Anaïs Emery • Director, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival
“In the future, genre cinema will continue to be a laboratory of different aesthetics”
by Tristan Priimägi
- Cineuropa sat down with the director of the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, Anaïs Emery, to discuss the gathering itself and the state of genre cinema
On the occasion of the 19th Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (5-13 July), Cineuropa sat down the director of the gathering, Anaïs Emery, to discuss this year’s edition and the state of genre cinema in general.
Cineuropa: What are you especially happy with in this year’s programme?
Anaïs Emery: It’s hard to say, but I would have to mention our international competition. Our goal was to present a wide panorama of what can be considered fantastic cinema today. I am quite satisfied with what we were able to construct with the final selection of 16 films. We always aim for diversity – sometimes you achieve this objective, and sometimes you don’t – but I really feel we succeeded this time. There is also great inclusivity and diversity in the profile of the stories presented, and in terms of the filmmakers and writers. This is also very important to me.
What makes Neuchâtel stand apart from other genre festivals?
First of all, the very inclusive concept of “fantastic”, both in the selection of the films and in the team – it’s directed by a woman, which is not very common in this sector. We’ve also been very active in showcasing inclusive material in terms of LGBT and other minorities, geographical diversity and so on.
Secondly, the programme is small; we don’t screen so many films (159 this year), but we are really picky when it comes to recent movies, and we always aim to keep the door open to the history of cinema, trying to encompass both. We have a very young audience – 60% of our viewers are under 30 – so the past is important to us.
We are also really open to discussing the future of the audiovisual sector. We have a line-up of conferences this year that I feel is really different. It’s industry-orientated but more connected to the part of the industry that has really been out of the limelight. Also, it’s not a big industry event in terms of the numbers, but we prefer to keep it to the people who are likely to work with each other in the future.
What do you think the future holds for your festival and for genre cinema in general?
I think that genre is in an interesting position, in terms of the dynamics of international film production, and in the field of connected media, too. I think that in the future, genre cinema will continue to be a laboratory of different aesthetics. I also see it reaching every single corner of production. The discussion about what is considered “fantastic” will continue. Lots of stereotypes about genre will still persist, but we will tackle a lot of them.
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