I was surprised to find that Chinese restaurants are everywhere in the Netherlands. That inspired me to situate my story in the Chinese culture here.”
Armenian/Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan received two Oscar nominations for The Sweet Hereafter in 1997 and received multiple accolades for feature films such as Ararat (2002) and Remember (2015), starring Christopher Plummer. His segment in Rotterdam, I Love You takes place at IFFR. Egoyan: “I have such fond memories of the Cinemart at the Rotterdam Film Festival, and how important it was at the beginning of my career. It will be great to be a part of this project.”
Dutch filmmaker Paula van der Oest received an Oscar nomination for Zus & Zo (2001) and has since followed up her international success with films like Black Butterflies (2011) starring Carice van Houten and Rutger Hauer, Lucia de B. (2014, Oscar shortlisted) and Tonio (2016), this year’s Dutch Oscar entry. Van der Oest: “Rotterdam is by far the most cinematic city in the Netherlands, and I look forward to working together with all the talented colleagues. It’s time for a dutch Cities of Love entry!”
During the press conference, producers Matt Jaems and Joeri Pruys provided background information on the unique construction of the film: the eleven directors will consult and collaborate with each other, to create several touch points in the film between the characters and locations in their diverse stories. This construction ensures Rotterdam, I Love You becomes a cohesive feature film experience, while maintaining the creative freedom for directors that the film series is known for.
Rotterdam, I Love You will show the real Rotterdam, in all its rough beauty, to the world. The film is being produced by Matt Jaems and Joeri Pruys, in collaboration with Jeroen Beker (Submarine, NL), September Film Productions (NL), Czar (BE) and Glass Man Films (UK). Rotterdam, I Love You will shoot in the summer of 2017 and screen in cinemas worldwide in 2018.