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- 27.1.2015 14:48 -

Visions du Réel: The grandiose start of Doc Alliance´s festival season!

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As usual, the position of the first Doc Alliance festival in 2015 will be held by Swiss documentary lovers from Visions du Réel. The festival has already revealed to its fans the name of the main guest of the upcoming edition as well as its new poster. Read about what you can look forward to in April!

20th January 2015, Nyon

Visions du Réel, Festival international de cinéma Nyon, is to celebrate filmmaker Barbet Schroeder. Particularly known for Barfly and Single White Female – and having directed Nicolas Cage, Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Gosling amongst others – Barbet Schroeder will attend the festival in person to receive the Sesterce d’or Maître du Réel Raiffeisen Prize, in recognition of his entire career. By supporting this prize, which marks the start of a three-year partnership with the festival, Raiffeisen is reinforcing its regional commitment to culture.

As part of a collaboration with the Cinémathèque suisse and the ECAL School of art and design, the director will offer an unmissable opportunity to meet him during his masterclass. The four documentary films he has made during his career will be shown at the Festival (17th – 25th April 2015), while a full retrospective of his work will be shown at the Cinémathèque suisse in Lausanne (from 13th April – 15th May 2015).

The Festival is also today revealing the poster for its 46th edition: an image from More, Schroeder’s first film directed in 1969 — the year in which the Festival began. The 2015 poster is available here.

Visions du Réel allows us to discover a selection of the best documentary films, while offering the public and professionals close encounters with the great names in cinema. This is particularly the case with the Maître du Réel. “Every year, we invite a major player in documentary filmmaking in order to recognise their entire career with an honorary award,” explains Claude Ruey, President of the Festival, “Visions du Réel thus offers festival goers the unique opportunity of a personal encounter with a recognised master of documentary film.”

Sesterce d’or Maître du Réel Raiffeisen Prize: homage to an internationally renowned filmmaker

Created in 2014 during the anniversary edition celebrating the Festival’s 45 years of existence and its 20 years as Visions du Réel, the Sesterce d’or Maître du Réel is now awarded every year to an internationally renowned filmmaker in order to recognise the entirety of their career. As part of the Festival, the Maître du Réel is invited to give a film lecture, which is open to the public, and a selection of their films is featured on the programme. “With the Maître du Réel Prize, the Festival is honouring a filmmaker who has successfully worked with extraordinary eloquence and fertility in the fields of documentary filmmaking or fictional realism; an author whose work is situated in cinematographical realism, balanced between documentation and visual research, an ethic of gesture and social commitment, poetic spirit and pragmatic mise en scène,” explains Festival Director Luciano Barisone. By supporting this prize, Raiffeisen is strengthening its ongoing commitment to culture in the region.

Barbet Schroeder: liberty and anti-conformism

Critic, producer and filmmaker, Barbet Schroeder (1941) was part of the Nouvelle Vague adventure from its very beginnings. A journalist for Cahiers du Cinéma from 1958 to 1963, assistant to Jean-Luc Godard on Les carabiniers (1963), producer, with his Les Films du Losange company (founded in 1963), of several films by Eric Rohmer and Jacques Rivette, as well as of three mythical works — Méditerranée (1964) by Jean-Daniel Pollet, Passe-montagne (1978) by Jean-François Stevenin and Le navire night (1979) by Marguerite Duras—he began directing in 1969 with More, which would be followed by around twenty films. Among these are famous feature films such as La vallée (with music by Pink Floyd), Barfly (inspired by the writing of Charles Bukowski) or Reversal of Fortune (for which Jeremy Irons won an Oscar for Best Actor in 1991). He also made three feature-length documentaries — Général Idi Amin Dada (1974), Koko, le gorille qui parle (1977) and L’avocat de la terreur (2007), which won a French César for Best Documentary—as well as Bukowski Tapes (1982-84), a filmed summary of a series of conversations with the American author, which will be exclusively screened at Visions du Réel. “Inhabited by controversial personalities torn between reason and desire, the cinema of Barbet Schroeder is in its scope imbued with a transgressive and anti-conformist quest for liberty,” emphasises Luciano Barisone. “In their form, which is on the contrary more controlled and lucid, his films often show lost lives, giving the spectator the possibility to reflect on what is real, shown and experienced,” he adds.

The Visions du Réel 2015 poster: a nod to the Festival’s beginnings

An image taken from the first film directed by Barbet Schroeder has been chosen to announce the next edition of Visions du Réel (17th to 25th April 2015). His film More (1969) was a great success on its release in Europe and is now a cult film, particularly due to its famous soundtrack composed by Pink Floyd for the occasion. Liberty, a theme dear to Barbet Schroeder, plays a key role in this film. “Liberty, exploration and discovery are the flagship values of our Festival”, enthuses Luciano Barisone. Adding: “This image from the film More is therefore an enthusiastic echo of our perspective of the huge diversity on offer in documentary filmmaking; a diversity that it’s our absolute pleasure to help the public discover this coming April.” Moreover, the choice of this film, directed in 1969, is also a nod to the beginnings of the Festival international de cinéma Nyon founded that very year, before being renamed Visions du Réel in 1995.

Barbet Schroeder masterclass and retrospective: a collaboration between the Cinémathèque suisse, ECAL and Visions du Réel

The homage to Barbet Schroeder is organised by Visions du Réel in collaboration with the Cinémathèque suisse and the ECAL School of art and design of Lausanne. Barbet Schroeder’s four documentary films — Général Idi Amin Dada (1974), Koko, le gorille qui parle / Koko, a Talking Gorilla (1977), L’avocat de la terreur (2007) and Bukowski Tapes (1982-84) — will be shown during the Festival and the director will have carte blanche to give, in person, a masterclass on the morning of Tuesday 21st April: a presentation of excerpts from his films and discussion with the public thus providing an unprecedented opportunity to learn more about his world and working methods. He will be awarded the Sesterce d’or Maître du Réel during a public ceremony on the evening of Monday 20th April 2015. And alongside the Festival, the Cinémathèque suisse in Lausanne is also programming a full retrospective of his work between 13th April and 15th May 2015, featuring his documentary films — excluding Bukowski Tapes, being shown exclusively at Visions du Réel — and his fiction features.

Visions du Réel 2015 poster, portrait of Barbet Schroeder and images from a selection of his films are available here.

The Festival’s full programme will be announced on 1st April 2015.

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