Neuchâtel 2019: Jovanka Vuckovic's RIOT GIRLS to Premiere at Swiss Genre Festival, First Wave Announced
The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) in Switzerland is definitely one of Europe’s premiere genre film festivals. Nestled on the shore of Lake Neuchâtel the festival’s location alone is a much sought after booking for any filmmaker. Combine the picturesque surroundings with the loyal genre savvy audience and usual killer programming one can see why NIFFF is so popular.
And of that programming we have our first look at this year’s edition. Immediate standouts are the world premiere of Jovanka Vuckovic’s Riot Girls, Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella’s Something Else and Knives and Skin from Jennifer Reeder.
Károly Ujj Mészáros earned a lot of fans here at Screen Anarchy with his awesome fable Liza, The Fox-Fairy. They have a new film in the festival this year, X The Exploited, about police corruption in Budapest. This one might not be so cheery.
Christian Volckman, who directed that awesome black and white animated future noir Renaissance, is back with his new film, Room.
There are a couple titles from the LatAm that I will be keeping an eye out for. Alejandro Landes’ paramilitary thriller Monos from Colombia and on the lighter side Fabrício Bittar’s Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary.
The complete list of first wave releases is below.
NIFFF 2019: SPOTLIGHT ON THE 19TH EDITION’S OFFICIAL PROGRAMMEThe Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) paves the way for its June 20th press conference with the unveiling of part of its programme. The selection puts a new generation of filmmakers front and centre, both in Europe (Ulaa Salim, Vincent Mariette, Károly Ujj Mészáros) and North America (Jennifer Reeder, Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella, Jovanka Vuckovic) to offer an enthralling overview of the fantasy genre today. This new generation exists side by side with the pillars of auteur cinema (Denis Côté) and the major players of the rebirth of European fantasy films (Måns Mårlind & Björn Stein, Christian Volckman). In addition, the NIFFF will have a special programme dedicated to the NEW DANISH SCREEN initiative called DANES DO IT BETTER!, which will focus on Danish inventiveness.American indies will come in force with directorial debuts that have a true vision, whether it be in the teen movie genre (KNIVES AND SKIN) or the monster movie (SOMETHING ELSE). The world premiere of post-apocalyptic film RIOT GIRLS from Canadian director Jovanka Vuckovic will no doubt be a highlight of the programme that demonstrates the creativity of independent North American auteurs.With GHOST TOWN ANTHOLOGY, Denis Côté offers an emotional study of Québec’s rural communities that live in isolation during winter. Famous Swedish TV writer Måns Mårlind (THE BRIDGE, MIDNIGHT SUN) joins forces with Björn Stein for his feature film comeback in the wild romance SWOON, an ode to Baz Luhrmann’s magic realism. Christian Volckman, who had made a name for himself with RENAISSANCE, is back with a new supernatural tale called THE ROOM, starring Olga Kurylenko.New European filmmakers will also be celebrated this year. Vincent Mariette’s second film, LES FAUVES (with an all-star cast that includes Lily-Rose Depp, Laurent Lafitte and Camille Cottin), sets the stage for a mysterious predatory hunt at a campsite. SONS OF DENMARK, Ulaa Salim’s first feature, is a brutal political and polemical piece that will leave audiences stunned. In contrast, 7 REASONS TO RUN AWAY (FROM SOCIETY), a charmingly absurd anthology film, will highlight the creativity of a Spanish trio whose future work we look forward to. Following up on his outrageous musical LIZA, THE FOX-FAIRY (NIFFF 2015), Károly Ujj Mészáros is back with X - THE EXPLOITED, a deep dive in the world of police corruption in Budapest. To finish on a unique note, this European tour will take us to EXTRAORDINARY, a Will Forte (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE)-led comedy that made a big splash at SXSW.Intent on pursuing NIFFF’s exploration of the dynamism and diversity of Latin American cinema, two very different but equally unmissable films will also be shown: MONOS, a Colombian paramilitary thriller whose reputation worldwide stems from its fascinating visual atmosphere, and GHOST KILLERS VS. BLOODY MARY, a zany tribute to GHOSTBUSTERS that gives the spotlight to Brazilian prankish humour.SONS OF DENMARKUlaa Salim, DK, 2019Cast: Zaki Youssef, Imad Abul-Foul, Rasmus Bjerg Festival contact: Danish Film Institute (DK)Swiss premiereIn-Your-Face AnticipationEXTRA ORDINARYMike Ahern & Enda Loughman, IE/BE, 2019 Cast: Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Will Forte World sales: Epic Pictures Group (US) Swiss premiereParanormal StupiditiesX – THE EXPLOITEDKároly Ujj Mészáros, HU, 2018Cast: Mónika Balsai, Renátó Olasz, Zsófia Bujáki Festival contact: Hungarian National Film Fund (HU) Swiss premiereEerie ThrillerLES FAUVES (SAVAGE)Vincent Mariette, FR, 2018Cast: Lily-Rose Depp, Laurent Lafitte, Camille CottinWorld sales: Elle Driver (FR) Swiss premiereHaunting Coming-of-age7 REASONS TO RUN AWAY (FROM SOCIETY)Gerard Quinto, Esteve Soler & David Torras, ES, 2019 Cast: Sergi López, Emma Suárez, Lola Dueñas World sales: Filmax (ES)Swiss premiereAbsurd Take On SocietyMONOSAlejandro Landes, CO/AR/NL/DE/SE/UR, 2019 Cast: Sofia Buenaventura, Julian Giraldo, Karen Quintero Swiss distributor: Trigon-film (CH)Regional premiere Intense Chaotic ThrillerRIOT GIRLSJovanka Vuckovic, CA, 2019Cast: Madison Iseman, Paloma Kwiatkowski, Mun- ro ChambersWorld sales: AMP International (UK) World premierePost-apocalyptic Teen SurvivalSOMETHING ELSEJeremy Gardner & Christian Stella, US, 2019 Cast: Jeremy Gardner, Brea Grant, Justin Benson World sales: XYZ Films (US)International premiere Monstrous LoveKNIVES AND SKINJennifer Reeder, US, 2019Cast: Kate Arrington, Tim Hopper, James Vincent Meredith World sales: WTFilms (FR)Swiss premiere Fluorescent Teen NoirDANES DO IT BETTER!GHOST KILLERS VS. BLOODY MARYFabrício Bittar, BR, 2018Cast: Dani Calabresa, Léo Lins, Danilo Gentili World sales: Raven Banner (CA) International premiereLame Ghostbusters Blood MassacreRÉPERTOIRE DES VILLES DISPARUES (GHOST TOWN ANTHOLOGY)Denis Côté, CA, 2019Cast: Robert Naylor, Josée Deschênes, Jean-Michel Anctil World sales: Films Boutique (DE)Swiss premiereBone-Chilling Ghost StorySWOONMåns Mårlind & Björn Stein, SE, 2019Cast: Helena Af Sandeberg, Pernilla August, Mattias BankerFestival contact: Swedish Film Institute (SE) Swiss premiereEpic Pop RomanceTHE ROOMChristian Volckman, FR/BE/LX, 2019Cast: Olga Kurylenko, Kevin Janssens, Francis ChapmanWorld sales: Elle Driver (FR) Swiss premiere Supernatural Huis ClosDiscover the first 6 films of a programme dedicated to highlight Danish inventiveness. Founded in 2003 with the objective of stimulating experimentation and inspiring new talents, the funding and development initiative NEW DANISH SCREEN has given way to one of the most dynamic cinematic movements in the world. The NIFFF offers to explore this cinema of innovations through a selection of titles.FLOWFenar AhmadHip Hop Adventure, DK, 2014, 89’A HORRIBLE WOMANChristian TafdrupDomestic Horror, DK, 2017, 86’BRIDGENDJeppe RøndeThriller – Coming of Age, DK, 2015, 95’WINTER BROTHERSHlynur PálmasonFamilial Thriller, DK, 2017, 93’CUTTERHEADRasmus Kloster BroClaustrophobic survival, DK, 2018, 84’SHELLEYAli AbbasiParanoid supernatural tale, DK, 2016, 90’