Solothurn Film Festival set for ‘home edition’

A still from 'The Scent of Fear', by Swiss director Mirjam von Arx ican films

The Solothurn Film Festival will take place online, the organisers have confirmed. They are putting a positive spin on the situation and are talking of a “democratisation of culture”.

This content was published on January 6, 2021 - 18:22

A programme of 170 films of all genres, lengths and languages will be offered to the public from January 20-27, with 1,000 virtual tickets on sale per screening. A contribution from the proceeds will go towards the productions.

All the sections, special programmes and prizes planned for the festival’s 56th editionExternal link have been kept, said director Anita Hugi on Wednesday during a video press conference.

Festival president Felix Gutzwiler even welcomed the “democratisation of culture” made possible by online film screenings.

The opening film, Atlas, by Niccolò Castelli, will be available free of charge on the festival site and broadcast on January 20 on Swiss public television RTS, SRF and RSI.

‘Opera Prima’

The Solothurn Film Festival’s main competition, the Solothurn Prize, worth CHF60,000 ($68,000), comprises 14 works – mostly documentaries – nine of which were directed by women. These include the world premieres of Neighbours by Mano Khalil, The Scent of Fear by Mirjam von Arx and Watch Over Me by Farida Pacha.

Eleven films are in the running for the Audience Award, worth CHF20,000. For the first time an “Opera Prima” prize will be awarded for the best debut work. It also has a prize of CHF20,000.

Debates and online masterclasses are scheduled, in particular in the Focus section devoted to film criticism. The same applies to the Workshop section, on the implementation of filmmakers’ know-how.

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