Trace of the Future according to Visions du Réel

The beginning of the new Doc Alliance season is drawing near! The Swiss festival Visions du Réel is traditionally the first one to pick up the documentary baton. However, even before the opening of the 46th edition, the festival has a spectacular online surprise for all impatient viewers; 60 short films by renowned local and global directors in which selected personalities celebrate the past anniversaries of the festival and introduce their vision of the future. What is the “Trace of the Future according to...” like? Watch from March 30 to April 12, 2015 at for free!

The theme of the past was a key theme of the past edition of the Doc Alliance festival Visions du Réel. The 45th edition offered two important anniversaries for celebration; 45 years since the founding of the festival in 1969 and 20 years of the festival’s history under its current name Visions du Réel. The events of the past and celebrations of the present are inseparably linked to the visions of the future. That is why the festival asked internationally renowned filmmakers who have a long-term connection to the festival about their idea of the future. What traces will we leave to the future generations? What traces will be left by documentary film?

Exactly 60 filmmakers were selected and asked to carry out a task that seems simple at first glance; to make a short film that is approximately 3 minutes long. However, how to capture the future within the merciless limit of three minutes? Whose future – the personal one, the national one, the global one, or perhaps the future of film? You can see how acclaimed documentarists and audiovisual artists coped with the task; for the first time online and for a whole two weeks!

In the multitude of famous names, the one of Canadian film wizard and audiovisual experimenter Peter Mettler stands out in particular. Even in a short film, he does not lose his ability to fascinate by his concept of extreme long shots revealing the inevitability of the movement of the Earth and the passing of time by means of visual metaphors and compressions. Young respected director Sebastian Mez, whose film Ein Brief aus Deutschland received the festival’s main award for mid-length film in 2011, employs an experimental visual language combined with a distinctive acoustic noise element in his film trace of the future, letting the viewers grope in the dark of his nocturnal images rather than offering them a clearly formulated futuristic message. The very medium of film and its meaning for creating, capturing and preserving reality is the focus of the short film by Italian documentary duo Massimo D’Anolfi and Martina Parenti, who gave their film contribution the telling title Traces for the Future.

One of the collection’s most remarkable personal accounts is the story told by young French director Axel Salvatori-Sinz. After three years, he revisits his debut The Shebabs of Yarmouk, nominated for the European Doc Alliance Selection Award in 2013, to recall the life story of the protagonist, cheerful and brave Hassan, who became one of the thousands of victims of the still continuing and still overlooked war in Syria. On the contrary, an optimistic future in the form of a sincere and joyful existence of a child captured in an intimate observation of playful moments with his son is captured by the camera of American director Robert Greene whose name you should not miss on the North American documentary scene.

Dream about the future along with 60 leading documentary directors and visit the shore of Lake Geneva to celebrate the 46th edition of Visions du Réel from April 17 to 25!

Selected films is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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