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Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF) will feature Russia

From 13 to 20 March 2010, the 24th edition of the Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF) offers Swiss audiences hitherto unknown pearls from Asia, Latin America, Africa, as well as from Europe. The appearance of contemporary Russian cinema is one of the highlights of this year's festival. The first elements of the programme were revealed today. Twelve features and documentaries have been selected for the international competition. Six parallel sections totalling 60 films and a forum with 4 TV series were announced. 



The panorama "Je me balade dans Moscou" presents a selection of nineteen Russian films. As a true premiere in the festival's history, this section was prepared by Russian cinema specialist Maryline Fellous and the French website The programme comprises a large number of Russian filmmakers, who are only little known in Europe and whose work underwent a forced change after the fall of the regime at the beginning of the Nineties. Four films in this selection also give some insight into the cinematographic creation in the Brezhnev era. 

"Âmes corsaires" (buccaneer souls) pays homage to Carlos Reichenbach and Jorge Furtado, two directors from the south of Brazil. The FIFF thus continues its work on Brazilian cinema begun in 2008 with the presentation of "Alma Corsaria" and "Falsa Loura" and continued in 2009 with the programme "Fábulas da favela". The ten films in this new panorama once again show the rich cinematographic diversity of this country. This programme, which shows Reichenbach more as a dramatist and Furtado more as a comedy director, will subsequently be taken up by the Swiss Film Archive.  FIFF celebrates Jean Rouch, the inventor of the "ethnographic comedy" and the godfather of Nouvelle Vague, with ten films in the panorama "Moi, un Noir". The year 2009 was characterized by renewed interest in his work, namely the restoration of several copies, colloquiums in Rio and in Paris, the publication of two monographs and countless texts and interviews. FIFF brings the subject to Switzerland and is pleased to have the Swiss Film Archive, Filmpodium Zurich, Collection de l'Art Brut Lausanne and Culture France among its partners for this programme created by Jean-Pierre Touati. 

"The Curse of the Korean Kings" proposes six South Korean epic dramas. Although these features - that could have been written by William Shakespeare - portray different periods, they all have a common denominator: the contrast between the sumptuous designs, the beautiful costumes and the seductive actresses on the one hand and the scenarios exposing the decadent behaviour of certain kings at the end of their reign on the other hand. A panorama by the crititc Adrien Gombeaud about the hypothesis that genre cinema may always tell the same story - albeit altogether different every time. 

With "Reykjavik, Sofia" FIFF takes the opportunity to screen several films from countries on the margin of Europe and highlights the fact that this cinema is unjustly marginalised. This section comprises Bulgarian, Romanian, Slovenian and Icelandic films, i.e. three films from the former East block countries and one from the North. These countries were not (or only little) active in film production and seem to have seen a spectacular development in the past few years.  With seven films by Kinji Fukasaku (1930-2003) in the retrospective "Yakuza Graveyard", FIFF pursues its work on crime fiction around the world - or, as we call it - "Noir Total". Fukasaku is famous for having succeeded in transforming and dynamiting, from within, a rigid genre, that of Yakuza films. These gangsters used to be presented as kinds of knights following a well-defined code of honour. Fukasaku shows them in stories of treason and moral decay, thus conferring a critical and sociopolitical dimension to his work. 

Professional platform FORUM@FIFF
 TV series in the Middle East New!
This year's Forum@FIFF will be open to Swiss and international professionals ass well as to the public and schools. Its theme being TV series, it will present four series from Israel, Syria and Saudi Arabia, which will serve as a basis for three days of conferences, discussions and master classes. The Forum is proud to welcome Ori Sivan, the filmmaker and scriptwriter of the seies "Betipul", which was bought and adapted by HBO in 2007 and which is currently broadcasted under the name "In Treatment". Sociologists, producers, filmmakers, buyers, specialists and cinema fans will meet around worldwide phenomenon of TV series. The latest developments in Swiss series will also be discussed.

Shorts and "Planet Cinema" 
The 24th edition of FIFF also presents three programmes with short films (supported by Migros Culture Percentage) and will again organise "Planet Cinema", i.e. screenings for 8,000 school children and students.  The detailed programme, and particularly the twelve features and documentaries selected for the international competition, will be published at the press conference held on 3 March 2010, at 10.30 a.m. in Fribourg.


Fribourg International Film Festival


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