Until Branches Bend, Thunder and Amine – Held auf Bewährung triumph at the Solothurn Film Festival
- The film by Swiss-Canadian director Sophie Jarvis scoops the most important award at the Swiss gathering, the Prix de Soleure
Sophie Jarvis’ first feature film Until Branches Bend [+see also:
film profile] has won over the jury of the Solothurn Film Festival with the highly personal and aesthetically precise universe it depicts. The jury members of this 58th edition (internationally renowned caricaturist Patrick Chapatte, Swiss author and columnist Nina Kunz and Dutch director Ineke Smits) stressed how “the work creates an entire world of its own which enthrals us for nearly a hundred minutes. The story unfolds in a secluded valley, and every character, every building, every detail helps to breathe life into this fictitious universe. From its casting through to its colours and the places it’s shot, everything is deliberate and well thought out”. The 60,000-Swiss-Francs prize money will be shared equally between the director and the producer.
The audience, for their part, were won over by Amine – Held auf Bewährung [+see also:
film profile], the debut feature film by editor, producer (for Swiss radio and television network SRF) and independent director Dani Heusser, which paints a touching portrait of Amine Diare Conde, the “most famous asylum seeker in Switzerland” who founded the “Essen für Alle” project during the pandemic, which ensured numerous people in need (foreign but Swiss, too) didn’t go hungry.
The festival’s third prize, First Work, which, as the name suggests, rewards debut feature films, went to Carmen Jaquier’s fascinating and powerful movie Thunder [+see also:
interview: Carmen Jaquier
film profile]. Having previously scooped a number of awards in various international festivals, Thunder was recently nominated in three categories at the Swiss Film Prize: Best Fiction Film, Best Score and Best Sound. Thunder won over the jury composed of screenwriter Joanne Giger, film critic and director of the Montreal Cinemania Festival Guilhem Caillard, and Locarno Pro head Mark Duffner, by virtue of its “eye for good shots and its embodied landscapes, which feed into this story transporting us to another time”. These three films show how dynamic and surprising young Swiss cinema can be.
The results of this 58th edition of the Solothurn Film Festival, the first with Niccolò Castelli as artistic director (read our interview), are undoubtedly positive. After a 2022 edition still marked by the stigma of the pandemic, the festival has rediscovered its former dynamism, winning over/back viewers (55,000 cinema admissions) and professionals alike. The festival’s rich parallel programme (consisting of the Meeting event, the Focus line-up and, above all, the newly born Making Film section) has also helped to draw in audiences, offering up a taste of the magic of cinema to suit anyone’s palate.
The award winners are as follows:
Prix de Soleure
Until Branches Bend [+see also:
film profile] - Sophie Jarvis (Canada/Switzerland)
Amine – Held auf Bewährung [+see also:
film profile] - Dani Heusser (Switzerland)
First Work Prize
Thunder [+see also:
interview: Carmen Jaquier
film profile] - Carmen Jaquier (Switzerland)
(Translated from Italian)
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