A film feast served up from overseas

Films from Asia, Latin America and Africa are being screened in Fribourg at the city's 14th International Film Festival. The opening film (pictured) is "Luna Papa" from Tadjikistan.

This content was published on March 10, 2000 - 15:27

Films from Asia, Latin America and Africa are being screened in Fribourg at the city's 14th International Film Festival. The opening film (pictured) is "Luna Papa" from Tadjikistan.

Its growth is an indication of the success of the organisers in promoting films from developing countries. Since it began, with seven films attracting about 1,000 spectators, the festival now has some 70 films with an expected audience of 20,000.

The original idea was simple. Rather than portray poor living standards the event is an occasion to show the cultural richness of various countries and to promote understanding of those cultures.

At least one goal has been achieved: "Films from Africa, Asia and Latin America are for example now distributed in Switzerland like any other film," said festival director Martial Knäbel.

In the 1980s the films screened in Fribourg were also seen in four other cities in Switzerland's French-speaking region. Now over 30 towns and cities throughout the country are on the list and interest has been expressed in Italy and Austria.

"What's important" says Knäbel "is that Third World film-makers are encouraged to make films which have roots in their own cultures. This was an important factor in selecting films for competition."

Asia is well-represented, with five coming from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. Argentina is represented by three films while Brazil and India each have one.

This year's programme also includes 27 films covering 50 years of cinema in the Arab world between 1939 and 1989. The festival runs until March 19.

By Paul Sufrin



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