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Nyon showcases Chinese new wave

Jean Perret, director of the Nyon festival.

(Visions du Réel)

More than 100 films from around the world will be featured at the International Film Festival in Nyon, which this year has a distinctly Chinese flavour.

The festival, which opened on Monday, is focusing on "new wave" films from China, a range of documentaries that chronicle recent changes there and the emergence of a new national identity.

A major South African project, with some 30 films about Aids, is also featured.

Festival organisers this year renamed the event, formerly known as the Nyon documentary festival. But many of the films are still of a documentary nature, giving moving, humorous or provocative glimpses into society or social issues.

Swiss filmmakers have a place in the festival. Most notably, Erich Langjahr will screen the concluding part of his trilogy about farmers in Switzerland, titled "Shepherd ride in the third millennium." Langjahr said the aim of his project was to "get closer to one of the oldest ways of living known to man."

The Swiss, Alexander Seiler's film about immigrants, "Septemberwind", chronicles the changing fortunes of people featured in the 1964 documentary, "Siamo Italiani."

Filmmakers from Belgium and Finland plan to show their productions, and the festival has scheduled workshops examining documentaries by Frederick Wiseman of the United States and the Canadian Donigan Cumming.

The organisers said they had received 1,125 unsolicited reels from filmmakers who were keen to take part in the festival.

In the end, a selection of 1,500 films from around the world was whittled down to 113 films from 21 countries.

The festival, titled "Visions of Reality", runs until May 4.


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