One of the premiere genre festivals in the world, Switzerland's Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival have announced their full lineup for the 2016 edition and - true to form - it is chock full of goodness. With international competitions; spotlights on emerging Swiss talent, Asia and Latin America; a high octane midnight program and more, there's loads here for everyone! Take a look at the full announcement!
NIFFF 2016 – Swiss productions meet the new generation of international genre filmmakers
The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (1-9 July 2016) is proud to unveil its 2016 programme, which includes many never-seen-before movies from Switzerland and the rest of the world. This year, the festival will chart contemporary genre productions through all of its categories, whether competitive or not. Our selection will focus on the importance of Swiss supernatural stories with a new section entitled AMAZING SWITZERLAND, as well as on Latin American cinema. The latter will be explored through a series of classic and modern films that highlight the influence of South American productions on the international scene, and prove the strength of its industry. Last but not least, we are organising a retrospective of John Carpenter's films, who is this year's guest of honour. He will be giving his only Swiss concert on July 6th.
The NIFFF in numbers
With its total budget of CHF 1,800,000, the NIFFF 2016 will last for 9 days. Films will be shown on 5 different screens, including one open-air venue, for a combined capacity of 2,095 seats. The 150 public screenings will be composed of 102 feature films and 29 short films, produced in 42 countries. These will include 5 world premieres, 5 international premieres, 7 European premieres, and 52 Swiss premieres. 16 conferences and public talks will also take place.
The competition's 14 films make for an original sample of fantastic cinema that comprises independent works directed by rising international artists. Among them are Trash Fire (USA, 2016) from Richard Bates Jr., whose film Excision was shown at the NIFFF 2012, and Lo Chiamavano Jeeg Robot (Italy, 2015) from Gabriele Mainetti, a feature that combines the superhero and gangster genres. Then we have Under The Shadow (Iran, Jordan, Qatar, UK, 2016) from Iranian filmmaker Babak Anvari, a powerful film about the female condition in 1980s Iran, and Detour (UK, South Africa, 2016) from British director Christopher Smith, who had forever made his mark at the NIFFF in 2010 with Black Death (winner of the RTS audience award). The competition also includes the following: Miruthan (India, 2016) from Shakti Soundar Rajan, a film in which zombies can sing and fall in love; Grave (Raw) (France, Belgium, 2016), the horror revelation of Cannes 2016, directed by French filmmaker Julia Ducournau; The Transfiguration (USA, 2016) from Michael O’Shea, an original film that focuses on a young African-American man who drinks blood and is obsessed with vampires; The Lure (Poland, 2015) from Agnieszka Smoczyńska, a musical that navigates between glamour and horror; Swiss Army Man (USA, 2016) from Daniel Scheinert and Dan Kwan, which has Daniel Radcliff play a zombie with the worst case of aerophagia in history; and directorial debut Parents (Denmark, 2016) from Christian Tafdrup – who plays on the Borgen TV show –, a one-of-a-kind supernatural drama.
New Cinema from Asia
Showcasing the latest masterpieces of Far Eastern cinema, the 2016 Asian competition is particularly eclectic. The chosen features include: Creepy (Japan, 2016) from master Japanese director Kurosawa Kiyoshi; Seoul Station (South Korea, 2016) from rising talent Yeon Sang-ho, who delivers a superb animated movie; Psycho Raman (India, 2016) from Anurag Kashyap, a very popular director from the independent Indian new wave; Bitcoin Heist (Vietnam, 2016) from Ham Tran – director of Hollow, which was shown at NIFFF 2015 –, one of Vietnam's box office hits; and the not-to-be-missed Honor Thy Father (Philippines, 2015) from Erik Matti, a brilliant psychological thriller made by a regular contestant at the NIFFF.
Films of the Third Kind and Ultra Movies
The Films of the Third Kind category is all about this year's most striking thrillers. Don't miss out on Mi Gran Noche (Spain, 2015) from Spaniard Álex de la Iglesia, or the international premiere of Zeta (Italy, 2016), from Cosimo Alemà, a major player of the new generation of Italian genre directors. Fans of big budget extravaganzas will be able to revel in the comedy of The Mermaid (China, 2016) from extraordinary Hong Kong filmmaker Stephen Chow, and the spectacle of Baahubali: The Beginning (India, 2015) from S.S. Rajamouli, the epic to end all epics. Film noir was of course not forgotten, as shown by the selection of The Ardennes (Belgium, 2015) from Robin Pront.
