The Journey - A Story of Love wins the Prix de Soleure
by Giorgia Del Don
- Solothurn Film Festival has awarded the Prix de Soleure to Fanny Bräuning’s documentary and the Audience Award to Martin Witz's Gateways to New York
Making history as the first director to win the prestigious Solothurn Film Festival Award on two separate occasions (after No More Smoke Signals in 2009), Fanny Bräuning successfully seduced the Prix de Soleure jury, comprised of the director Esen Isik, the young actress Noémie Schmidt and Nicola Forster, with her very personal second feature documentary, The Journey - A Story of Love [+see also:
The festival jury defined The Journey - A Story of Love as "a greatly intense, personal film," in which the director accompanies her parents on an unpredictable journey through southern Europe. The film is an honest and complex portrait of a seemingly "ideal" love story, that of Niggi, a handyman and photographer who takes the wheel of the family's camper van, and his wife, Annette who accompanies him and is paralysed from the neck down.
Complex and never idealised, the couple, filmed by the director and bound by a very strong bond, is never idealised or presented as the perfect model of love. On the contrary, Fanny Bräuning's gaze sheds light on the various implications of their dynamic, inviting us to reflect on the concept of (total) love and the nature of a ‘fusional’ (or symbiotic) relationship between two human beings. A film that opens up and nourishes the mind.
The Journey - A Story of Love, produced by Hugofilm Productions (which received half of the 60,000 CHF prize money supplied by the "Prix de Soleure" fund and the canton and city of Solothurn) was released on 31 January in German-speaking Swiss cinemas.
Attendees at Solothurn Film Festival also opted to award the Audience Award to a documentary (also gifted by the event’s main sponsor, Swiss Life, in partnership with Solothurn Film Festival) to Martin Witz's Gateways to New York [+see also:
film profile]. Despite tough competition, including the ambitious Zwingli [+see also:
film profile] byStefan Haupt, Those Who Work [+see also:
interview: Antoine Russbach
film profile] by Antoine Russbach (four nominations for the Swiss Film Prize) and the captivating My Little One [+see also:
film profile] by Frédéric Choffat and Julie Gilbert, it was the discreet Gateways to New York that ultimately pipped its competitors to the post.
Produced by Ticino-based Ventura Film and distributed by Frenetic, the film is due to be released in German-speaking Switzerland on 4 April and tells the story of the great Swiss engineer, Othmar H. Ammann who emigrated to New York in 1904 before redefining the rules of bridge construction.
Two intense portraits of very different characters: a private life in The Journey - A Story of Love, and a more public one in Gateways to New York, both fit well into festival's guidelines, "characterised by an open atmosphere and pleasure for discovery," as stated by the festival director, Seraina Rohrer.
(Translated from Italian)
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