Riders of Justice to open Rotterdam Film Festival

FESTIVAL. Anders Thomas Jensen's 'Riders of Justice' with Mads Mikkelsen will be opening the Rotterdam Film Festival's 50th anniversary edition. Also in the line-up of 2021's expanded, hybrid festival starting 1 February is Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid's 'Shorta'.

The Rotterdam Film Festival will be opening their 50th edition with Anders Thomas Jensen's dramedy 'Riders of Justice', and from Denmark is also Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid's action drama 'Shorta'.

Both will be part of the Limelight programme celebrating cinematic highlights of the year including avant-premieres and festival favourites.

In a world continually adjusting to the pandemic, the Rotterdam Film Festival will be celebtrating its anniversary edition as a multi-part hybrid event. Kicking off 1-7 February with physical and virtual screenings, the festival will close 2-6 June presenting outdoor events and screenings in cinemas across the country.

Riders of Justice

'Riders of Justice' was one of the big draws at the Danish box office this fall. Now, the star-studded dramedy produced by Zentropa is headed for its international premiere at Rotterdam.

'Riders of Justice' with Mads Mikkelsen and Nikolaj Lie Kaas centres on the deployed military man Markus who has to go home to his teenage daughter, Mathilde, when his wife dies in a tragic train accident. It seems to be plain bad luck – until the mathematics geek Otto shows up with his two eccentric colleagues, Lennart and Emmenthaler. Otto was also a passenger on the wrecked train. He is convinced someone must have been behind it. As the clues pile up, it becomes clear to Markus that his wife became a random casualty of what looks like a carefully orchestrated assassination. 

The film received outstanding reviews upon its Danish premiere 19 November. The film was praised for its prolific cast and hailed by many as Anders Thomas Jensen's best feature since his groundbreaking debut 'Flickering Lights' from 2000. During its three weeks of full release, before the partial lockdown of the country, the film sold more than 457,000 tickets, making it the second best-selling film of the year. Furthermore, it has been sold for distribution in a number of countries, including the US.

Watch interview with the director:

Jensen has written more than 30 feature films, including director Susanne Bier's Oscar winner 'In a Better World'. 'Riders of Justice' is Jensen's fifth feature film as director, after 'Flickering Lights', 'The Green Butchers', 'Adam’s Apples' and his most recent film, 'Men & Chicken'. 


Also in the lineup at Rotterdam is the intense debut feature 'Shorta' by Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid.

'Shorta' follows the two police officers Jens and Mike on a routine patrol in the Svalegaarden ghetto, when the news of Talib's death comes in over the radio. The exact details of what took place while 19-year-old Talib Ben Hassi was in police custody remain unclear. The news ignites uncontrollable, pent-up rage among the ghetto’s youth, who lust for revenge. Suddenly, the two officers find themselves fair game and must fight tooth and claw to find a way out.

Watch interview with the directors:

The film celebrated its world premiere at Venice Film Festival in the International Film Critics' Week and has since screened at a number of international film festivals, including Thessaloniki, where it won both the Director's Award and the FIPRESCI prize. In Denmark, the film has sold more than 110,000 tickets and received positive reviews.

Read more about Rotterdam Film Festival at iffr.com

About the films

'Riders of Justice' is written and directed by Anders Thomas Jensen. Sisse Graum Jørgensen and Sidsel Hybschmann have produced the film for Zentropa.

'Shorta' is written and directed by Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid. Signe Leick Jensen and Morten Kaufmann have produced for Toolbox Film.