To spice up the nights of our visitors, the NIFFF will offer midnight screenings of the latest must-see horror and extreme films, as part of our Ultra Movies section. We'll hit the ground running with the eagerly awaited Yoga Hosers (USA, 2016) from the legendary Kevin Smith, who was our guest of honour in 2014, and Baskin (Turkey, USA, 2015), the first feature of Turkish director Can Evrenol, who delivers a stylistic, concept-driven shocker. There will also be The Devil’s Candy (USA, 2015) from Sean Byrne, a very efficient horror thriller; the unmissable new adventures of the one and only underpants-toting superhero in Hentai Kamen: The Abnormal Crisis (Japan, 2016) from Fukuda Yûichi, who set the NIFFF ablaze in 2013; and finally The Alchemist Cookbook (USA, 2016) from Joel Potrykus, a true cinematic revelation.
In order to offer a new and more dynamic vision of quality genre cinema in Switzerland, the NIFFF has created a new category focused on the country's recent output. AMAZING SWITZERLAND notably includes the world premiere of Das Kalte Herz (1933-2016, Switzerland) from Karl Ulrich Schnabel, which was completed by Raff Fluri, Aloys (2016, Switzerland, France) from Tobias Nölle, and Late Shift (2016, Switzerland) from Tobias Weber, the world's first interactive film which will also go on the NIFFF ON TOUR in October 2016.
Histoires du genre
For its fourth year, the Histoires du genre section offers to take you on an artistic journey through time and space in the world of genre cinema. These documentaries will include three works from legendary French critic and director Yves Montmayeur, namely the world premiere of Dragon Girls! (France, 2016), The 1000 Eyes of Dr Maddin (France, USA, 2015), and Viva La Muerte! (France, 2009).
El Dorado – Discovering Latin American genre cinema
As everyone is turning their attention to Latin America – the new Promised Land for avant- garde fantastic cinema – the NIFFF has selected a series of never-seen-before films that will explore the contemporary corpus of the Latin American genre industry, as well as the most essential classics from the 1950s to the 1980s. This overview has something for every film-lover and notably includes the Swiss premieres of Muerte en Buenos Aires (Argentina, 2014), a thriller from Natalia Meta, Quando eu era vivo (Brazil, 2014), a horror drama from Marco Dutra, Daemonium: Soldier of the Underworld (Argentina, 2015), a science fiction piece from Pablo Pares, and Tenemos la carne (Mexico, France, 2016), a surrealistic horror film from Emiliano Rocha Minter. We will also be hosting the world premiere of thriller Downhill (Chile, Canada, France, 2016) from Chilean director Patricio Valladares, who will partake in a round table. Sci fi comedy Ovnis en Zacapa (Guatemala, 2015) from Marcos Machado will have its European premiere at the NIFFF. In addition, other renowned guests will attend the El Dorado round table organised by the festival. From Argentina, we will have Bernardo Bergeret, head of international affairs at INCAA and co-director for the Ventana Sur film market, Laura Sanchez Acosta, producer on Daemonium: Soldier of the Underworld, which is part of our programme, and Simon Ratziel, producer and creator. Luis Ospina, the legendary Colombian filmmaker whose movies Pura Sangre (Colombia, 1982) and Todo comenzó por el Fin (Colombia, 2015) will be shown, is also going to attend, along with Mexican director Isaac Ezban, whose film Los Parecidos is part of this year's International Competition. Among the other attendees are Pablo Guisa Koestinger, director, producer, distributor and one of the instigators of fantastic film productions in Latin America, Adrián Garcia Bogliano, director (Here Comes the Devil, NIFFF 2013, Scherzo Diabolico, NIFFF 2015) and curator of the El Dorado programme, and Mexican producer Andrea Quiroz.