NIFFF 2020 to take digital form
- Conscious of the highly critical situation the film industry is facing, the Neuchâtel-based festival is proposing an exceptional edition, unspooling entirely online
"Fantasy cinema is a mirror of our anxieties and fears”, affirms the director of the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) Anaïs Emery, a statement perfectly suited to the health crisis which has placed the whole planet on standby. Indeed, pandemics and voluntary or imposed states of confinement have always been the bread and butter of fantasy film, a platform of sorts from which to experiment with multiple realities which are often angst-inducing but always intriguing, and which open up doors onto other worlds.
An unmissable appointment for lovers of genre film, but also for inquisitive thrill seekers, the NIFFF has decided to hang on in there, offering an alternative yet engrossing 20th edition. From 3–11 July, Neuchâtel will play virtual host to the very best of fantasy cinema through an eclectic selection composed of Swiss and international premieres, in collaboration with Swiss VOD platform Cinefile. The event will put forward twenty or so unreleased titles (we’d usually be talking about 170 films) which a maximum of 1,000 viewers can pay to watch exclusively within the Swiss territory. By way of this irrefutably narrow yet astonishing selection, the Festival is looking to offer a snapshot of the variety of genre films in production despite the health crisis’s harsh impact on the industry.
As emphasised in the press release, “the 2020 selection shouldn’t be seen as a synthesised version of the usual NIFFF offering, but rather as evidence of the vivacity of contemporary imagination and of the team’s indomitable commitment to its showcase”. As in previous years, a good number of European productions are set to grace the Festival programme, including the French medium-length work Blood Machines by Seth Ickerman (the pseudonym of Raphaël Hernandez and Savitri Joly-Gonfard), which pays tribute to the visual and sound culture of the 1980s, the international premiere of Joachim Hedén’s undersea huis clos Breaking Surface [+see also:
film profile] (Norway/Sweden/Belgium), the Hungarian psychological satire Comrade Draculich [+see also:
film profile] by Màrk Bodzsàr, the decidedly poetic Jumbo [+see also:
interview: Zoé Wittock
film profile] by Zoé Wittock (France/Belgium/Luxembourg), led by the magnetic Noémie Merlant, an international premiere of the apocalyptic, romantic comedy Fishlove [+see also:
film profile] by Olivier Babinet (France/Belgium), the troubling thriller Sea Fever [+see also:
film profile] by Neasa Hardiman (Ireland/UK/Belgium) and Germany’s Sleep [+see also:
film profile] by Michael Venus, in which the boundary between dream and reality no longer seems to exist.
Every day, at 9pm, the public will have the chance to connect to NIFFF TV, which will be brought to life by numerous guests, not to mention the constant presence of actress Audrey Cavelius. The temporary TV channel will allow fantasy film lovers and sector professionals to reflect on and discuss the festival programme but also to take stock of the latest trends through talks, interviews and daily news. NIFF TV will also play host to a series of debates, facilitating virtual encounters between the public and major figures in genre cinema. Guests will include Nicolas Winding Refn, Luca Guadagnino, Eli Roth, Gareth Evans and Álex de la Iglesia.
(Translated from Italian)
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