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it has been a while since a post giving an update on the movie side so…

quite a busy and exciting  time, with “ON LOCATION” and “BECAUSE THEY ARE THERE”, my two latest documentaries going from Festival to Festival and winning Awards ! It is such a pleasure to have audience’s and jury’s feedback from almost all around the globe !

It does motivate me for next project, another documentary, called “NEW LIGHTS”, that is still in development phase. All I can say about is that it did evolve from the original form I had thought and did adapt to our new broadcasting environment and audience’s habits. Not every project hits his aim via a standard large screen diffusion…but no worries I ll keep you posted

Otherwise a very cool project for a great local Rock Band – 1989  – where I had to master the skills of director of photography. Small crew, small budget but great fun and a result that I will soon post, once the release gets official !!

And last but not least, another project in both co-writing and directing of an ART MOVIE with a great friend that masters both writing and painting !

That’s all for now, stay tuned for more !!

vaulruz-poster5-laurels-temp because-they-are-there-poster-6-laurel 14713031_708409112639964_145888010642762744_o 1989-poster-v1-equilibre

 

Great day today !!

I can proudly announce the official selection of the movie ON LOCATION to :

2015 DOCM – Visions du Reel , Nyon – Switzterland

2015 The Docshop – Hot Docs Festival, Toronto – Canada

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Two selections for major professional film markets, where networks buyers, distributors and other Festival scouts will have the opportunity to watch it and offer the movie a career in one of those channels !

Did I say hooray ? If not…..HOOOORRAAYYY

 

So lets see what other surprises will come from other Festivals !

 

 

 

Festival official sites :

http://www.visionsdureel.ch/

http://www.hotdocs.ca/

 

 

 

Long time no seen !

And the reason has been an overload of work. I realize that last post goes back to December and since….well one main focus :

ON LOCATION (un décor naturel), a documentary project that kept me busy for the last 2 1/2 years, and its post-production for the last 3 months. But this effort was worth as…there we have a beautiful 54 min movie with amazing sound and image – thanks to C-Side Productions in Geneva – and available now in every possible format.

Want to have a look at the trailer ? just click here below !!

The movie has been sent to many movie festivals and now the waiting period had started : where will it be screened ? To which movie market will it take part?

So far….I can only tell you to stay tuned for April 1st new post.. 😉

And again a big thanks to all the people that took part to this project ! It wouldn’t be what it is without them !

vaulruz - poster_anglais PAPER CUT light version

I can proudly announce the final cut of ON LOCATION !! This great adventure started in 2012 has passed a major milestone and now it is time to look for the ultimate part of the process : sound mixing, colour correction and DCP (Digital Cine Package) export !

As a refresher, what is ON LOCATION about ?

well…

ON LOCATION is the story of a village and its people, the portrait of a rural community living in a world of tradition and modernity.
Running around the local theatre troupe’s rehearsals for their new play, this village chronicle takes you for a journey in a place where time follows its own pace.
A universe where the contemporary challenges are expressed in a peculiar way, as it is in Switzerland.

I have to admit it has been quite of an experience where what was initially planned got overwritten by the reality of the shooting and the expected outcome took some interesting path to lead to this final edit. Shorter than I believed, less chatty that I had planned. Nevertheless a movie that reached its aim by showing the reality of what most of people’s life is in Switzerland and how it leads to all type of cultural, economical and political choices.

For me the most important through the project was to follow what I remember a director of photography told once in Locarno : If you are about to film some people or a specific situation, do it with respect and by showing all the depth and humanity of what is on the other side of the lens. If you are just making a movie because you need to express yourself no matter what you film, just quit the job.

So I hope I was able to apply that philosophy in this project. I realized how complicated it is to dig below the surface of what is around us every single day. I believe it is easier and probably more fascinating when you get an exotic image in front of you, something far from your landmarks to enter the symbolic and interpretation of a lifestyle. However I think this movie entered that level, and if it isn’t here where people will realize it, well the Swiss exoticism will work on some other foreign locations.

I can only thank all the people who took part to it, all these people who accepted to be filmed and to share parts of their life. It was all done with a great spirit and a lot of willingness, which I think can be seen in the movie.

