Visions du Réel 2020: Awarded films

Presenting a special screening of award-winning films from the prestigious Swiss festival, Visions du Réel! Stream the best films from 2020 that managed to captivate the festival’s expert juries. Discover some of the best entries in world documentary cinema that aren’t afraid to blur the line between reality and fiction.

Year after year, Visions du Réel Festival has proven to be one of the most important events in documentary cinema. And it doesn't matter if it’s held in person in the Swiss town of Nyon or entirely online (as was the case last year). It also certainly won’t be the last time we hear about these master filmmakers and their hit films, which recently graced the festival’s silver screen. While the majority of last year's entries were made available for viewers in Switzerland only, you now have the unique chance to see the best this festival has to offer entirely online, no matter where you are in the world. Brace yourselves for a unique selection of films that were shown as part of the festival’s many competition sections and awarded by expert juries.

You definitely won’t want to miss the Finnish film, Anerca, Breath of Life, which was screened as part of the international feature-length film competition and follows the indigenous cultures living beyond the Arctic Circle. Packed with singing and dancing, this fascinating, poetic-ethnographic documentary covering the modern-day life of these historically marginalised communities awaits you.

Also worth watching is the film Pyrale, which quite literally became a shining star and festival highlight under the Burning Lights competition section, which presented innovative films bringing something new to the table. Pyrale follows the personal story of a teenage girl name Lou that’s juxtaposed with sci-fi-like phenomena experienced every year by the people of France’s Provence Region as they frantically work to prevent the rampage of parasitic butterflies.

Hailing from the Swiss films section, Sapelo is also a must-see entry. The film explores life on the island of the same name, which is located in the deep American south off the coast of Georgia. In this heaven on Earth, adoptive mother Cornelia Walker Bailey works hard to preserve the traditions of a culture that’s slowly sinking into oblivion. The film won the 2020 Sesterce d´or SRG SSR Award for Best Feature or Medium-Length Film.

Don’t have a DAFilms subscription yet? Until May 9th you can watch the film On Hold for free after registration (no subscription required). The 20-minute-long entry was awarded under the festival’s Short Film Competition. Finnish filmmaker Laura Rantanen offers a humorous take on generational clashes when she has older, retired men recount anonymous telephone calls made to a helpline for troubled teens who are under 20 years of age. 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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