The 23rd GIFF ended November 11 wonderfully with the company of the American filmmaker Abel Ferrara as well as the screenings of his two latest movies Piazza Vittorio and Alive in France
This year, the Festival attracted some 32,000 festivalgoers within its central hub (Pitoëff) as well as in the Cinerama Empire, the Arditi room, the Kramer room at HEAD – Genève and the Spoutnik cinema, i.e. a 6% increase in comparison to last year. Ticket sales also increased by 25%. Moreover, throughout 2017, some 4,500 people took part in the various initiatives of the Festival’s PLUGS program.
With regards to the prize list, the Reflet d’Or for Best Feature Film was awarded to Indian filmmaker Sanal Sasidharan for Sexy Durga, while Kantemir Balagov received a special mention for Tesnota by the Feature Film International Jury, headed this year by German director Edgar Reitz. The short movie Martin pleure by young French director Jonathan Vinel was also selected as best movie in its category.
Derek Simonds’ The Sinner received the Reflet d’Or for Best TV Series and a special mention was awarded to Belgians Annie Carels, Julie Bertrand and Charlotte Joulia for Unité 42. The Reflet d’Or for Best VR Work was awarded to Jérôme Blanquet for Alteration, and Mathias Chelebourg and Marie Jourdren received a special mention for Alice, The Virtual Reality Play. Finally, the Reflet d’Or for Best Music Video was given to French director Hîm TiVi for Pluie Fine (Corine – Polo & Pan Remix), while Nicolas Athané and Brice Chevillard received the Reflet d’Or for Best Web Series for Monsieur Flap, with a special mention for Valérie Urréa and Nathalie Masduraud for Iran #NoFilter.
The closing ceremony of the 23rd GIFF was also an opportunity for the Festival’s General and Artistic Director Emmanuel Cuénod to hand the Film & Beyond Award – the GIFF’s honorary prize – to director and musician Abel Ferrara, in association with Hamilton Watches and Maison Olivier Zbinden. “This award distinguishes not only the career of one of the most fascinating filmmakers of our times,” the GIFF Director stated, “but also an outstanding personality who has always maintained his artistic freedom through hell and high water and left a unique mark in the history of cinema. He is also, as we have seen in the last few days, an extraordinarily kind-hearted and considerate human being. The GIFF is honored to give him this award.”
Moreover, Abel Ferrara gave a live concert at the end of the GIFF. This performance brought an end to a festival steeped in music, with live performances by Asia Argento and the Shadow team, electronic musician Chloé and French rap band La Rumeur. DJs also took turns during the Nuits Blanches events to shake the dancefloor until dawn, while over nine days, the GIFF’s 32’000 festivalgoers attended some 180 screenings, ambled through the Virtual Territories to discover 55 digital works hailing from all over the world, enjoyed 360-degree screenings in a geodesic dome created by Geneva artist François Moncarey, and met authors and directors and attended talks and presentations at the 5th Geneva Digital Market.
The events’ 300+ guests featured Nathalie Baye, Tony Gatlif, Asia Argento, David and Stéphane Foenkinos, Brigitte Fossey, Bruno Todeschini, Féodor Atkine, Chloé, Vincent Kucholl, Laurianne Gilliéron, Slimane Dazi, members of the cult French rap band La Rumeur, Damien Bonnard, Stefano Sardo, Julia Jentsch,Thomas Bo Larsen, Gideon Raff and Derek Simonds. Moviemakers such as Xavier Beauvois, Jean-Pierre Mocky, Jean-Luc Bideau, Edgar Reitz, Shady Srour, Ali Soozandeh, Hans–Christian Schmid and Francis Lee also honored the GIFF with their presence. Representatives of companies such as Facebook, Disney, Spotify, Microsoft, the EPFL’s ARTLAB, and SAT (Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology) were also invited. The public also had the opportunity to (re)discover works by Takeshi Kitano, John Cameron Mitchell, Hong Sang-soo, George Clooney, Joachim Trier, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, David Simon, George Pelecanos, Michael Amo, Bill Gallagher, Jean-François Asselin, Alison Newman, Moira Buffini, André S. Labarthe as well as Katarzyna Roslaniec.
We look forward to seeing you at the 24th GIFF which will take place from 2 to 10 November 2018.