The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announced on Sunday new titles to be screened during the 2020 edition, and will establish a new award after the late great cinematographer Robby Müller.
The festival and the Netherlands Society of Cinematographers (NSC) have launched the Robby Müller Award for the cinematographer, filmmaker, or visual artist who has created an authentic, credible and emotionally striking visual language throughout his work.
The first award goes to the Cinematographer Diego García and will be presented at IFFR 2020.
“In a world dominated by homogeneous big-budget entertainment, IFFR stands behind the truly original voices in cinema. The new Robby Müller Award testifies our ambition of promoting filmmakers who challenge conventions and bring something new to the table,” said Festival Director Bero Beyer.
On that note, Richard van Oosterhout, chairman of the NSC board said, “Müller pioneered new ways of storytelling and visualisation. His style was modest, spot on, simple and lucid. The new award aims to foster and encourage this type of attitude among today’s filmmakers.”
A jury of six film experts annually chooses a winner who receives the Robby Müller Award: a print of one of Müller’s exquisite polaroid photos. These photos will be showcased during the festival. IFFR will also screen Director Alex Cox’s Repo Man as a prime example of Robby Müller’s legacy.
The first-ever recipient of the award, Mexican cinematographer Diego García, has had a remarkable and distinctive career so far, working with filmmakers like Apichatpong Weerasethakul for the film Cemetery of Splendour, Gabriel Mascaro for the film Neon Bull, and Carlos Reygadas forrr the film Nuestro Tiempo.
Accompanying the ceremony at IFFR on Monday 27 January, García will give a masterclass.
On behalf of the jury, art Historien and Müller’s wife, Andrea Müller-Schirmer said “The beautiful long takes of Diego García’s camera make for moving encounters with the characters and settings.”
She added that “Like Robby’s, García’s visual language is credible, convincing and not constructed. It is supportive to the story but also carries its own signature. Both tell stories using the poetry of light.”