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80 fantastic films at Neuchâtel (open air too)

More than 80 fantastic films: what a programme!

From July 3-8, 2007, the city of Neuchâtel will host its great Swiss meeting of fantastic cinema for the 7th time - a unique event presenting over 80 film premieres. This year, a new open air cinema will be inaugurated in town, near the lakeside, showing previews and unreleased films. In present two addition to four different competitions and the presence of renowned guests, the NIFFF will also special sections: a trip back to the golden age of 3D films and a retrospective of South Korean genre cinema. This programme is completed with a symposium on new imaging technologies, some public debates, and various convivial spaces. Shivers, emotions, escape: it’s all happening at the NIFFF!

The NIFFF open air cinema

The eclectic NIFFF has grown in size: in addition to the three screens at the Apollo cinema, it will install an open air theatre with 500 seats on the esplanade at the Ostervald Quay. Each night, in a festive atmosphere, this venue will present previews (Hot Fuzz, a police film parody by the makers of Shaun of the Dead, El Orfanato, a film directed by Juan Antonio Bayona and produced by Guillermo Del Toro, shown as festival opener, or the Korean blockbuster The Host) as well as films that have not yet been released in Switzerland, such as the much anticipated Paprika from Satoshi Kon.

Park Chan-wook for the first time in Switzerland!

Another unreleased film will be I’m a Cyborg but that’s OK, the new opus from explosive South Korean director Park Chan-wook, who will be in Neuchâtel to present his films personally for the first time in Switzerland. The author of Old Boy (Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival amongst other numerous international distinctions) and of Sympathy for Mister Vengeance will attend in the company of another great film director, Ryoo Seung-wan. The latter's latest film City of Violence (unreleased on Swiss screens) will also be shown in the context of a retrospective that the NIFFF devotes to the last four decades of genre cinema coming from South Korea. A one-time occasion to discover precious classics and current highlights of this popular, engaging and graphically innovative cinematography.

The competitions : hot news about fantastic cinema

The International Competition is conceived as a world trip in terms of current fantastic cinema. It gathers twelve films originating from nine countries and reflects the NIFFF’s wish for equality between the genres which the fantastic encompasses, notably: science fiction with 28 Weeks Later (in the post-apocalyptic vein of 28 Days Later) and Ugly Swans (a Russian film inspired by the SF cinema of Tarkovski); humour with Black Sheep (an ovine version of Bad Taste), How to get rid of the others (Denmark declares war on its socially maladjusted citizens) and You, the Living (a burlesque evocation of contemporary ways of life); horror with Cold Prey (a Norwegian film with a serial killer of the Viking kind) and The Signal (a gem of independent cinema made in USA); action with Jade Warrior (a Finnish legend meets kung-fu) and Day Watch (the latest blockbuster in current Russian genre cinema); and art-house with La Antena (an Argentenian film merging silent film with digital images).

With seven works coming from four countries, the Asian Competition will encompass an animation film Tekkon Kinkreet (a visual tour de force by Michael Arias), mangas adapted for the screen with the two Death Note films (champions at the Japanese box office in 2006), Mushishi (by the great Otomo Katsuhiro), and Dasepo Naughty Girls (a provocative adaptation of a South Korean comic), an exciting Thai western (Dynamite Warriors), the Bollywood remake of a famous Indian action film from the 70’s (Don), the first Pakistani zombie film (Hell’s Ground) and a thriller made by the doyen of Japanese cyber punk, Shinya Tsukamoto (Nightmare Detective).

The Swiss and European short movies also have their respective competition of nine films each.

A woman president for the International Jury

The International Jury will be presided by a woman for the first time, French director Lucile Hadzihalilovic (Narcisse prize for the best film at the NIFFF 2005 with Innocence). The other members are Mo Hayder, British author of thrillers (Pig Island came out this year), the Austrian comedian Franziska Weisz as well as two seminal movie makers of fantastic cinema: Spanish Jaume Balagueró and American Douglas Buck whose latest works, respectively Para Entrar à Vivir and Sisters (a remake of the film by DePalma with Chloë Sevigny and Lou Doillon) will be projected at the Midnight Screenings.

O-Oh: a journey into 3D cinema

Grab your polarised glasses: the festival will equip the audience for a dive into five films from the golden era of 3D stereoscopic cinema. Hollywood may be preparing another digital 3D revolution today, but what a pleasure it is to discover rarely projected cult works dating from the 50’s and the 70’s. The films are House of Wax with actor Vincent Price in all his three dimensional splendour; Creature from the Black Lagoon, the ultimate reference in films with monsters in rubber costumes; It Came from Outer Space, an extraterrestrial invasion on your retina; Flesh for Frankenstein, an anti-conservative missile produced by Andy Warhol – sexy and bloody; and a female kung-fu cult classic made in Hong-Kong, Revenge of the Shogun Women.

Mick Garris, ambassador for Masters of Horror

American Mick Garris, producer of Masters of Horror, will exclusively present four episodes from the second season of his series. The films were directed by John Carpenter, Joe Dante, Brad Anderson and Mick Garris himself.

A different world of images

Created by the NIFFF with economic support from the Canton of Neuchâtel, the Syposium Imaging the Future (July 5 and 6) is aimed at creating a bridge between the activities of the festival and the domain of digital imaging, art and science. Under the title of "Another World" it will focus this year on how digital images affect our perception of reality. Second Life will of course be discussed, along with the themes of architecture, engineering, cinema and social issues. Access is free to this symposium of a day and a half, which is organised in co-production with La Maison d’Ailleurs and the Museum of Ethnography in Neuchâtel (MEN). The full programme can be found at:

And what about Swiss fantastic cinema?

It exists! To prove it, the NIFFF will show Marmorera by Markus Fischer (a thriller from deep, stagnant waters in the Canton of Grisons), L’écart by Franz Josef Holzer (the paranoia of a surgeon) and Die Vogelpredigt from Clemens Klopfenstein (a very funny meditation on cinema and faith); and also three episodes from the Our Secret Archives series by Noel Tortajada.
Two other meetings will deal with Swiss creation on Friday July 6, from 14h00: a lecture on music as a basic element of fantastic cinema (with composer Stéphane Kirscher) and a debate on interactions between fantastic cinema and politics (with Nicolas Bideau, Head of the Cinema Section at the Federal Office of Culture, directors Mick Garris (USA), Michael Steiner (CH) and Yvan Engler (CH), scriptwriter Michael Sauter (CH) and producer Jean-Pierre Dionnet (F).

Finally, the NIFFF will also host a lounge tent in the English garden, bars, DJ nights… in order to celebrate fantastic cinema!

Full programme, practical information and ticket orders:

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