press release

Visions du Réel 2008: Jonathan Demme, Patti Smith, Alain Cavalier, Jean-Louis, Comolli, Julian Schnabel and many others in the programme. (17 – 23 April 2008)

Although the Festival entered the Petit Larousse illustré dictionary in 2008, it has not rested on its laurels. The 14th edition promises a wealth of images, meetings and events. As always intent on achieving excellence and discovering new talents.

The International Jury The Festival is glad to welcome producers Claire Aguilar (United States) and Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich (Netherlands), director of photography Séverine Barde (Switzerland) and the filmmaker Nourid Bouzid (Tunisia) in its international Jury.

Durakovo, le village des fous will open the Festival A screening of Durakovo, le village des fous, by Nino Kirtadze (presented in the International Competition) during the opening ceremony of the Festival in the presence of Armin Walpen, General Manager of SRG SSR Idée Suisse, 17th April.

Compétition Internationale Moving testimonials by immigrants (D’un mur à l’autre - de Berlin à Ceuta by Patric Jean), the freedom of the press under threat in Russia (Entre ours et loup - 24h dans la ville de N. by Denis Sneguirev) and a radical condemnation of torture under all of its forms (Sous la cagoule – Un voyage au bout de la Torture by Patricio Henrìquez) : the International Competition questions, unveils and highlights. A tribute is paid to two strong yet very different women: the American Susan Mogul, the men in her life and her camera (Driving Men) and the grand priestess of rock, Patti Smith in an impressionist portrait signed by Steven Sebring (Patti Smith : Dream of Life). As for the Swiss filmmaker Yves Scagliola, with The Beast Within he gives an account of the cathartic effects that animal fights have on the human being, ranging from dog fights in Mexico to grasshopper fights in China. Another Swiss, François Kohler, sketches the portraits of sons in search of their fathers in Cher Monsieur, cher papa.

Regards neufs As each year, the Regards Neufs section discovers the great filmmakers of tomorrow by taking a close look at the rapid and fascinating changes in the cinéma du réel. The Frenchwoman Delphine Deloget (No London Today), the Colombian Juan Lozano (Témoin Indésirable) and the German Sebastian Hediger (Drifter) give accounts of the multiple facets of a constantly changing world, with subjects such as immigration, censorship of the press in Colombia and a chronicle of the lives of young prostitutes in the Bahnof Zoo in Berlin. The Festival will also feature the Swiss filmmaker Antoine Cattin who signs La Mère with Russian filmmaker Pavel Kostomarov and Demon, the work of the young Russian filmmaker Alexander Malinin who died recently.

Tendances Visions du Réel invites the major international filmmakers in its Tendances section: Jonathan Demme (Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains), Julian Schnabel (Lou Reed’s Berlin), Alain Cavalier (Les Braves 1 & 3), Georg Misch (Der Weg Nach Mekka – Die Reise des Muhammad Asad) and Thomas Grube (Trip to Asia – Die Suche Nach dem Einklang). Their works are major references for a wide audience.

Helvétiques The best of Swiss film again this year in Nyon with Ingrid Wildi (Los Invisibles) and Gaël Métroz (Routes et déroutes avec Nicolas Bouvier) who will present her film during a special evening with the TSR on Monday 21 April.

Fictions du Réel Fiction may also represent reality with surprising acuity. Austrian filmmaker Ulrich Seidl reveals his icy cold, uncompromising vision in Import Export at the Festival this year. Also notable is the return of Naomi Kawase in Nyon with her latest feature-length film, Mogari No Mori.

Investigations A student revolt during the introduction of the new work contract for young first-time employees in France in 2006 in (G)rêve général(e) by Mathieu Chatellier and Daniela de Felice or arbitrary kidnapping and torture of young innocent victims is revealed in a condemnation of gangsterism in the West of Cameroon (Une affaire de nègres by Oswalde Lewat), the Investigations section presents works in the tradition of the grand reportage.

Les Ateliers Two legends are present this year in Nyon to share their work methods, their doubts and their convictions: The Frenchman Jean-Louis Comolli and the German Volker Koepp. The former is a critic, essayist, theoretician and filmmaker (La Cecilia and the series Marseille contre Marseille) and the latter is an unequalled portrayer of the human condition (Die Wismut, Wittstock Wittstock, Herr Zwilling und Frau Zuckermann and Söhne – two Visions du Réel Grand Prizes).

