“Swiss Film Caravan” tours Arab countries
Ten current Swiss fiction films will begin their tour through Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon at the 16th International Film Festival in Damascus, which runs from November 1-11, 2008. The festival’s film programme opens on November 2 with “Going Private”, with director Stina Werenfels in attendance. In addition, the festival will present the two classics “Light Years Away” (1981) by Alain Tanner and the Oscar-winning “Journey Of Hope” (1991) by Xavier Koller. This film presence in Arab countries was initiated by the film promotion agency SWISS FILMS and will be carried out in collaboration with the Swiss Embassy in Damascus and the Syrian National Film Organization.The “Swiss Film Caravan” tour programme is comprised of the following current fiction films: “Fragile” by Laurent Nègre; “Fraulein” by Andrea Staka; “Late Bloomers” by Bettina Oberli; “Norhwind” by Bettina Oberli; “I Was A Swiss Banker” by Thomas Imbach; “Rascals On The Road” by Michael Steiner; “Going Private” by Stina Werenfels; “Why We Try” by Peter Luisi; “Vitus” by Fredi M. Murer; and “When The Right One Comes Along” by Oliver Paulus, who, besides with Stina Werenfels, will also personally present his film in Damascus. Further stops for the film programme are in Syria in the cities of Aleppo, Lattakia and Homs. As of 2009 the films will be screened in Beirut, Cairo and Amman.
The festival in Damascus aims to relations between Arab and European filmmakers, screenwriters, actors and actresses. Nicolas Bideau, head of the film department for the Federal Office of Culture, will speak on film production conditions in Switzerland in conjunction with a panel discussion.
Zurich, October 30, 2008