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During its 53rd edition Visions du Réel will present 160 films from 58 countries

The official selection includes 124 films, including 84 world premieres and 15 international premieres. Moreover, with 26 Swiss (co)productions, the Festival confirms its role as an essential partner of national creation. 43% of the filmmakers are women, while 57% are men. Out of 65 feature-length films, 35 are firsts. Fire of Love, Sara Dosa’s epic and spectacular portrait of the volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft, will kick off this year’s edition on Thursday 7 April.


Presenting the programme, Emilie Bujès, Artistic Director of Visions du Réel, said: “The 124 films in the official selection were chosen from 3,000 submissions – a figure that has remained stable. Nonetheless, we have noted that some countries have undoubtedly suffered more from COVID in terms of film production and that shows in this year’s selection, whose geographic distribution differs slightly to what is usually seen in the programme. Once again, the films in the 2022 selection champion a tremendous spectrum of approaches, perspectives, crises, liberties and subjectivities; from an artistic point of view, the 2022 edition will be especially impressive, which is why the International Feature Film Competition exceptionally showcases 16 titles (including 15 world premieres) and the National Competition features 13 films, all of which are extremely convincing. It is a thrilling prospect to once again be able to present such a strong and joyously eclectic selection in theatres, to the general public and to the professionals who we are expecting in great numbers. The war in Ukraine is of course on our minds, which is why we have decided to present The Earth is Blue as an Orange as the Festival’s closing film, to show solidarity, alongside the other films titles directed and/or produced in Ukraine that already feature in the programme.”


International Feature Film Competition

Presenting 15 world premieres and 1 international premiere from 17 countries, the International Feature Film Competition shows contemporary documentary filmmaking in a wide and open, original and singular definition. 

  • 5 Dreamers and a Horse by Aren Malakyan and Vahagn Khachatryan, Armenia/Germany/Switzerland/Danmark/Georgia, 2022, 80’, World Premiere
  • A Holy Family by Elvis A-Liang Lu, Taiwan/France, 2022, 90’, World Premiere
  • All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars by Jennifer Rainsford, Sweden, 2022, 77’, World Premiere
  • Bitterbrush by Emelie Mahdavian, United States, 2021, 91’, International Premiere
  • Chaylla by Clara Teper and Paul Pirritano, France, 2022, 72’, World Premiere
  • Dogwatch (Vardia) by Gregoris Rentis, Greece/France, 2022, 78’, World Premiere
  • Eclaireuses (Leading lights) by Lydie Wisshaupt, Belgium, 2022, 90’, World Premiere
  • Foragers (Al-Yad Al-Khadra) by Jumana Manna, Palestine, 2022, 65’, World Premiere
  • How to Save a Dead Friend by Marusya Syroechkovskaya, Sweden/ Norway, 2022, 103’, World Premiere
  • Inner Lines by Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd, France/Belgium, 2022, 86’, World Premiere
  • L’îlot (Like an Island) by Tizian Büchi, Switzerland, 2022, 106’, World Premiere
  • Ma vie en papier (My Paper Life) by Vida Dena, Belgium/France, Iran, 2022 , 81’, World Premiere
  • My Old Man (Für immer Sonntag) by Steven Vit, Switzerland, 2022, 86’, World Premiere
  • Rojek by Zaynê Akyol, Canada, 2022, 129’, World Premiere
  • Steel Life (Vida ferrea) by Manuel Bauer, Peru/Spain, 2022, 96’, World Premiere
  • Tara by Francesca Bertin and Volker Sattel, Germany/Italy, 2022, 87’, World Premiere


Burning Lights Competition 

Presenting 15 medium- and feature-length films coming from 16 countries, including 12 world premieres and 3 international premieres, the Burning Lights Competition is dedicated to new vocabularies and writing, to narrative and formal freedom. 

