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Fribourg Fest 18th has memory

Fribourg International Film Festival – 18th edition / 21st – 28 March 2004

That we may not forget, the 18th edition of the Fribourg International Film Festival is placed under the sign of remembrance. There is the remembrance of peoples and that of conflicts; the remembrance of crises and that of roots. The cinema is a powerful remembering machine. Fernando Solanas knows that well. He questions the Argentine crisis of December 2001 in his new film, co-produced by Thelma Films, “La Memoria del Saqueo,” that he will present as the opening of this 18th edition. Throughout the week the parallel sections will reveal the multiple facets of remembering; even that of television.

The Cinemas of Central Asia
Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan and Turkmenistan have always been a crossroads of cultural, ethnic and religious influences. This year the Festival proposes a vast retrospective through a selection of more than forty films (fiction and documentary) illustrating some of the most significant parts of the history of Central Asian films. More well-known films appear alongside films that are new, exclusive or unprecedented even in their own country of origin. To name a few: the Kirghiz Bakajdyn zaiyty (The Sky of our Childhood, 1967) by Tolomouch Okeey and Maïmil (The Monkey, 2001) by Aktan Arym Kubat (Abdykalykov); the Uzbek Ortok Boykenjaev (Comrade Boykenjaev, 2002) by Yousoup Rzykov and Taskent, gorod khlebnyi (Tashkent, the City of Bread, 1968) by Choukhrat Abbasov; the Turkmen – prohibited in his country – Notch zheltogo bika (The Night of the Yellow Bull, 1997) by Mourad Aliev. An exclusive Night of short films will complete the programme.

Argentina at heart
In response to Fernando Solanas’ film, a selection of independent documentaries will delve into the roots of the crisis in Argentina. The films were made in a state of emergency and cast a young, and biting look on an effervescent social-political situation.

Crossroad perspectives
Given their free hand, Cameroon filmmaker Jean-Pierre Bekolo and American critic Joanne Herschfield have worked mainly on the theme of the border, literally and figuratively speaking, and have selected twelve films.

In memory…
Here we turn back to events that have marked history: South Africa ten years after the end of apartheid, the wars in Rwanda and Cambodia that we cannot forget.
The Télévision Suisse Romande, a partner of the Festival, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2004. It will present a selection of five documentary reports filmed in South Africa and Haiti.

Selection : International competition and documentary competition
To be discovered during the upcoming press conference on 9 March, the films will be submitted to the following jury: International Jury: Mr. Eliseo Subiela (director, Argentina), Mrs. Yan Yan Mak (director, Hong Kong/China), Mrs. Elise Jalladeau (producer, France), Mr. Felix Hächler (distributor, Switzerland), Mrs. Marianne Bhalotra (director of the Hubert Bals Fund, Netherlands).
Documentary Jury: Mrs. Eliane Ballif (journalist, TSR, Switzerland), Mr. Jean-Marie Teno (director, Cameroon), Mr. Paul Grossrieder (former Manager of the ICRC, Switzerland).

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