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Debut film wins top prize in Solothurn

A scene from Zglinski's winning entry swissinfo.ch

A first-time director has walked away with the prize for best feature film at the 40th Swiss film festival in Solothurn.

This content was published on January 26, 2005 - 15:42

Greg Zglinski picked up SFr60,000 ($50,600) in prize money for Tout un hiver sans feu (All winter without fire).

Musical journey

The award for best documentary film, also worth SFr60,000, went to Stefan Schwietert for Accordion Tribe, which follows five accordion virtuosos on a journey across Europe.

The jury said the film had used magical images to open a door on a world of wonderful music and on the lives of five passionate and infectious characters.

The prize for the best short film, worth SFr30,000, went to Alexander Meier for Chyenne, which examines the fear of the unknown.

This year saw animation honoured for the first time, with the top prize of SFr30,000 going to Carlo Ippolito for Un’altra città (Another town).

The Solothurn film festival, which runs until Sunday, is screening almost 180 Swiss productions, including feature films, documentaries, experimental and animation films.

swissinfo with agencies

Tout un hiver sans feu is the first feature film by Swiss-Polish director Zglinski, who is a former pupil of acclaimed filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski.

It tells the story of Jean and Laure who lose their young daughter in a fire at their farm in Switzerland and struggle to cope with feelings of remorse and guilt.

The film was shot in the Jura hills in western Switzerland where Zglinski grew up after emigrating from Poland with his parents in 1978.

The jury praised the film for capturing in few words the harshness of the Jura spirit and the sadness of exile.

"The filming highlights the contrasts between the sparse nature of the countryside and the torments of men and women both here and elsewhere," wrote the jury. "The film reminds us that renewal comes through solidarity."

Zglinski started shooting short films from the age of 15. Ten years later he returned to Poland to study film at the National School of Film, Television and Drama in Lodz. It was there that he met the legendary Kieslowski.

Tout un hiver sans feu was the first Swiss film in more than a decade to be selected to compete for the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

Key facts

This year’s festival features 386 films in total.
Up to 40,000 people are expected to attend.
180 Swiss productions are being shown.

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In brief

This year’s retrospective is devoted to the Swiss actor, Bruno Ganz, who was most recently seen in the acclaimed Der Untergang (The Downfall), in which he plays the role of Adolf Hitler. On Tuesday Swiss Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin told the festival that there was unlikely to be more government money for films in the near future.

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