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Peter Mettler

Canada / Website


Based both in Switzerland and Canada, Peter Mettler (born 1958, Toronto) is a strong supporter of independent creativity, having collaborated with numerous filmmakers, artists and musicians such as Werner Penzel, Michael Ondaatje, Atom Egoyan, Peter Weber, Fred Frith, Jim O'Rourke, Tom Kuo, Alexandra Rockingham Gill, Robert Lepage, Andreas Züst, and many others.
Melding intuitive processes with drama, essay, experiment or documentation, his own films hold a unique and influential position in creative expression not only in film but also in new art forms where cinema and other disciplines merge. Meditations on our world, rooted in personal experience, his works reflect the visions and wonder of their characters and audiences alike. Mettler’s films have garnered many prizes and been the focus of several retrospectives internationally.
Additional artistic activities include a wide range of ongoing engagements in music, dance and photography. Over the years Mettler has presented photographic gallery exhibitions in Europe and Canada. More recently he has been experimenting with live sound and image mixing performances with a diversity of musical artists in an extremity of locales ranging from radio theatres to dance clubs and wilderness locations. An interview with Mettler on these activities is included in the 2005 publication The VJ Book by Paul Spinrad.


Lancalot Freely (20´, Canada, 1980)
Scissere (88´, Canada, 1982)
Eastern Avenue (58´, Canada, 1985)
The Top of his Head (110, Canada, 1989)
Tectonic Plates (106´, Canada, 1992)
Picture of Light (83´, Switzerland/Canada, 1994)
Balifilm (30´, Canada, 1996)
Gambling, Gods and LSD (180´, Canada/Switzerland, 2002)
Away (3´, Canada, 2007)
Shostakovitch/Notes in Silence (25´, Cannada, 2007)
Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands (43´, Canada, 2009)
The End of Time (109', Switzerland/Canada, 2012)



Away (Orig.) / 2007 / Canada / 3 min

The filmmaker of this short documentary used his cellphone camera to shoot these scenes in Costa Rica. He reflects on the dichotomy of nature versus technology. Part of the MobiDOCS: Confessions in a Digital Age series.




Balifilm (Orig.) / 1997 / Canada / 28 min

Mettler brings us into the world of the mystical and the unconscious through his exploration of this extraordinary culture.



Eastern Avenue

Eastern Avenue (Orig.) / 1985 / Canada / 87 min

An exploration of intuition, using film as a kind of audio-visual improvisation. The structure and innate "story" of the film were formed by the chronology of experiences and perceptions that emerged from a journey to Berlin, Portugal and Switzerland.



Gambling, Gods and LSD

Gambling, Gods and LSD (Orig.) / 2002 / Canada, Switzerland / 180 min

A filmmaker’s inquiry into transcendence becomes a three-hour trip across countries and cultures, interconnecting people, places and times.




Petropolis (Orig.) / 2009 / Canada / 43 min

An extraordinary spectacle, whose scope can only be understood from far above.


picture of light_1

Picture of Light

Picture of Light (Orig.) / 1994 / Canada / 83 min

An hallucinatory tale which documents a filmmaker’s journey to Canada’s arctic in search of the Northern Lights.




Scissere (Orig.) / 1982 / Canada / 83 min

While deploying a seemingly inexhaustible repertoire of optical effects, Scissere renders the experiences of a mental patient who wanders outside his institutional confines for the first time in many years. He imagines himself inside the sensibilities of three people he randomly spots at a bus station.



The End of Time

The End of Time (Orig.) / 2012 / Canada, Switzerland / 109 min

THE END OF TIME, at once personal, rigorous and visionary, Peter Mettler has crafted a film as compelling and magnificent as its subject.



Trace of the future according to Peter Mettler

Une trace du futur selon Peter Mettler (Orig.) / 2014 / Canada / 3 min

Filmmakers that were selected at Visions du Réel in the past twenty editions celebrate the Festival's anniversary by each making a short movie in which they expose their view of the future.



East Doc Platform for the fifth time

East Doc Platform for the fifth time

Do you want to make a film? The Institute of Documentary Film (IDF) is looking for documentary projects in development, production and post-production for the 5th edition of East Doc Platform.

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- 19.11.2015 -

Thomas A. Østbye: Reducing Reality or Losing Control of the Film

Thomas A. Østbye: Reducing Reality or Losing Control of the Film

What is most mysterious in life is existence itself, says renowned Norwegian director Thomas A. Østbye in an interview about his documentary films and his Indonesian interactive project 17.000 Islands. The interview was made at the 19th Jihlava IDFF.

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- 6.11.2015 -

Doclisboa: Risk, Želimir Žilnik, Terrorism and more

Doclisboa: Risk, Želimir Žilnik, Terrorism and more

The 13th edition of Doclisboa International Film Festival takes place from October 22 to November 1 and shows 236 films from 40 countries, including a total of 43 world premieres. On November 2 to 15, the festival will be followed by a special Doclisboa event at DAFilms.com.

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- 22.10.2015 -

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