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FESTIVALS Switzerland

Swiss on show at Locarno

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Although fewer in number than last year, Swiss films at the 60th Locarno International Film Festival (August 1-11) will still be on show on the international scene.

Jacob Berger’s 1 journée (Vega Film), a triangular family drama starring Bruno Todeschini, will screen in the Piazza Grande, while official competition will host the first feature from Swiss-Italian director Fulvio Bernasconi Off the Ropes (Ventura Films), set in the world of boxing.

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Two documentaries will screen in the Ici et ailleurs (Here and Elsewhere) section. The first is Shake the Devil Off (Show and Tell Films), in which Swiss-based US director Peter Entell denounces the political and ecclesiastical conspiracy in the disaster-stricken city of New Orleans. The second is Dutti der Riese by Martin Witz, a portrait of Gottlieb Duttweiler, founder of Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain Migros.

In Critics’ Week, two other documentaries are in competition: Bruno Moll’s Zu Fuss nach Santiago de Compostela (PS Film) and Silvana Ceschi and Reto Stamm’s La reina del condòn (Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion).

In the Appellations Suisse section, the national promotion agency Swiss Films will present 10 features that have been acclaimed at home and abroad. These include Lionel Baier’s Stealth, winner of the Jury Prize at Mannheim-Heidelberg; Thomas Imbach’s I Was a Swiss Banker [+see also:
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(Bachim Film), which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival; Wir werden uns wiederseh'n [+see also:
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by Oliver Paulus and Stefan Hillebrand (Motorfilm), selected at the San Sebastian Film Festival; and the “young” film Breakout (Zodiac Pictures) by Mike Eschmann.

Documentaries on show Cantique pour Argyris, Sieben Mulden und eine Leiche and Retour à Gorée have also been selected at international festivals.

The Swiss Cinema Day, organised for the second year by the Swiss Federal Office for Culture (OFC), is the highlight for Swiss films. In addition to the numerous screenings focused around the event, this year animation will have pride of place, while Hervé Dumont and Maria Tortajada’s second volume of History of Swiss Cinema 1966-2000 – a 1,800 page work on over 1,200 films – will finally be unveiled.

(Translated from French)

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