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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Switzerland

The Fribourg International Film Festival strives to chart the state of the world

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- The festival is getting ready to shine a light on works not yet showcased or seen in Switzerland on the occasion of its 36th edition

The Fribourg International Film Festival strives to chart the state of the world
Klondike by Maryna Er Gorbach

The team behind the Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF) are thrilled to see the Swiss cultural world finally getting back to normal. More determined than ever to dazzle Swiss (and other) audiences, the FIFF is looking "to pinpoint key issues in modern society and to get excited about the major talent hailing from all over the world", as explained by Artistic Director Thierry Jobin.

Boasting 127 films from 58 different countries and spanning all continents, this 36th edition of the event (running 18-27 March) aims to be open to the whole world and to tackle sometimes sensitive topics, such as cancel culture and political repression. The FIFF is also looking to be a platform for premieres, with this year’s event offering up 5 world premieres, 1 international premiere, 4 European premieres and 47 Swiss premieres.

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In terms of the international feature films competition, we can count on a strong presence (half of the films selected) of European productions or co-productions, namely Klondike [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maryna Er Gorbach
film profile
]
(Ukraine/Turkey) by Ukrainian director Maryna Er Gorbach, a necessary, hard-hitting and sadly topical film which spotlights the tensions corroding eastern Ukraine; Brighton 4th [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Levan Koguashvili
film profile
]
by Levan Koguashvili (Georgia/Russia/Bulgaria/Monaco/USA) which follows a former wrestling champion on his moving and funny paternal odyssey; the touching co-production between Belgium, Romania and Mexico La Civil [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Teodora Ana Mihai
film profile
]
, by Teodora Ana Mihai, which speaks of a mother’s battle to save her son who has been kidnapped in Mexico; the realist fable The Gravedigger’s Wife [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which is set in Djibouti’s poorer neighbourhoods and is directed by Khadar Ayderus Ahmed (Finland/Germany/France/Somalia); Last Film Show by Pan Nalin (India/France/USA), which tells the story of a budding young filmmaker; and Broken Keys by Jimmy Keyrouz (Lebanon), which is a hymn to freedom offered up by a Syrian pianist. The festival’s closing film Above Water [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- a documentary by Aïssa Maïga, shot in northern Niger - is also a European co-production (France/Belgium).

The 36th edition of the FIFF will be further graced by a moving tribute to Afghan cinema. Once again at a standstill with its very history threatened by the Taliban’s return to power, the FIFF is taking action and inviting several Afghan filmmaker friends of the festival to choose the films which they believe to be representative of and crucial to their national filmography. Among these gems is Shahrbanoo Sadat’s fiction film The Orphanage [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Shahrbanoo Sadat
film profile
]
, which caused a sensation at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2019. Angola will also be honoured by way of a selection of movies chosen by Angolan producer Jorge Cohen. His selection (ten feature films and a short film line-up) is set to be presented within the New Territory section.

Last but not least, Swiss production will also be out in force, placed centre stage in the dedicated Swiss Passport section. The new TV series Hors Saison, directed by Pierre Monnard (Needle Park Baby [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), will feature among this Swiss production and co-production line-up (consisting of 14 works overall).

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(Translated from French)

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