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Record attendance for the Fribourg International Film Festival

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- With its 40,000 viewers and its 75 guests the Fribourg International Film Festival celebrates two records this year

Record attendance for the Fribourg International Film Festival
Christian Díaz Pardo, at the FIFF closing ceremony (©Nicolas Brodard)

The 29th edition of the Fribourg International Film Festival, which closed on Saturday night with a ceremony full of emotion and drama, can now be defined as historic. 40,000 inquisitive souls pushed into the dark theatres of this small Swiss town to discover not just the 12 feature films in competition, but also other numerous works on offer: from the tribute to Syrian cinema, including Indigenous North American cinema, to some very unusual parallel sidebars like Terra Erotica I.

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The big winner this year, who earned the “Regard d’or” valued at 30,000CHF, is González by Mexican Christian Díaz Pardo, a film that’s “both comprehensive and captivating” to quote the jury (led by Canadian director Alanis Obomsawin), a good example of what young Mexican cinema is capable of: powerful and sophisticated. In the international competition Ata, a phenomenon from the recent Mumbai Film Festival and debut feature by the young Tibetan monk Chakme Rinpoche, took home the Special Jury Award. The Special Mention went instead to Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Vietnamese director Diep Hoang Nguyen who also earned two other awards: that of the Ecumenical Jury and that of the Youth Jury. The FIPRESCI decided to award Lebanese director Ghassan Salhab and his The Valley [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. The “Don Quijote” award from the FICC (International Cine Club Federation) went to the intriguing and poetic Life May Be [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 co-directed by Mania Akbari and Mark Cousins. And finally, Georgian director George Ovashvili, previously winner of two awards at the FIFF in 2010 for The Other Bank, took home the Audience Award with his Corn Island [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: George Ovashvili
film profile
]
.

Once again the FIFF was able to impose itself as a unique festival, open to experimentation and to the world. We look forward to the next 30th edition.

(Translated from Italian)

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