Now let’s check where this movie will go, how it ll be technically finished and what the audience will think of it ! In other words see you soon in movie festivals or at an audience avant-premiere !! When ?….2015 !!!

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Good harvest or bad harvest ?

For me a very positive Festival, professionally important with great contacts and needed feedbacks on my first editing for the documentary “ON LOCATION”. Reaching now the 2 years of production, it proves I wasn’t so wrong on the project.

Otherwise Festival is now part of the 1st class European festivals and is more and more loosing of the energetic sort of “amateurish” enthusiasm and turned into an “industry well framed” standardized event. One clue is on how they turned the people flow from chaotic into a super precise and guided stream. It means as well less movies, more people and crowded locations. Impossible to enter the theaters ? Yes once again just like 2 years ago.

On the editorial line, I believe recession and crisis is still very present and artists answer to it is to create movies with neurasthenic characters. It becomes boring. Better off dead than alive seems the moto of Westerners…so hopefully the rest of the world brings a positive light in the tunnel balance. And guess who won ?

For me the winners were people going to the Agnes Varda Masterclass and the Garrett Brown ‘s one. If anything to remember this year :

 

See you next year Locarno..and why not for a screening ? 😉

 

So like in very recap , here below the awards list :

(I am very happy for the Matka Ziemia, Muerte Blanca and Navajazo movies ! )

Concorso internazionale
Pardo d’oro   Mula sa kung ano ang noon di Lav Diaz, Filippine
Premio speciale della giuria
  Listen Up Philip di Alex Ross Perry, USA
Pardo per la migliore regia
(Best Director)
  Cavalo Dinheiro di Pedro Costa, Portogallo
Pardo per la miglior interpretazione femminile (Best Actress)
  Ariane Labed per Fidelio, l’odyssée d’Alice di Lucie Borleteau, Francia
Pardo per la miglior interpretazione maschile (Best Actor)
  Artem Bystrov per Durak di Yury Bykov, Russia
Special Mention
  Ventos de Agosto di Gabriel Mascaro, Brasile
    Concorso Cineasti del presente
Pardo d’oro Cineasti del presente – Premio Nascens   Navajazo di Ricardo Silva, Messico
Premio per il miglior regista emergente (Best Director)
  La creazione di significato di Simone Rapisarda Casanova, Canada
Premio speciale della giuria
Ciné+ Cineasti del presente
  Los Hongos di Oscar Ruiz Navia, Colombia
Special Mention
  Un jeune poète di Damien Manivel, Francia
    Opera prima
Pardo per la migliore opera prima
(Best First Feature)
  Songs from the North di Soon-mi YOO, Stati Uniti, Corea del Sud, Portogallo
Special Mention
  Parole de kamikaze di Masa SAWADA, Francia
    Pardi di domani (Concorso internazionale)
Pardino d’oro per il miglior cortometraggio internazionale
Premio SRG SSG
  Abandoned Goods di Pia Borg, Edward Lawrenson, Gran Bretagna
Pardino d’argento Swiss Life per il Concorso internazionale
  Shipwreck di Morgan Knibbe , Paesi Bassi
Menzione speciale
  Muerte blanca di Roberto Collio, Cile
Nomination di Locarno agli European Film Awards
Premio Pianifica
  Shipwreck di Morgan Knibbe , Paesi Bassi
Premio Film und Video
Untertitelung
  Hole di Martin Edralin, Canada
    Pardi di domani (Concorso nazionale)
Pardino d’oro Swiss Life per il miglior cortometraggio svizzero   Totems di Sarah Arnold, Francia
Pardino d’argento Swiss Life per il Concorso nazionale
  Petit Homme di Jean-Guillaume Sonnier, Svizzera
Premio Action Light
per la migliore speranza svizzera
  Abseits der Autobahn di Rhona Mühlebach, Svizzera
    Piazza Grande
Prix du Public UBS
  Schweizer Helden di Peter Luisi, Svizzera
Variety Piazza Grande Award
  Marie Heurtin di Jean-Pierre Améris, Francia
    Giurie indipendenti e premi
Premio ecumenico
  Durak di Yury Bykov, Russia
Premio FIPRESCI
  Mula sa kung ano ang noon di Lav Diaz, Filippine
Europa Cinemas Label
  Fidelio, l’odyssée d’Alice di Lucie Borleteau, Francia
Premio Giuria dei giovani
Primo Premio miglior regista
  Durak di Yury Bykov, Russia
Premio Giuria dei giovani
Secondo Premio miglior regista
  Alive di Jung-bum PARK, Corea del sud
Premio Giuria dei giovani
Terzo Premio miglior regista
  Perfidia di Bonifacio Angius, Italia
Premio
”L’ambiente è qualità di vita”
  Mula sa kung ano ang noon di Lav Diaz, Filippine
Menzione speciale
 
