Nyon, Switzerland’s Visions du Réel launches its 45th edition today, Friday, April 25, and runs through Saturday, May 3. One of the longest-running nonfiction events in the world, the fest presents over 100 new and retrospective features, in addition to shorts, masterclasses, and other special events. The following offers highlights from each programming strand:
Among the nineteen films in the International Feature Competition are: Sofie Benoot’s meditation on the American West, DESERT HAZE (pictured); Alexander Kuznetsov’s portrait of Russians seeking escape in nature, TERRITORY OF FREEDOM; Thomas Heise’s profile of a Mexican juvenile penitentiary, STÄDTEBEWOHNER; Hatuey Viveros Lavielle’s intimate portrait of an indigenous Mexican family, COFFEE (CHANTS OF SMOKE); Audrius Stonys’ excavation of a family’s secret, CENOTAPH; and Sinisa Dragin’s story of intrigue involving Marshall Tito and a Romanian painting, THE FOREST.
The International Mid-Length Competition offers up fifteen entries, including: Filippo Ticozzi’s CHASING THE WIND, a portrait of a mortician; Amah Egome’s THE HUSTLERS, about four Togo men who hustle for work; Katarzyna Trzaska’s MAXIMUM PLEASURE (pictured), a look at Polish seniors bilked by con men; Céline Carridroit and Aline Suter’s ECHOES, a rumination on the Swiss language Romansh; and MAFI Collective’s PROPAGANDA, an investigation of Chile’s recent presidential election.
Swiss films are the focus of the fest’s Helvétiques sidebar, which includes: Iwan Schumacher’s look at modern metal working, THE ART FOUNDRY (pictured); Enrico Pizzolato and Gabriel Tejedor’s exploration of the Soviet gulag system, LA TRACE; Lisbeth Koutchoumoff and Wolgrand Ribeiro’s portrait of an exiled Afghan musician’s return to his homeland, KABUL SONG; and Roman Vital and Sandro Zollinger’s yodeling competition doc, RENÉ LIVE – MAN AGAINST MACHINE.
Emerging filmmakers are showcased in Visions’ État d’esprit section, including: Selma Vilhunen’s SONG, about the musical talents of the sole inhabitant of a small Finnish village; Nicolás Macario Alonso’s MONTE ADENTRO, a contrasting look at two Colombian brothers; Didier Guillain and Christiane Schmidt’s THE FORST IS LIKE THE MOUNTAINS, an observational portrait of an off-the-grid community; Hélène Robert and Jérémy Perrin’s A PRAGA – LA PLAIE, a hybrid focused on seagulls which evokes Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS; Chelsea Moynehan’s BIG MOCCASIN, a profile of four Appalachian residents; and Oriol Estrada and Natalia Cabral’s YOU AND ME (pictured), a look at the unequal dynamic between a wealthy white widow and her young black maid.
Among the additional programming is a focus on Tunisian cinema, and retrospectives of the work of Ross McElwee and Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd, plus multiple masterclasses.