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Fribourg exposes films from developing countries


The lights are set to go down on the 15th Fribourg International Film Festival, which runs from March 11 to 18. Created in 1980 to promote films from the "third world", the festival also aims to promote intercultural dialogue.

A dozen films including features, documentaries and short films from 10 different countries have been entered into the international competition category.

The festival will also try to give budding African filmmakers a chance to impress distributors with its "Overview of young African cinema". A separate photo exhibition on pygmies aimed to coincide with the festival will be on display at the Cantonal University Library.

The "Latin American retrospective" will showcase about 30 innovative films made between 1929 and 1980 by such directors as Buñuel, Rocha and Solanas. The organisers say the retrospective "challenges the spectator to question the role of cinema in a changing and often tormented society".

A small selection of documentary films focuses on events whose impact has crossed borders, including the Bhopal chemical accident in India and the Chiapas rebellion in Mexico.

The idea of a "third world" film festival was launched more than 20 years ago by the Helvetas development aid organisation. At the time, it organised a tour in French-speaking Switzerland of a mere seven films from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The tour was a success, and was particularly popular in Fribourg. Soon after, the Fribourg festival was born.

The films at the 2001 edition will be shown in their original language, and subtitled in French.



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