Séances spéciales Carole Roussopoulos and Guy Milliard The Séances spéciales pay a tribute to two Swiss filmmakers, one Swiss by birth the other by adoption. As a militant, Carole Roussopoulos has worked 40 years filming events at the heart of social conflicts and the fight for women’s rights with an iconoclastic sense of humour and a progressive political outlook. Guy Milliard was one of the pioneers of video, working between the small and the big picture. They will be in Nyon to meet the public.

Séances spéciales Lydia Chagoll & Frans Buyens The work of this Belgian couple of film makers is exemplary: engaged against imperialisms, fascisms, working at the heart of the memory of the 20th century, films are the indispensable witnesses of our age.

Reprocessing Reality A new artist in 2008 to examine the relations between the documentary and contemporary art: Christelle Lheureux. In addition to the programming of her recent works (some of which were presented in previous editions of Visions du Réel), L’expérience préhistorique will present a unique performance with a Romand writer, re-experiencing the enjoyment of the storytellers of silent film.

A l’écoute du réel Short sequences to listen to with closed eyes, sonic worlds grapple with real situations, as they are revealed by voices, characters, loud noise and silence, all the sounds are mixed and edited into real stories. An exceptional choice leading to another dimension of the spectacle du réel. With this year, a contribution from the Radio Suisse Romande Espace 2, our partner, under the form of bubbles of reality, very short propositions at the beginning of certain screenings.

A New Section: First Steps Films from film schools or independents, first short films du réel: faithful to its vocation as a communicator of images, Visions du Réel makes it possible for films, filmmakers and the audience to meet for the first time. After each screening the festival organises debates in the presence of professionals invited to evaluate the films according to the standards of the audiovisual market (festivals and broadcasters).

New partners, new prizes A new major sponsor of Visions du Réel, La Poste Suisse is especially marking its presence this year with the La Poste Suisse - Visions du Réel Grand Prize of 20,000 CHF.- The George Foundation (Winthertour) has created the George Foundation Prize for the best Newcomer Film (20,000 CHF) and the prestigious watchmaker brand Universal Genève is joining Visions du Réel to award the Prix d’Honneur Montres Universal Genève, for the first year to Volker Koepp at a special ceremony during the Festival. This year Télévision Suisse Romande is launching the competition Perspectives d’un Doc, open to filmmakers who are Swiss or residing in Switzerland and seeking to develop a documentary project requiring special research and development work. A prize of 10,000 CHF will be awarded during a special evening Monday 21 April.

Doc alliance – Visions du Réel are in association with 4 other renowned festivals Visions du Réel, Dok Leipzig, Planete Doc Reviews Warsaw, International Film Festival Jihlava and CPH: Dox Copenhague: Five major European festivals have founded Doc Alliance. Each of these festivals selects a film remarkable for its narrative style and its innovative point of view. These films will then be shown in the five festivals during a tour of Europe from the spring until the autumn. To present Doc Alliance, the 5 directors will meet in Nyon.

Le Doc Outlook – International Market This year once again, the meetings between international and Swiss professionals at Doc Outlook will promote the co- production and distribution of films. DOCM offers a choice of 250 films thanks to a digital VOD screening system. This year don’t miss the Agora Panel «HD & 16 : 9 – A must?»

14 March 2008 – Press Service - PYW

Press Officer: Pierre-Yves Walder +41 22 365 44 52 /

List of films at

Images from the selected films and visuals of the Festival at

Main Sponsor: La Poste Suisse - Public Authorities: Federal Office of Culture (FOC) Department of Development and Cooperation, the State of Vaud, the City of Nyon, Media, Loterie Romande - Principal Media Partners: SRG SSR idée suisse, L’Hebdo - Media partners La Côte, Espace 2 Télévisions Suisse Romande, Arte Euronews - Sponsors: Montres Universal Genève, TRN, Téléréseaux de la Région Nyonnaise SA

Visions du Réel
International Film Festival
DOC Outlook-International Market

Künstler: Jean-Louis Comolli, Volker Koepp, Thomas Heise, Carole Roussopoulos, Guy Milliard, Philippe Saire, Lydia Chagoll, Frans Buyens, Ulrich Seidl, Norman Richter, Julian Schnabel, Hans Richter, Guillaume Sylvestre, Bettina Timm, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Christelle Lhereux, Fabienne Abramovich, Constanze Witt, Birgit Vogt, Eva Stotz ...