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NIFFF 2019

First titles unveiled for NIFFF, along with NIFFF Extended highlights


- A great number of European films, from directors known and new, are set to feature in the official line-up of the 19th Neuchâtel Film Festival, with full programme details to be announced on 20 June

First titles unveiled for NIFFF, along with NIFFF Extended highlights
Sons of Denmark by Ulaa Salim

In addition to this tantalising appetiser, the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (running 5-13 July) has further whetted the appetites of its audiences by announcing the first six titles set to feature on its special programme, Danes Do It Better. The latter is based around the funding and support initiative, New Danish Screen, which was founded in 2003 and has since played a vital role in the emergence of a hugely dynamic cinema movement. One of the many gems it has unearthed is Cutterhead by Rasmus Kloster Bro, which was presented last year in a world premiere in the NIFFF’s International Competition and which will make another appearance this year in the folds of Danes Do It Better. 

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No less than seven of the thirteen films announced so far as featuring in the official festival line-up are European works. And in addition to a good dose of names already well known with the landscape of European fantasy film, space has also been made in this selection for the new generation of helmers.   

Amongst the younger recruits, we find the Danish director Ulaa Salim and his first feature film Sons of Denmark, a highly sophisticated political thriller. By his side in this same group is Savage, the second full-length film by French director Vincent Mariette, whose dazzling cast includes the likes of Lily-Rose Depp and Laurent Lafitte. The picture takes us to a campsite and the now chosen stomping ground of a merciless predator. The screwball comedy Extra Ordinary by Mike Ahern & Enda Loughman is likewise bolstered by the charisma of an exceptional actor in the form of Will Forte. Three directors, meanwhile, are the creative minds behind the absurd sketch-based film 7 Reasons To Run Away (From Society): namely Gerard Quinto, Esteve Soler & David Torras, a marvellous three-headed monster hailing from Spain whom we should definitely keep a close eye on. Returning to the NIFFF after a four-year hiatus (he previously attended the festival with his blisteringly funny musical comedy Liza, The Fox-Fairy), the Hungarian director Károly Ujj Mészáros will also be presenting his work, X – The Exploited, which wades through the murky waters of police corruption.

Standing tall amongst the more noticeable works so far announced in the official line-up, and flanking Denis Côté’s Ghost Town Anthology, an uncompromising portrait of isolated rural communities in Canada, is the Scandinavian filmmaking duo Måns Mårlind & Björn Stein, not to mention Christian Volckman. Danish export Björn Stein decided to team up with TV writer Måns Mårlind for his latest work and the result of this happy amalgamation is Swoon, which offers an interesting mix of extravagance and romanticism. France’s Christian Volckman, particularly known for his animated film Renaissance, which falls somewhere in the middle between crime movie and science fiction, will be presenting The Room, a supernatural fairy-tale starring Bond girl Olga Kurylenko

Much excitement also surrounds the unveiling of the NIFFF Extended programme which, through its popular cycle of conferences and gatherings, explores the future of cinema and of the audiovisual world in general. 

Jostling among the symposiums thus far confirmed is Imagine the Future, a section dedicated to new technologies and digital creation, with The Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (Zürich University of the Arts), the Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences (University of Geneva) and the Swiss National Science Foundation set to play a leading role. Also not to be missed: Storyworlds, a dedicated space for thinking about scriptwriting in association with new technologies; NIFFF On Tour, which presents the beta versions of immersive experiences developed within the workshop itself; New Worlds of Fantasy, a literary forum which looks at the links between literature and games; and the Gamification and Serious Game Symposium (GSGM) which acts as an observatory as regards the changes likely be brought about by games on our future professional lives.

(Translated from Italian)

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