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Neuchatel takes flight of fantasy

Neuchatel is offering an escape from reality with its first international festival of fantasy films. It will include science fiction and horror movies, and ones which might be described as simply strange.

The city has previously organised a similar event, called "Outerspace", and it was decided to expand the theme and make it a full festival because of the growing popularity of films of this kind.

"Until now there has been no cinema festival aimed at a young public," said festival director Olivier Müller. "Solothurn and Locarno have a target audience of cinephiles. So do we, but with more emphasis on the commercial cinema."

"Fantasy" has been given a wide definition for the purposes of the festival, to embrace films with such titles as "Blood", "Chaos" and "Robocop". Two retrospectives will feature the work of the Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto and the Dutch director, Paul Verhoeven.

There are also two competitions, with awards for long and short feature films.



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