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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Switzerland

The Fribourg International Film Festival returns to physical form

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- After one cancelled edition and another postponed, the FIFF is making its return with 139 films hailing from 51 countries

The Fribourg International Film Festival returns to physical form
Blindfold by Taras Dron

Boasting 139 films travelling from 51 countries, and screenings both in cinemas and in the open air, not to mention exceptional guests and eagerly awaited masterclasses, the Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF) is coming back with a bang.

Outside of its International Competition, which comprises twelve feature films and sixteen shorts hailing from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, the festival (running 16-25 July) is dedicating this year’s New Territory section to Rwandan cinema which, in spite of its current burgeoning state, remains criminally undiscovered (it’s one of the youngest film industries in the world).

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In terms of guests, the Mexican director and producer Guillermo del Toro is participating in a panel discussion dedicated to Mexico, as well as delivering a masterclass, open to the general public, via videoconference from Hollywood. Mexican film will also be celebrated by way of the votes cast by 43 native filmmakers, including director Alejandro González Iñarritu, who each chose their favourite national film.

The star of the festival this year will undoubtedly be music, which is set to be honoured by way of several initiatives, including the Genre Cinema section: Music!, which will screen a handful of European works, including French titles Le Choc du Futur [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Marc Collin and Trance by Emilio Belmonte, Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan [+see also:
film review
interview: Julien Temple
film profile
]
by Julien Temple, Inna De Yard – The Soul of Jamaica [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Peter Webber, the UK-USA co-production Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl by Amy Goldstein, Mali Blues by Lutz Gregor (Mali/Germany), the Norwegian-Dutch co-production The Quest for Tonewood by Hans Lukas Hansen, Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm by Hannah Berryman and White Riot [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Rubika Shah, all in Swiss premieres. Also revolving around the theme of music is the new Audience Choice section, which sees viewers transformed into programmers: hundreds of voters chose five cult musicals to be savoured during the festival. Meanwhile, the charismatic French singer Étienne Daho and the Swiss actress and hip-hop singer Karine Guignard - aka La Gale - are set to head up the festival’s Cartes Blanches programme (consisting of a selection of favourite films and masterclasses).

In terms of the twelve titles selected for the International Competition, five of these are European productions or co-productions: two powerful portraits of strong, fighting women in the form of Blindfold by Ukrainian director Taras Dron and Quo vadis, Aida? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jasmila Žbanić
film profile
]
by Bosnia’s Jasmila Žbanić, the French-German-Portuguese-Palestinian-Qatari co-production Gaza mon amour [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which is the second feature film put forth by Palestinian twins Arab and Tarzan Nasser, and the two titles co-produced in league with France: New Order [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Mexico’s Michel Franco, which was awarded a Golden Lion (Grand Jury Prize) in Venice 2020, and the luminous Yellow Cat [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Kazakh director Adilkhan Yerzhanov, who will be competing in FIFF for the fourth time.

As for the 27 Swiss productions on the agenda, notably within the Swiss Passport and Foreign Visa section (endowed with the new Röstigraben Prize), the world premiere of Pierre-Alain Meier’s latest feature film Love of Fate [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 is well worth a mention.

Not having opted for a hybrid form, the FIFF will only make a proportion of its content available online after the festival has closed, from 26 July until 15 August.

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(Translated from French)

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