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FESTIVALS Switzerland

Strong presence for Swiss cinema at Locarno


This year, the largest Swiss cinema event highlights national production, which is represented in every section of the 58e Locarno International Film Festival (3 to 13 August). Though the documentaries - spearhead of Swiss cinema - are once more abundant, the first film to be saluted is a work of fiction in the international Competition : Snow White [+see also:
film review
interview: Carlos Leal
interview: Samir
film profile
, portrait of the gilded youth of Zurich Samir. The documentary by Edo Bertoglio on the New York underground of the 1970s, Face Addict is selected out of competition.

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Designed to showcase innovative and experimental work, the video Competition welcomes Rollow by Emmanuelle Antille as well as Revival Paradise by Frédéric Moser and Philippe Schwinger, who will also present Unexpected Rules in the In Progress section. Cherry on the birthday cake for the video Competition which celebrates ten years, the Golden Leopard of 2003, iXième - Journal d’un prisonnier by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud and Stéphane Blok, will also feature on the programme. Among the jury is notably the director Christian Frei, whose recent film appears in the section Current Filmmakers. After the success of War Photographer, documentary dedicated to war photographer James Nachtwey and nominated for Oscars in 2002, his Giant Buddhas looks back at the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas (Afghanistan) denouncing fanaticism, terror and ignorance. We find the same themes in White Terror, and Daniel Schweizer continues his inquiry into the neo-nazis following Skin or Die, Helldorado and Skinhead Attitude. Other Current Filmmakers represent Swiss documentary in this section, Alina Marazzi questions religious vocation in Per sempre, Dominique de Rivaz has made a portrait of the doyenne of Swiss cinema Jacqueline Veuve entitled Chère Jacqueline, Fernand Melgar dedicates Cartographie 6 - Vallée de la jeunesse to the choreography of Philippe Saire, while Nicolas Wadimoff and Béatrice Guelpa filmed behind the scenes at the "Geneva Initiative" in favour of peace in the Middle east in L’accord. The film is also in line for the Human Rights Award, as is Powerful Man by Fulvio Bernasconi, presented in the section of the same name. Two Swiss documentaries, directed by the award-winners of the Swiss Cinema Prize find themselves once more on the bill of the Critics' Week: Gambit by Sabine Gisiger and Blau by Stefan Kälin and Norbert Wiedmer.

Projected under the banner of the Leopards of the future, short films are not just an afterthought. The competition reserved for Swiss films has nineteen projects: Der Ausflug by Christina Zulauf, Le beau-frère by Thierry Moro, Déjeuner sur l'eau by Isabelle Blanc, Des bras trop courts by Marie-Eve Hildbrand, Domaine privé by Rafael Wolf, Dors Sophie dors by Zoya Anastassova, Econcluzi by Gabriel Sandru, Frohe Ostern d'Ulrich Schaffner, Geneva and Me by Bernie Forster, Haru Ichiban by Aya Domenig, Herr Goldstein de Micha Lewinsky, Kalte Haut by Sebastian Kutzli, La limace by Anthony Vouardoux and Tania Zambrano, Romance mayonnaise by Mathieu Urfer, Der Skifahrer by Martin Guggisberg, Staila Crudanta by Pascal Bergamin, Terra incognita by Peter Volkart, Le tramway d'Andréa by Alexandre Iordachescu and Visite médicale by Felix von Muralt. Two films are also screened in the African Retrospective - Souko by Issiaka Konaté and Feizou Laowai, l’étranger venu d’Afrique by Joseph Kumbela -and the section proposes three special programmes on works from the Art School of Geneva (ESBA), from la Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana (SUPSI) and from the Conservatorio internazionale de scienze audiovisive Lugano (CISA).

Finally, the promotion organization Swiss Films offers two awards highlighting the best of recent national production under the banner "Appellations Suisse". Five works of fiction: Tout un hiver sans feu by Greg Zglinski (Swiss Cinema Prize and twice honoured at Venice in 2005), Vent du nord by Bettina Oberli, La prédication des oiseaux by Clemens Klopfenstein, Nocturne by Riccardo Signorell and Ricordare Anna Anna de Walo Deuber. Katzenball by Veronika Minder, Klingenhof by Beatrice Michel, La nébuleuse du cœur by Jacqueline Veuve, Nicolas Bouvier - 22 Hospital Street by Christoph Kühn et Maria Bethânia, música é perfume by Georges Gachot are the five documentaries which complete this sélection.

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(Translated from French)

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