With great pleasure we invite you Swiss Cinema Review which will take place during the 22nd edition of the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography CAMERIMAGE. Nine films from the last two years will be screened, showing the latest achievements of the cinema of Switzerland, which has an important position on the European film map. Swiss Cinema Review is another step of Camerimage Festival in promoting the richness of cinema in Europe.
Below you will find an introduction to New Swiss Cinema written by Giona A. Nazzaro, as well as the list of films to be screened at Camerimage.
Diversity is the keyword. That is the reason why you cannot pigeonhole Swiss Cinema. With a steady growth of up-and-coming young talents and its network of film school and festivals, Swiss Cinema is indeed worthy of praise. A production system capable of challenging expectations and questioning the problems of the world and always looking beyond its own borders. When it focuses its gaze on matters of national importance, it knows how to ask the right questions. From the point of view of a documentary programmer, it is always fascinating to observe how young energies push against the boundaries in order to get a story and a message across. Names like Nicole Vögele or Ramon Giger, Filippo Demarchi or Matthias Huser, Simon Bauman or Carina Freire are the beating pulse of a cinema that stubbornly looks for new ways of stepping off of the beaten track. There’s an undeniable force and charm in the way all these different cinematic and filmic approaches merge together and create the multi-faceted reality of this multi-layered reality that we have come to appreciate under the moniker of Swiss Cinema. We could name-drop forever, but it is only the simple truth that Michael Steiner, Andrea Staka, Samir, Peter Luis, Stina Werenfels, and Markus Imhoof are in fact the tip of an iceberg that deserves to be explored and appreciated in all its glorious variety. A national cinematographic identity that manages to put in the spotlight – alongside internationally appreciated names such as Jean-Stéphane Bron and Lionel Baier – newcomer talents as riotous as Thomas Ammann or Caroline Cuénod is without a doubt a healthy cinema. Because the most precious fruit that this kind of diversity bears is the future itself. Which is no small feat, if you ask me.
Giona A. Nazzaro
Programmer for Visions du Réel Festival
The summer of 1788 in Rudolstadt. Rebellious poet Friedrich Schiller and two penniless sisters, members of the Thuringian aristocracy, experience an unforgettable period together which will eventually bind them together forever. Unhappily married Caroline von Beulwitz and her shy sister Charlotte von Lengefeld take their oath to share everything seriously – even the author of The Robbers.
"Beloved Sisters", courtesy of
Bavaria Filmverleih und Produktions GmbH
Original title: Die geliebten Schwestern
Poliish title: Siostry i Schiller
Directed by: Dominik Graf
Cinematography: Michael Wiesweg
Producer: Bavaria Filmverleih und Produktions GmbH
Distributor: Global Screen GmbH
Polish distributor: Aurora Films
A penniless young hitch-hiker travels across northern France. Is she escaping from herself and her complex past? In any case, having reached the seaside in Brighton, she assumes the identity of a suicide victim. Cherry Pie is a story about loneliness in today’s world. It is also a brilliant piece of acting by Lolita Chammah, who plays the main character torn by tangled emotions.
"Cherry Pie", courtesy of 8horses
Polish title: Ciasto z wiśniami
Directed by: Lorenz Merz
Cinematography: Lorenz Merz
Distributor: Film Republic, 8horses
The Circle is the title of a magazine published by a Zurich association. There, in the association, Ernst Ostertag, a young teacher, meets the drag queen artist Roebi Rapp. The men fall in love. However, they live in the mid-1950s – the period in which homosexual relations are not seen well, even in tolerant Switzerland. To make things worse, a series of mysterious murders leads to the first persecutions of the gay community in Switzerland.
"The Circle", courtesy of Tongariro Releasing
Original title: Der Kreis
Polish title: W kręgu
Directed by: Stefan Haupt
Cinematography: Tobias Dengler, Ernst Immer, Patrick Lindenmaier
Producer: Contrast Films Ltd., Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen
Distributor: Wide House
Polish distributor: Tongariro Releasing
A feature-length documentary featuring the yearly efforts of several thousand Indians. With the use of some primitive tools, they excavate “the whitest salt in the world” in the sun-scorched Kutch desert in the Indian state of Gujarat. In equally primitive conditions live those who do this work every year, for eight months. Their work is shown in long takes, which speak for themselves and therefore are not accompanied by any commentary.
"My Name is Salt", courtesy of Leafbird Films
Directed by: Farida Pacha
Cinematography: Lutz Konermann
Producer: Leafbird Films
Distributor: Leafbird Films
Mr. Zingg is the teacher of an integration class in Basel. His pupils have a long journey behind them and place great hope in him. They have travelled to Switzerland with dreams of a better future. The young people, often traumatized by fate, learn a new language and culture, but Zingg wants them to find their own place, and especially a job after they graduate. But a difficult and rocky road awaits them.
"Neuland", courtesy of Fama Film AG
Directed by: Anna Thommen
Cinematography: Gabriela Betschart
Producer: Fama Film AG
Distributor: Rise And Shine World Sales UG
A musical documentary, in which the composer and singer Marthino de Vila shows us around the world of Brazilian samba. As it turns out, samba is not only a dance – apart from sensuous music, texts are also important, and the dance itself defines a specific lifestyle. With this film, Georges Gachot closes his film trilogy devoted to the Brazilian music. The previous two parts are Maria Bethânia: Música é Perfume and Rio Sonata: Nana Caymmi.
"O Samba", courtesy of Gachot Films
Directed by: Georges Gachot
Cinematography: Séverine Barde, Pio Corradi, Georges Gachot, Peter Guyer
Producer: Gachot Films
Distributor: Euroarts International
The story about a remarkable man, Paul Grüninger, most rightfully hailed as the Swiss Oskar Schindler. After Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany and Switzerland closed its borders to Jewish refugees in 1983 – which meant a death sentence for thousands – the St. Gallen Police Commander Paul Grüninger put not only his career, but also his life on the line by helping 3,600 Jews.