  L’Abri di Fernand Melgar, Svizzera
Premio Giuria dei giovani
Miglior film Cineasti del presente
  Frère et sœur di Daniel Touati, Francia
Menzione speciale
 
  Buzzard di Joel Potrykus, Stati Uniti
Premio Giuria dei giovani
Miglior cortometraggio Concorso internazionale
  Sleeping giant di Andrew Cividino, Canada
Premio Giuria dei giovani
Miglior cortometraggio Concorso nazionale
  Abseits der Autobahn di Rhona Mühlebach, Svizzera
Menzione speciale
 
  Matka Ziemia (Mother Earth) di Piotr Zlotorowicz, Polonia
Premio FICC/IFFS
  Mula sa kung ano ang noon di Lav Diaz, Filippine
Premio FICC/IFFS
Menzione speciale
  Cavalo Dinheiro di Pedro Costa, Portogallo
Durak di Yury Bykov, Russia
Semaine de la critique
Premio SRG SSR
  15 Corners of the World di Zuzanna Solakiewicz, Polonia/Germania
La Mort du Dieu serpent di Damien Froidevaux, Francia
Semaine de la critique
Premio Zonta Club Locarno
  La Mort du Dieu serpent di Damien Froidevaux, Francia

It was a snowy day. At least it is what I remember. Walking back home after school in the first snow was a magic moment. I was 7 years old and I remember that quiet and peaceful atmosphere that only snow can create. All sounds are deaden and all I wanted – or pretty much wanted – was to get back home to find my cat.

All the way back, which wasn’t a very long way – perhaps a couple of kilometers – I couldn’t help looking at the sky. In those days darkness came quite early and we could see some stars very soon. So with my red hard leather backpack on the back I felt like flying above the ground, like floating in this cold but life-giving air.

I remember the feeling : I thought it was the best moment on earth. The best moment ever. And that this moment might be the last one.

Actually the days before, spying on the TV – or should I rather say listening from the corridor to the switched-on TV – I was busy paying attention to the news. Gorbachev, Reagan, nuclear power, spies, Afghanistan, if no signature or agreement the end of the world as we know it.

I think I tried to explain it to my cat, but she didn’t realize it. Well being honest my way of explaining her my fears were done in a pretty funny way : I used to lay on floor of my room, trying to not breath. I pretended to be dead after a bombing. What mattered to me was the cat’s reaction : will she find me back, ask for cuddle and show me some desperate love and a deep sadness of loosing her master ?

Years went by and that stays as a memory,  that tension I felt for a couple of weeks when going school disappeared. So did those international tensions (somehow). So did the medias in moving onto other news (yes like the Gulf wars, 9/11, etc…)

Funnily enough in Switzerland every house in those days had a nuclear shelter, obviously build underground. In most of the houses it was used – and still is –  as an extra cellar, a disposal room or quite often as the kids playroom. Toys next to food cans next to sugar next to old newspapers.I believe that nowadays the amount of toys and old newspapers totally outmatched the goods.

As I commented many times, I wasn’t born here, in Europe. As a fact my ancestors – and not that long time ago (only 1870’s) are from Europe. An interesting mix of Western and Central European fellows that for many reasons left the continent to have a better life, or simply a life somewhere else. To exist, no matter what they are or came from.
If we are back to this continent, it is because our future was endangered in South America ; if that sub continent could avoid all damages from the World Wars, the legacy of colonialism carried into most of the World the same seeds that provoked those European driven conflicts.

