The Fribourg International Film Festival really should have made t-shirts emblazoned with ‘FIFF 34 ½ – I was there!’ Since the cancellation of its 2020 edition in March, FIFF has marshalled its powers of imagination and innovation to still offer the public the memorable cinematic experiences they have come to expect from the Festival over the years. Right up until the launch of its 35th edition (19–28 March 2021), FIFF will continue to screen selected films from its 2020 programme in Fribourg, Geneva and Zurich, at the Cinémathèque suisse in Lausanne, and at the Aventiclap (Avenches), Numerik Games (Yverdon) and Kurzfilmtage (Winterthur) festivals. A full programme guide, which includes the much-anticipated première of Peninsula in Fribourg, can be found on the FIFF website.
New home for three FIFF sections
Over the last few weeks, the public has had the chance to enjoy a great choice of films from the FIFF 2020 programme, including several previews shown in out-of-the-ordinary screening venues like a mountain top and a clinic roof. Much more is still yet to come! From 26 August to 31 October the Cinémathèque suisse in Lausanne hosts a William Friedkin retrospective, which is sure to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. One of the highlights will be the screening of the documentary Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist on 7th October, with the film’s director Alexandre O. Philippe. For FIFF Artistic Director Thierry Jobin, who will also attend the preview, “The film is spellbinding and a genuine love letter to cinema that focuses on the creative process of a master film maker and the eclectic mix of influences that shapes his work." The seminal horror film will be screened immediately afterwards. Both films will also be shown on RTS on 18th October.
The Cinémathèque suisse will also screen several hidden gems that FIFF had hoped to showcase in its 2020 Genre Cinema: Topsy-Turvy Worlds section. Once a month, film lovers will have the chance to re-discover classics like Luis Buñuel’s Le Fantôme de la liberté and discover forgotten masterpieces such as Les Révoltés de l’an 2000 by Narciso Ibanez Serrador.
Hommage à Claudia Cardinale is the third section of the 2020 FIFF programme that has been saved thanks to the tremendous generosity of our friends. The Arena cinema will now show the section in its entirety as part of the University of Fribourg Ciné-Club programme. Make a date to marvel at masterpieces like p/node/4191 by Richard Brooks (29th September), 8½ by Federico Fellini (13th October), Un Eté à la Goulette by Férid Boughedir (27th October), Fitzcarraldo by Werner Herzog (3rd November) and Sandra by Luchino Visconti (17th November)?
Claudia Cardinale in 8 ½ by Federico Fellini (1963)
From Lausanne to Winterthur
FIFF is very fortunate that other festivals have kindly lent it a helping hand by offering to include parts of our 2020 programme in their own. They include the Zurich Film Festival, which will show the deeply moving film The Hive by the Turkish director Eylem Kaftan on 2nd October. Other partnerships include :
• La Nuit du court métrage, Fribourg, which will show Basurero, one of the entries from the FIFF 2020 International Competition: Short Films (2nd October).
• Aventi’clap festival in Avenches, which invites Thierry Jobin to show three films of his choice from the FIFF 2020 programme (23 and 24 October).
• Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, which will show six entries from the FIFF 2020 International Competition: Short Films (3 to 8 November).
• Numerik Games Festival in Yverdon, which will show three monster movies from the FIFF 2020 programme (12 to 15 November).
• Nuit du court métrage, Lausanne, which will show five entries from the FIFF 2020 International Competition: Short Films (27 November).
FIFF films every Monday
Thierry Jobin is delighted that cinemas can now open again, “Almost every week, there is a film from the FIFF 2020 programme playing at a local movie theatre. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to reinvent ourselves. We need to do more than simply screen films. We have to proactively support them, embrace unconventional screening venues, nurture the pleasure of being together and deploy warmth and humour to restore the public’s confidence and bring them back to cinemas that are eagerly awaiting their return. FIFF’s Selection Committee therefore decided to pick the 10 films from its 2020 programme that it was particularly looking forward to sharing with the public. These “FIFF Favourites” perfectly embody what the Festival is all about and reflect its interest in cultures from around the world, as seen essentially through the lens of mainstream genre cinema." The Rex and Arena movie theatres in Fribourg will each show five of these ‘FIFF faves’, including a Korean thriller, a William Friedkin masterpiece, a Japanese anime, an Australian western, madcap comedies and an Indonesian superhero saga. Screenings will be held every Monday evening at 8.30pm, from 5th October to 7th December (detailed programme below). Perhaps, we need to start working on those ‘FIFF 34½ - I was there!’ T-shirts, after all.
Last but by no means least, FIFF will also partner the major premiere in French-speaking Switzerland of Peninsula. It is the much-anticipated sequel to the brilliant South Korean zombie action comedy Train to Busan, which thrilled the audience at the FIFF Midnight Screenings and 4DX cinemas in 2017. Peninsula will be screened in Fribourg on 20th November (standard widescreen and 4DX).
FIFF 2020 Top Ten
- 5th October, Rex 1
4x4, Argentinian thriller by Mariano Cohn (2019)
- 12th October, Arena 1 ou 5
Mossad!, madcap Israeli comedy by Alon Gur Arye (2019)
- 19th October, Rex 1
Jacky au royaume des filles, alternate history rib tickler by Riad Sattouf (2014)
- 26th October, Arena 1 ou 5
Akira, a Japanese anime masterpiece by Katsuhiro Otomo (1988)
- 2nd November, Rex 1
Les Révoltés de l’an 2000, a nightmarish, unnerving thriller by Spanish director Narciso Ibáñez Serrador (1976)
- 9th November, Arena 1 ou 5
The Odd Family : Zombie on sale, Korean horror comedy by Lee Min-jae (2019)
- 16th November, Rex 1
Lucky Strike (Beasts Clawing at Straws),South Korean thriller by Kim Yong-hoon (2020)
- 23rd November, Arena 1 ou 5
Sorcerer, spinetingling masterpiece by William Friedkin (1977)
- 30th November, Rex 1
Gundala, an Indonesian superhero film à la Ken Loach by Joko Anwar (2019)
- 7th December, Arena 1 ou 5
True History of the Kelly Gang, stroboscopic Australian western by Justin Kurzel and starring Russell Crowe (2019)
True History of the Kelly Gang, Justin Kurzel (2019)