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FESTIVALS Switzerland

Perret’s last edition of Visions du Réel opens

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With major names in documentary film and distinguished guests, the 16th Visions du Réel Festival (April 15-21), the “Croisette of documentaries”, opens today. This edition will be marked by the departure of the couple who have headed the event for the last 16 years, Jean Perret (director) and Gabriela Bussmann (assistant director and market manager).

Over the years, its high standard of programming has earned the Nyon International Documentary Film Festival an international reputation – Jonas Mekas, Johan van der Keuken, Robert Frank and Rithy Panh have all attended. It has even rivalled Cannes for the first time: “We received […] a French film by Georgian filmmaker Nino Kirtadze, Something About Georgia. It was a shock when the producer withdrew it from the Cannes Festival line-up so it could be programmed in international competition!”

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The Perret-Bussmann couple, whose successor has not yet been announced, will host an eclectic and stimulating 2010 edition. Filmmakers and friends of the festival will be in attendance: Frederik Wiseman will present La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Nicolas Philibert will be there with Nénette [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Alain Cavalier with Irene [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. Directors Alan Berliner and Wu Wenguang will lead workshops and comment on their own work.

The international competition puts the spotlight on European films, with a line-up including Marlène Rabaud and Arnaud Zajtman’s Kafka au Congo (“Kafka in the Congo”, Belgium); Ilan Klipper’s Sainte Anne, Hôpital Psychiatrique (“Sainte-Anne Psychiatric Hospital”, France); Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen’s Steam of Life (Finland, Sweden); Volker Koepp’s Berlin-Stettin (Germany); and Sergio Basso’s Giallo a Milano: Made in Chinatown (Italy).

Switzerland is also represented with three films in competition: Nicolas Wadimoff’s Aisheen (Still Alive in Gaza) [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nicolas Wadimoff
film profile
]
, which won an award at Berlin (see news); Kaleo La Belle’s Beyond This Place; and Guru - Bhagwan, His Secretary & His Bodyguard by Sabine Gisiger and Beat Häner.

Finally, numerous professional gatherings, organised by Bussmann as part of the Doc Outlook International Market, will encourage meetings and debates, in particular on the almost-finalised co-production agreement between Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

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