La forteresse

La forteresse play

Documentary, 100 min.

Title E:The Fortress
Title I:La fortezza
Title G:Die Festung

by Fernand Melgar

Switzerland / France, August 2008

Switzerland has just passed the most restrictive asylum law in all of Europe. This documentary film respectfully directs our attention to a reception centre for asylum-seekers. At this austere transit facility, 200 men, women and children wait after a journey – sometimes taken at the risk of their lives – until the government decides their fate. At close range the film shows the daily sorting process and, with emotion and humour, gives us an unorthodox look at the critical issues that face Europe today regarding the flux of migration and selective immigration as a curtailment measure.


Open / CloseCredits

Directed by: Fernand Melgar
Written by: Fernand Melgar

World Premiere: August 2008
Original Version: French (english/german subtitles), colour, 35mm, 100 min.

ISAN: 0000-0001-E6F9-0000-2

Production: Association Climage, RTS Radio Télévision Suisse, ARTE G.E.I.E., RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera, SRG SSR
Producer: Fernand Melgar

Cinematography: Camille Cottagnoud
Editing: Karine Sudan
Location Sound Mix: Marc von Stürler
Sound Editing: Alexander Miesch
Rerecording Sound Mix: Denis Séchaud

Open / CloseWorld Sales / World Rights

World Rights: Association Climage

Open / CloseWorldwide Distribution

Distribution Switzerland: Look Now!
TV-Rights Israel: YES
TV-Rights Netherlands: VPRO-Televisie
Distribution France: Dissidenz Films
TV-Rights Finland: YLE TV - Finnish Broadcasting Company

Open / CloseAwards (a selection)

  • Shanghai, Shanghai Television Festival, Silver Magnolia Award for Best Documentary 2010
  • Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival, Mention of the Human Right Competition's Jury 2009
  • Gilching, Fünf Seen Filmfestival, Horizonte Filmpreis 2009
  • Yamagata City, Yamagata Int. Documentary Film Festival, Award of Excellence 2009
  • Firenze, Festival dei Popoli, Premio del Pubblico 2008
  • Locarno, Locarno Festival, Goldener Leopard Cinéastes du présent C.P. Company 2008
  • Montréal, RIDM Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal, Grand Prix Caméra-Stylo 2008
  • Teheran, Iran International Documentary Film Festival, Grand Prix 2008

Open / CloseFestivals (a selection)

Open / CloseNews