Nicolas Wadimoff’s Spartans bags the Solothurn Award
by Muriel Del Don
- The 50th edition of the Solothurn Film Festival has come to a close with the unveiling of the winners of the prestigious Solothurn Award and the Audience Award
After eight intense days, during which Swiss films were celebrated in all shapes and sizes (fictions, documentaries and short films as well as music videos and animated films), the 50th edition of the Solothurn Film Festival has brought down its final curtain on an edition that saw 67,000 viewers walk through its doors. The jury – comprising Zurich-born director, screenwriter and author Dominique de Rivaz; Hungarian-Swiss author, musician and performance artist Melinda Nadj Abonji; and former member of the Swiss Federal Council Moritz Leuenberger – decided to hand over the Solothurn Award to the bold and aesthetically hard-hitting documentary Spartans [+see also:
interview: Nicolas Wadimoff
film profile] by Genevan director Nicolas Wadimoff.
Spartans paints a portrait of Yvan Sorel, a young mixed-martial-arts champion from the northern districts of Marseille. Yvan founded a club to teach and celebrate a sport that is truly underrated in France, a kind of safe haven and “school of life” where young people from his neighbourhood can learn the fundamental values of tolerance and respect. The jury opted to hand over its award to the captivating, hard-hitting and compassionate documentary that, at the same time, portrays a unique character capable of inspiring courage and hope in youngsters who no longer have any reference points, almost as if society had disowned them. Spartans is a production by French-speaking outfit Akka Films, in co-production with Jean Golinelli Production, Alegria Production, Radio Télévision Suisse and the SRG SSR. Its release in French-speaking Swiss theatres is scheduled for April 2015, while German-speaking Switzerland will have to wait until May.
Meanwhile, Usfahrt Oerlike [+see also:
film profile] by Aargau-born director Paul Riniker snagged the Audience Award. Usfahrt Oerlike is a comedy that uses humour and sensitivity to deal with the difficulties related to old age. Riniker’s film is produced by Triluna Film AG, and co-produced by SRF and Teleclub AG. It was released in German-speaking Swiss theatres yesterday, 29 January.
(Translated from Italian)