  • A Long Journey Home (Wu Kou Zhi Jia) by Wenqian Zhang, China, 2022, 124’, World Premiere
  • Burial (Kapinynas) by Emilija Škarnulytė, Lithuania/Norway, 2022, 60’, World Premiere
  • Eami by Paz Encina, Paraguay/ Netherlands, 2022, 84’, International Premiere
  • Europe by Philip Scheffner, Germany/France, 2022, 105’, International Premiere
  • Far Away Eyes (Huan Ri Shou Ji) by Chun-Hong Wang, Taiwan/France, 2021, 79’, International Premiere
  • Getting Old Stinks by Peter Entell, Switzerland, 2022, 85’, World Premiere
  • Ghost Fair Trade by Laurence Bonvin and Cheikh Ndiaye, Switzerland, 2022, 38’, World Premiere
  • H by Carlos Pardo Ros, Spain, 2022, 67’, World Premiere
  • Herbaria by Leandro Listorti, Argentina/Germany, 2022, 84’, World Premiere
  • Kapr Code (Kapr) by Lucie Králová, Czech Republic/Slovakia, 2022, 91’, World Premiere
  • Luminum by Maximiliano Schonfeld, Argentina, 2022, 62’, World Premiere
  • Olho animal by Maxime Martinot, France, 2022, 75’, World Premiere
  • Ollin Blood by Elise Florenty and Marcel Türkowsky, France/Mexico, 2022, 72’, World Premiere
  • Red Africa (Krasnaya Afrika) by Alexander Markov, Russia/Portugal, 2022, 65’, World Premiere
  • Remainders (Los Saldos) by Raúl Capdevila Murillo, Spain, 2022, 77’, World Premiere


National Competition

Devoted to medium- and feature- length films (co-)produced in Switzerland, in 2022 the National Competition includes 13 Swiss productions and co-productions with 8 countries, including 12 world premieres and 1 international premiere.

  • Ardente∙x∙s by Patrick Muroni, Switzerland, 2022, 96’, World Premiere
  • Calvinia by Rudi van der Merwe, Switzerland, 2022, 50’, World Premiere
  • Couvre-feu. Journal de Monique Saint-Hélier (1940-44) by Rachel Noël, Switzerland, 2022, 70’, World Premiere
  • Don’t Worry About India by Nama Filmcollective, Switzerland/ Germany/India, 2022, 97’, World Premiere
  • Dragon Women by Frédérique de Montblanc, Belgium/Switzerland/ South Korea, 2022, 83’ International Premiere
  • Fuku Nashi by Julie Sando, Switzerland/Japan, 2022, 44’, World Premiere
  • Garçonnières by Céline Pernet, Switzerland, 2022, 91’, World Premiere
  • La Cour des grands (Big Boy) by Louise Carrin, Switzerland, 2022, 61’, World Premiere
  • Le Film de mon père by Jules Guarneri, Switzerland, 2022, 73’, World Premiere
  • Le Pénitencier (The Penitentiary) by Anne Theurillat, Switzerland, 2022, 67’, World Premiere
  • Périphérique nord by Paulo Carneiro, Portugal/Switzerland/ Uruguay, 2022, 72’, World Premiere
  • Sons of the Wind (Hijos del viento) by Felipe Monroy, Switzerland/ Colombia, 2022, 98’, World Premiere
  • Supertempo (Supertime) by Daniel Kemény, Switzerland, 2022, 72’, World Premiere 


Other sections 

Visions du Réel provides an important showcase for medium-length and short films in its International Medium Length & Short Film Competition and in Opening Scenes, the section dedicated to first shorts and films made in schools. The International Medium Length & Short Film Competition presents 32 films, including 27 world premieres and 5 international premieres, while Opening Scenes hails 15 short films, including 13 world premieres and 2 international premieres. Switzerland distinguishes itself with eight films selected in these two sections particularly marked by the new generation.


