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VDR thegrownups2
The Grown-Ups, directed by Maite Alerdi

Family, families, traditional or new, are on the program of the 48th edition of Visions du Réel, Festival International de Cinéma Nyon, from 21-29 April 2017. Among the documentary films selected, a theme stands out: the notion of family, in particular, “new families.” The result of a show of solidarity bringing strength and hope, these arise when we are faced with a challenge, a change in environment or place, or a crisis. A total of 179 films from 55 countries, including 105 world premieres and 25 international premieres, will take the audience on a journey. Swiss film will also be honored with no fewer than 36 films selected.

Luciano Barisone has traveled the world with his selection committee and is now just a month away from the seventh edition of the Festival. For his final outing as Artistic Director, he offers festival-goers a snapshot of the state of the world, a “face of the world.” What guided him in the selection? A rather unusual leitmotiv: “Love for humanity and for the world inspired every single step that you will be able to follow in this edition of Visions du Réel”, he says.

VDR encordee
Encordée, directed by Frédéric Favre

New families
When confronted by a challenge or difficulty, a united community, strengthened by a feeling of belonging, forms or consolidates naturally — enabling beings to survive, to support each other and to cope. This is family and, by extension, the “new family.”

Some highlights worth noting from this year’s program: the Festival’s Avant-Première on Thursday 20 April 2017, with a free screening, courtesy of the City of Nyon and Visions du Réel, of the Swiss film Encordés by Frédéric Favre, in which teams, like families, have to be close-knit in order to tackle a huge sporting challenge, the Patrouille des Glaciers. For the Opening Ceremony on 21 April 2017, a moving documentary comedy will be presented: The Grown-Ups by Chilean filmmaker Maite Alberdi. Four forty-year olds living with Down syndrome aspire to more freedom than that offered by the institution in which their families have placed them. They dream of getting married, and of having children.

VDR no place for tears
No Place for Tears, directed by Reyan Tuvi

War, too, generates new families: in No Place for Tears, with this exceptional human chain at the entrance to the Turkish village facing Kobane, where the inhabitants welcome those fleeing horror with open arms. The South African film Sea Point Days observes an exceptional place in which people of all ages, religions and origins, other forms of family, come together, offering a reflection on co-existence and the possible future of the country. Unusual shared passions bring people together around a feeling of belonging: teenage girls’ hobby horse practice in Hobbyhorse Revolution, or the mechanical studies chosen by the young woman of Ouaga Girls. Family relationships in the more traditional sense are also at the heart of the programing: the uncertainty of love affairs in the face of career choices (Bobbi Jene) or of a separation forced by the political situation (You Make a Better Window Than You Do a Door); the relationships between generations who must learn to live together in an extremely confined space (Harmony) or, in contrast, to live far away from each other (Rodnye (Close Relations)), or even the strength of a family coping with the illness of one of its members (Les Grandes Traversées).

VDR keppihevosten vallankumous hobbyhorse
Hobbyhorse Revolution, directed by Selma Vilhunen

A strong presence for Swiss film
Among the 179 films selected, no fewer than 36 are Swiss productions and co-productions. The Helvétiques section puts the emphasis on national production, and it will also be possible to discover Swiss documentary film in the other sections, alongside films from all over the world.

Visions du Réel
21 to 29 April 2017