June 30, 2023 | July 8, 2023
Created in 2000, the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) has become a major film event in Switzerland in just 16 editions. Indeed, the NIFFF’s quality and original programs, as well as its prestigious guests convinced both the public (45,600 visitors) and the critics.
The first characteristic of the festival is a rich and diversified programming constructed around one central axis: Fantastic cinema and two complementary axes: Asian cinema and Digital creation.
FANTASTIC CINEMA : PIONEERING AESTHETICS FOR THE SEVENTH ART
The concept of "fantastic cinema" upon which the NIFFF’s programming is based, is open and encompasses those films which transcend the commonly accepted view of ’normal reality’ defined by the ’laws of nature.’ These transgressions can take many different forms, from the most spectacular to the more subtle. They can actually allow us to enter completely imaginary worlds, introducing a minute doubt into our habitual perception of everyday reality.
The festival is interested in all these divergences. This allows the programming to include a huge variety of films: from blockbusters to films d’auteur, from black comedy to Sci-Fi, and from stop-motion animation to CGI. The aim of the Festival is to emphasize both the creativity of the genre today and its role in the history of cinema here and abroad.
ASIA: FANTASTIC FOR NEW TRENDS
Over the years, the vitality of Asian cinema has been acknowledged internationally. Despite the fact that Asian cinema produces its fair share of blockbusters and wins awards in many of the largest film festivals, its access remains very limited in Switzerland ; hence, the Festival’s decision to launch New Cinema from Asia, a competition devoted to Asian cinema only. This competition is not restricted to fantastic films, as it also encompasses other major popular genres : thrillers, comedies, kung fu and sword films. Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong are well represented, but films from less expected countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines also attract remarkable attention. A unique opportunity to explore the tremendous diversity of this booming cinema, still largely unrecognized here.
DIGITAL IMAGES: THE CINEMA OF TOMORROW
From the very beginning, "fantastic cinema" was closely associated with technology. Thanks to special effects, filmmakers were able to give form to their imaginary worlds. Today, developments in computer technology produce extraordinary results in the creation and manipulation of images. To take the measure of these recent technologies, the festival not only presents a selection of films created with digital imagery, but also organizes a symposium bringing together designers, scientists and industrialists. Screenings, meetings, workshops and demonstrations give experts and laymen a unique opportunity to discover the latest artistic and technological innovations in the field of digital images.
Watch the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival special