If you fancy yourself a movie buff and you’re into art house movies, original European television series and original virtual reality projects, the Geneva International Film Festival is not to be missed.
The programme may appear a bit overwhelming at first glance, but don’t let that put you off. The festival offers some groundbreaking movies, some of which have a direct link to Geneva, and most of which are shown with English subtitles.
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Most of the events take place at the Maison communale de Plainpalais (Pitoëff), including all the parties. Other locations include: Salle Soutter (RTS), Cinerama Empire, Salle Kramer (HEAD) and Spoutnik Usine.
WHAT IS THE GENEVA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (GIFF)?
This popular festival aimed at all ages offers a mixture of film, television, digital art and music events over a period of nine days. This year’s festival, now in its 23rd year, will take place from the 3rd–11th of November 2017.
Every year GIFF offers a series of experiences focused on image, sound and new forms of narration, which include screenings, interactive installations, virtual reality works, conferences and live performances.
OUR TIPS FOR WHAT TO SEE AT THE GIFF
FOR FILM BUFFS
Les Gardiennes– the Swiss premiere of this Geneva co-production will open the festival. PLOT: World War I. In farms all over France, women are laboring. Patient, hard-working, tireless. Their battlefront? Ploughing and working. Starring Nathalie Baye, Laura Smet and Iris Bry, directed by Xavier Beauvois.
Jalouse – featuring Karin Viard and Bruno Todeschini in the leading roles. PLOT: A divorced literature teacher goes from caring mother to obsessively jealous from one day to the next. A mix between sharp comedy and psychological thriller.
Swiss premieres of Outrage Coda by Japanese mastermind Takeshi Kitano. PLOT: A yakuza who beats up two girls in a hotel, a gang war, internal rivalries. From these few elements, Kitano draws a raw, gory and Melville-like movie, and proves that he remains the undisputed master of the Japanese thriller.
Claire’s Camera by Hong Sang-soo – PLOT: During the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Hong Sang-soo convinced Isabelle Huppert and his muse Kim Min-hee to shoot a movie on the sly. The result: a smart and mischievous little gem, in which the moviemaker turns Huppert into a fairy and makes fun of himself.
Sci-fi thriller Thelma by Joachim Trier – PLOT: Thelma is a shy young girl. Between a lesbian attraction that she rejects and sudden epileptic seizures, her life seems to be falling apart until she discovers she has dangerous supernatural powers.
How to Talk to Girls at Parties – the glam punk musical by John Cameron Mitchell featuring Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning. PLOT: A leading author of queer cinema – Hedwigand theAngry Inch and Shortbus – JC Mitchell returns with a glam-punk comedy featuring Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning and all sorts of aliens dressed in latex and in London at the time of The Sex Pistols. Tacky, funny and flamboyant.
FOR TV LOVERS
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ANSWER THIS QUESTION: What is the name of the TV series set in Geneva which will premiere at the festival. Answer in text below.
Send your answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, November 1 at 12pm. Winners will be announced by email and on our Facebook page on the same day.
Don’t miss a weekend of binge TV (November 4th and 5th) featuring premières of many top Swiss and European television series (most of these will have English subtitles). World premiere of Quartier des Banques, directed by Fulvio Bernasconi and set in Geneva – PLOT: A Swiss banker is found in a coma. A family whose relationships break up as the truth gradually emerges. Switzerland and its secrets at the heart of a relentlessly intense series.
PLOT: A woman, her husband and their child. Middle-class America, neither rich nor poor. In these “tiny lives”, the rawest of violence erupts: a murder carried out by one of them, with everyone watching.
The Vanishing: German contemporary moviemaker Hans-Christian Schmid.
PLOT: An ordinary town. A young woman disappears. A mother investigates. Closets full of ghosts. With this twisted thriller, German moviemaker Hans-Christian Schmid makes a sensational entrance into the world of European series.
Harlots – the new British series featuring Samantha Morton and Lesley Manville as pimp mothers.
PLOT:The Brits’ passion for historical series is well-known, so is their ability to go where they are least expected, as evidenced by Harlots, which reveals 18th century London through the naughtiest of lenses: the keyhole of a brothel.
Valkyrien – a Norwegian series by Erik Richter Strand.
PLOT: A renowned doctor goes deep underground to continue the research that will hopefully enable him to heal his wife. He mixes with a young survivalist with ulterior motives. Oslo turns into a disturbing hunting ground in this sci-fi-tinged thriller.
FOR PARTY LOVERS
NUITS BLANCHES (sleepless nights) include a series of events during which movie screenings are followed or preceded by live music performances.
The Nuits Blanches will all be followed by DJ sets playing Swiss and international music.
Les Derniers Parisiens – (film screening) by the founding members of the 1980s-born cult French rap band Hamé Bourokba and Ekoué Labite followed by a live performance by La Rumeur.
Blackmail – the silent movie classic by Alfred Hitchcock, followed by a live electronic performance by Chloé.
A quartet of Geneva-based artists will revisit the movie Shadow, recreating the voiceover and the soundtrack.
FOR VIRTUAL ENTHUSIASTS
This year, no less than 600 square metres will be entirely dedicated to digital programmes. The Virtual Territories showcase over 20 creations from around the world.
The Swiss premiere of Alice, The Virtual Reality Play that transposes the audience into the psychedelic world of Lewis Caroll’s heroine.
Younger festivalgoers (aged 3 and older) can choose from a progamme of quirky and fun events:
Movies – including a screening of Les moomins et la chasse à la comète