The Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF)’ International Features Competition explores cinema in the making, while focusing on the discovery of new talent and innovative narratives and openly looking to delight and surprise, and to open new pathways. Another aim of the competition is to confront genres, outlooks and perspectives with ten titles presented in Swiss premiere.
The special Highlight Screenings programme, which features Swiss premieres of some of the longest awaited films of the year, pays tribute to international arthouse cinema (Peter Greenaway, Takeshi Kitano, Gus Van Sant, Claire Denis, Guy Maddin, Jerzy Skolimowski, Xavier Beauvois, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Wim Wenders, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Joachim Trier, Hong Sang-soo, Cristian Mungiu, etc.) Rien que pour vos yeux (For Your Eyes Only) programme is a section born of our desire to share our favourite finds. Bande originale is a section entirely dedicated to the relationship between music and cinema.
For the first time this year, the International Shorts program is curated by Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur.
Finally, the GIFF traditionally pairs up with the 48H Film Project to awaken the filmmaker, screenwriter or actor within you, the prize being the opportunity to take part in the American finale and a guarantee of seeing your film shown on a big screen.
Iconoclastic and subversive, the Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF) was one of the first European events to screen made-for-television works of renowned filmmakers. Its International TV Series Competition and out-of-competition section served to reveal such series as The Revenants, The Night Of, Top of the Lake, The Girlfriend Experience, Jour Polaire, Rectify, Gomorrah, Deutschland 83, The Refugees, Trapped and Show Me a Hero as well as, more recently, The Sinner ,The Deuce and The Young Pope.
Its bold choices systematically give priority to cutting-edge programmes and creative series, and highlight the authors’ essential role in screenwriting. The Festival renews the International Music Videos Competition launched in 2016 in order to build stronger ties between music and audiovisual arts.
Between 2013 and 2015, the Festival presented the complete collection of Filmmakers of Our Time (Cinéastes, de notre temps) documentary. Since then, every year, the Cinéastes, de notre temps: the unreleased section has been added to our programme in order to bring to the audience the latest chapters of this series produced and directed by Janine Bazin and André S. Labarthe since 1964.
For its last edition, the GIFF has also presented Heimat: The Complete Works, the cult collection of German filmmaker Edgar Reitz shown in its entirety for the first time. In association with HEAD–Genève.
Since 2008, the Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF) has explored new participatory and interactive forms of narration. A pioneer in this field, the cinema festival is one of the first in the world to host an International Immersive Works Competition(virtual, augmented or mixed realities), as well as an out-of-competition section for digital works: Virtual Territories. It also pays tribute to the web through an International Web Series Competition that boldly combines fiction with documentary projects and aims to contribute to the recognition of web series as a fully-fledged format.
The Festival also organizes and supports various actions in that field all year round through its PLUGS program : Swiss Digital Showcase at the Film Market of the Cannes Film Festival, VR Hackathon with CERN CineGlobe, Tribeca Film Foundation, TEDx Transmedia, VR @LaRotonda (Locarno Festival), Montreal’s Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Austin’s SXSW, HeK, ZHdK, Ludicious, etc.
The program is supported by the Federal Office of Culture, as well as by the Yves and Inez Oltramare Foundation.
GENEVA DIGITAL MARKET
The Geneva Digital Market, the festival’s professional program, is dedicated to new digital trends. It includes conferences and debates, as well as a program of meetings and exchanges between European creators and investors, the New Digital Talents.
During its previous edition, the GDM has put special emphasis on the impact of new technology on audio-visual practices, viewed through the prism of the mutations generated by the fourth industrial revolution. Artificial intelligence, human-machine interface, new augmented reality headsets and immersion in art were some of the many major topics of last year’s event.
In parallel to the various meetings and round-table discussions, the Geneva Digital Market will renew its New Digital Talents and New Swiss Talents programs for this year and will launch two new initiatives: Sensible label and the Audiovisual Creation Forum.
The Geneva International Film Festival also offers a series of hybrid events and programmes. Let us mention Nuits blanches : a series of selected works that link with a musical event scheduled for the evening of the screening. Hence the audience got to enjoy a DJ set by French Touch figurehead Chloé playing electronic music on the screening of Blackmail by Hitchcock, as well as a live performance by DJ Cam, revisiting the Miami Vice soundtrack, for example.
On the Festival’s first week-end, the Serial Day and Night, hosted in association with RTS, give the public an opportunity to attend TV and web series screenings.
Furthermore, every year, the Film & Beyond Award is bestowed upon a cross-disciplinary artist, the Festival’s guest of honour, for their entire body of work. Last year, the award went to the American filmmaker Abel Ferrara. The award is also an opportunity to screen the guest artist’s work during the event.
The GIFF also hosts its traditional Kid’s Day, an opportunity for a younger audience to approach various forms of immersive and multimedia expression in a unique way.