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Seraina Rohrer • Director, Solothurn Film Festival

"Festivals are still special moments"


- We met up with Solothurn Film Festival director Seraina Rohrer to talk about the new edition of the festival, but also to let us in on what we can look forward to in the world of Swiss cinematography

Seraina Rohrer • Director, Solothurn Film Festival

Cineuropa met up with Seraina Rohrer, director of Solothurn Film Festival, to talk about the new edition of the festival but also to see what we can look forward to in the world Swiss cinematography.

Cineuropa: Any initial thoughts on the new edition of the festival?
Seraina Rohrer:
The audience and filmmakers have shown a lot of interest in the new edition and I’m delighted. Solothurn Film Festival is a meeting place, a place to showcase films screened in preview but also an opportunity to rediscover great filmmakers, especially our guests of honour. The screenings of Christoph Schaub's films were very well attended, for example. I am pleased to see that there’s an audience interested in Swiss filmmakers and their stories. This is also the case for the Bolex program, which tells the story of a small Swiss "technological revolution" that has toured the world and accompanied many filmmakers. I was surprised to see how much this story fascinates many people, not just filmmakers.

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Since being at the helm of Solothurn Film Festival, do you think that you’ve managed to close the gap somewhat between the various different Swiss linguistic regions?
Solothurn is really a place for different filmmakers from different linguistic regions to come together. They meet to discuss and deepen the discourse on Swiss cinema. Over the past few years there have been more co-productions between the various Swiss partners and I think that’s a strong sign. It demonstrates to the world that different linguistic regions and partners can and must collaborate. It's also thanks to the support of the television that there are more projects like this. It allows us to get in touch with the "others," to go from "me" to "us". Voting on the No Billag project risks jeopardising our multilingual and multicultural identity. 

Which direction is Solothurn Film Festival headed in?
Solothurn is a place for different linguistic regions to meet up and discuss, but it’s also a place for the industry itself and we don't intend to change that, rather the opposite in fact. We should also be open to new formats, more interactive, as we were with Future Lab. Succession is also very important for us: I’m thinking about young talented students leaving school but also those who are self-taught and can finally tackle the industry. I think festivals are becoming more and more of a place for meeting and reflection. The audience is used to watching films on their iPads and phones, but that changes during festivals. I know some people who take time off to watch films at Solothurn and I think that's beautiful. Solothurn Film Festival becomes a special moment during which we can reflect, meet and interact with people who love cinema. It's a moment of meeting, of proximity, it’s truly stimulating. There is a general tendency towards individualism and consumption, but festivals are still "special" moments that favour immersion and meetings.

In terms of the 53rd edition of the festival, could you name a few films by young directors that were particularly exciting?
We've also selected a lot of films by young directors this year. I would like to point out L’ile sans rivages by Caroline Cuénod, an extremely interesting and very special film. Thanks to the Swiss Panorama documentaries section, which that film was included in, I learn new things every time, not only about Switzerland but also about the world. It's really exciting. In terms of succession, I would also like to mention Tranquillo [+see also:
film review
film profile
by Jonathan Jäggi, a self-taught director and his debut feature film.

(Translated from French)

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