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FESTIVALS Switzerland

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Youth at the centre of the programme for Visions du réel

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- The Nyon-based Festival has unveiled its programme, which is once again characterised by discovery and experimentation

Youth at the centre of the programme for Visions du réel
Liberation, the User’s Guide by Alexander Kuznetsov

True to its adventurous spirit, the 47th edition of the Visions du réel Festival (15-23 April), led by its charismatic director Luciano Barisone, brings us a rich programme dedicated to discovery. 180 films from 49 different countries have been selected, and of these, audiences at the Festival, held on Lake Lemano, will be treated to 90 world premieres (without counting the 26 films that will have their international premieres at the Festival). 

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The common denominator of all the 180 films selected this year is youth, which, as Barisone explained, not only features as a theme, but in the new forms of expression used by filmmakers to portray reality as well. A doubly as poignant theme then, which runs through all the films, giving life to a heterogeneous collection bringing quality films to the general public (which is no mean feat). In this sense, the captivating opening film, Presenting Princess Shaw,by Israeli filmmaker Ido Haar, is particularly significant. Youth will be omnipresent throughout the Festival: in the international competition, where mention simply must be made of the cathartic Liberation, the User’s Guide [+see also:
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, a French production by Alexander Kuznetsov, but also in the more ‘accessible’ Grand Angle section, which will feature Brothers [+see also:
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by Aslaug Holm, a sort of documentary version of Boyhood, in the words of Barisone, and in the Regard Neuf section dedicated to discovering new talent, which will feature The Cormorants, the story of two boys between childhood and adulthood, by Italian director Fabio Bobbio. Once again this year, there will be a lot of European films in competition: Austrian film A German Life by Christian Krönes, Olaf S.Müller, Roland Schrotthofer and Florian Weigensamer, which tells the dark story of Brunhilde Pomsel, who worked as a stenographer for the ministry of Nazi propaganda, German film A House in Nink Hoa by Nguyen Phuong-Dan, moving Romanian film A Mere Breath [+see also:
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by Monica Lazurean-Gorgan, French films Little Go Girls by Eliane de Latour and Still Breathing by Anca Hirte, Italian film River Memories [+see also:
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by Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, which focuses on one of the biggest shantytowns in Europe, Spanish film Socotra, The Island of Djinns by Jordi Esteva, and co-productions Gulistan, Land of Roses (Canada, Germany) by Zayne Akyol and the majestic The Lost City by Francisco Hervé (Chile, France).

Once again this year, Visions du réel has reserved a special place for Swiss documentaries rich in a tradition that doesn’t seem to have lost any of its strength. No fewer than 30 Swiss films have been selected this year, spread across the Helvétiques section (which features 12 films) and the other competitions.  The main section (the international competition) will feature no fewer than six Swiss productions and co-productions: road-movie Calabria [+see also:
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by Pierre-François Sauter, the highly personal Like Dew in the Sun by Peter Entell, Looking Like My Mother [+see also:
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by Dominique Margot, and co-productions Wild Plants [+see also:
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(Switzerland, Germany) by Nicolas Humbert, which broaches the delicate issue of ecological utopias, Tadmor [+see also:
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(Lebanon, Switzerland) by Monika Borgmann and Lokman Slim, and the hypnotic Ama-San [+see also:
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(Portugal, Japan and Switzerland) by Claudia Varejao.

This year’s guest of honour, or rather, “Maître du réel”, is British director Peter Greenaway, a passionate defender of the philosophy of Luciano Barisone, for whom film has no boundaries, and “documentaries are (simply) film”.

(Translated from Italian)

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