New crop at Nyon's International Documentary Film Festival shows Swiss creative diversity still going strong
Switzerland is well represented with eight productions at the 20th International Documentary Film Festival "Visions du réel", due to take place shortly in Nyon (23-29 April). The Festival offers two world premières of films made for cinema distribution: Vadim Jendreyko's "Bashkim" and Lindsey Merrison's Germano-Swiss-Birman co-production "Friends in High Places". Both are in competition.The "Regards neufs" (New Perspectives) section will be a chance to preview two documentaries made for television - Raphaël Sibilla's "117, police secours" and "Juntos - Un retour en Argentine" by Raphaëlle Aellig and Norbert Wiedmer - not to mention the short film of Ingrid Wildi, "Si c’est elle". Two other documentaries made with the big screen in mind, which were premièred at the recent Solothurn Film Festival - Mathias Knauer's "Bitterfeld, 1992" and "Big Mac, Small World" by Peter Guyer - will also be featured in Nyon, as will Swiss Film Prize 2001 winner, "Do It" by Sabine Gisiger and Marcel Zwingli.
The Festival will also provide a unique opportunity to see Switzerland's documentary filmmakers in an historical context. As a prelude to the films in competition, the Association for the preservation of the audiovisual heritage of Switzerland MEMORIAV is presenting a selection of short films and newsreels covering a period that begins in 1910 and ends in 1939. A second historical programme includes a dozen of the most outstanding films from the 1960s and 1970s. These include works by Henri Brandt, Rolf Lyssy, Reni Mertens and Walter Marti, Mathias Knauer, Markus Imhoof, and several other original talents. The latter films have been restored with the help of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation's "SSR SRG idée suisse". They are appearing under the banner "come eravamo, so waren wir, c’était hier" (the way we were). It all adds up to more proof of Switzerland's excellence as a producer of documentaries.