So is it that the Eurasian continent has been seen as lifesaver for my family and for me. Deep inside I have this believe that culture, respect, open minds are the low hanging fruits in this orchard. We were the victims, like many others in what is called the Third World, of fascism, lack of freedom, single-minded doctrines, post colonialism conflicts, debate free societies – some other type of low hanging poisonous delights. I grew up in an ideal perspective where every point of view – even some disturbing – could be discussed and resulted into positioning of individuals and societies. By  agreeing or not, respect of laws and people, in many different ways. A common objective of not repeating the errors of the past. Yes I saw Western people, Euro-Asians , North Americans like the saviors of us, poor victims. Of course It never meant these places were idiots-free. There is stupidity everywhere, but I thought the wealthy and cultivated have a good way to handle them.

These days, no need to detail what’s happening, we all know too little and too much, we know all is right and wrong, every side in every conflict has good and bad reasons and both interests can be accepted or denied. Just like in an argument with your partner, no one is fully innocent, no one is fully guilty. Yes you know it. Yep hard to accept…I know I know…It makes me think that quite often, and it is the same with acting, many strategies are applied during a couple’s quarrel. Actually it is even the same when a kid asks for something and the parents say no. It shifts from seduction to pleading ignorance to cries and the most often from tyrannic anger to absolute victim outfit. Again you know what I am talking about. So do actors.

Unfortunately for me, my childhoods feeling of last day on earth came back. Not that there is a true fear in there. No I realized and understood that what was scary as a child is sad beyond its limits as an adult. And even more when I see all around me, in the civil society, nothing but people considering themselves like victims. Having a collection of all the most precious treasures that mankind ever dreamed of and they feel like the biggest victims. And all their reactions, thoughts and behaviors are excused by being “the ultimate victim”. I am a bigger victim than you so in the name of my decency – as it is all what’s remaining – I have all rights and no responsibilities.

I am free of any moral duty linked to my acts as I fight for my survival. I thought this was only the claim of uneducated hopeless oppressed  about to die poor people from what is being called the Third World – where I am from. In these days I understand when it can come from the people who had to suffer the biggest from the financial crisis. Hard to hear it when it comes from everywhere and on everything – literally from Geo-politics to personal work.

In those moments I feel discouraged and tricked. I feel like this naive dream of my parents to offer us a better world to live in, a place where you can move from being a victim into an active educated responsible person was a shadow. A concept that no one here wants to grasp any more as hope and future seem to vanish. Is it possible that all the conflicts on this part of the world, since thousand of years taught people to only react with what they know…which means lack of hope and chaotic presumed solutions ? Just like a cheap 2 € therapist would say that beaten children become abusive parents ? Did it discourage them from finding new ways and solutions and a low acceptance for what life is made of , which is uncertainties ? Did a certain comfort make a lot of people lazy and brainless on this side of the globe ? Just like a very clever man, a farmer who had a tough life told me recently for my movie : the advantage we have, us, oldies, versus the young ones , is that we had nothing when we started, and all what we have we collected it on the very late….

I know that there is something deep in human beings, in their nature, in ourselves, that pushes us to find guilty ones and dramatic fast solutions. But so many amazing things have been achieved by those same humans ! If instead of collecting whose nation have the biggest amount of poets, writers, Nobel prizes and great generals to know who’s the greatest and rightful,  we would sum up this for the mankind ? A reason to all be proud of it ?Just like the recent discovery about the Big Bang’s earliest moments ?

And not a victim of the non recognition of my personal greatness from the others. A victim of the lack of interest of our nation amazing genius from the other countries ? A victim that what my faith is not the same as yours and my uncertainties and doubts of my beliefs are actually your fault ? And the most stupid : I am a victim of the entire world not being like the way I want it to be but it freaks me out so therefore everything , everyone is guilty and let’s fix it the way it should be…that no one knows about ?

Maybe those are just the results of what our frenetic materialism drove us into : feeling like things, treating others like things…. Maybe this victimization is the voice of our souls crying in distress…

I believe that my cat understood what my little drills were about. I think she understood it far too well as she stayed by my side for almost 22 years ! She died years ago and it was to me to stand by her side on her last moments. That happened many years ago.

Since 5 years I have a new cat and it never came to my mind to play that game again. Instead of waiting for her to come and save me, I look at her and ask myself what does it take to make her a happy world to live in.