Once again, the Grand Angle Competition presents 12 feature-length films that have already wowed audiences at other festivals or that will mark the coming year. For the first time, it includes five international premieres and two world premieres: the Italian film ll posto - A Steady Job, by Gianluca Matarrese and Mattia Colombo, which portrays certain aspects of contemporary Italy; and Adam Ondra: Pushing the Limits, by Jan Šimánek and Petr Záruba, a portrait of the legendary Czech climber. Finally, the non-competitive Latitudes section features a panorama of current documentary filmmaking practices. 11 films are presented this year, including 2 world premieres.   


Special screenings 

Visions du Réel is honored to present the world premiere of Elizabeth, by Roger Mitchell. On the occasion of Queen Elisabeth II’s 70th Jubilee, the director of the romantic comedy Notting Hill has created – just before his death – a nostalgic, gratifying, fresh and modern chronicle. Jennifer Peedom invites us on a poetic odyssey through the landscapes formed by rivers on six continents, narrated by the voice of actor Willem Dafoe and accompanied by music by Jonny Greenwood and Radiohead, as well as Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra (River, Swiss premiere). With Vedette, Patrice Chagnard and Claudine Bories observe a comical cohabitation between man and beast (Swiss premiere), shot in the Valais.


The great Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa paints a portrait of Vytautas Landsbergis, the charismatic leader of the independence movement in Lithuania, who successfully wrested the country away from the USSR in 1990 (Mr. Landsbergis, Swiss premiere). Using archives, he produces an ambitious new work and a film of remarkable accuracy. Finally, in solidarity with Ukraine, Visions du Réel will close with The Earth is Blue as an Orange (Swiss premiere) – the film should have been closing the Festival in 2020, before the Festival moved online. The Ukrainian director Iryna Tsilyk plunges us into the daily life of Anna, who lives alone with her four children in the Donbass region. Harmony reigns inside her house, while the war wields chaos outside.    


Marco Bellocchio, Guest of Honour, as well as an Atelier and a Special Guest

It should also be noted that Visions du Réel will pay tribute — in collaboration with La Cinémathèque suisse and ECAL — to the Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio by awarding him the prestigious Honorary Award. The Festival will present a selective retrospective of around ten titles, enabling the audience to discover some of the director’s significant films, as well as rarely screened documentaries, and his very latest work, for the first time in Switzerland, Marx può aspettare. The 2022 Atelier (retrospective and public Masterclass) is dedicated to the Algerian director Hassen Ferhani, who, in the space of ten years, has established himself as one of the leading architects of the resurgence of Algerian cinema. The Atelier is proposed in partnership with the HEAD – Genève. As the third distinguished guest of this 53rd edition of the International Film Festival Nyon, in collaboration with Le Temps, the American filmmaker and cinematographer Kirsten Johnson will be in Nyon to present a retrospective of her films as well as a selection of the films to which she has contributed as cinematographer. As much in the films she has directed – particularly with Dick Johnson is Dead (2020 – which was shortlisted for the Oscars) – as in her collaborations – which include, for example, Citizenfour (2014) by Laura Poitras, the Special Guest has continually questioned the ethical issues of documentary making and assumed a physical presence behind the camera. 


La formule 2022 

Visions du Réel is delighted to return to cinemas, to move to the new Place du Réel, and thus wishes to reassert the Festival as a space for cinematic discoveries, for encounters and discussions. The ten days of the Festival will therefore feature conferences, themed discussions, and conversations with the filmmakers, as well as the official ceremonies and festive activities, in order to enable in-depth dialogue between the various speakers, guests, and the audience. At the same time, a selection of films and all masterclasses will be available online.


The Festival will program about 50 films from the 2022 programme online, available in Switzerland via the platform from 11 to 18 April. New films will be added every day to explore part of the rich programme: from the International Feature Film Competition to the Grand Angle Competition via Latitudes or the short and medium-length films, with a focus on national productions. The all-inclusive rate will be CHF 25.


VdR-Industry will also revive the on-site presentations and meetings. From 10 to 14 April, professionals and project representatives will be able to catch up and talk, building national and international partnerships, both for short-term projects and long-term endeavors. Professionals will also be able to participate remotely in certain activities.

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