Canadian filmmaker Richard Brouillette’s study of neo-liberalism and democracy Encirclement won the Grand Prix at Nyon’s Visions du Reel documentary festival, which closed on April 30.

The International Jury, which included Swiss filmmaker Fernand Melgar, gave the Prix SRG SSR Idee Suisse to Vladimir Jendreyko’s portrait of a literary translator in The Woman With The 5 Elephants. It alsoreceived a Special Mention from the Inter-Religious Jury and the prize for the most innovative Swiss film from Suissimage and SSA.

The Audience Jury’s award went to Jawad Rhalib’s look at the effects of globalisation in The Damned Of The Sea, while two films shared the prize from the Regard Neuf Jury: Georgiev Atanas’ Cash And Marry and Jiska Rickels’ Babaji, An Indian Love Story.

The George Foundation Award for the best Swiss newcomer went to Sarah Derendinger’s Familientreffen - Marthaler Theater Im Grand Hotel, which tells the story of theatre director Christoph Marthaler; and the newly created Prix Buyens-Chagoll was presented to Heddy Honigmann’s award-winning El Olvido.

For the second year running, Nyon served as the launch pad for the showcase of five documentaries selected by the partner festivals of the Doc Alliance initiative: CPH: Dox Copenhagen, DOK Leipzig, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, Planete Doc Review Warsaw, and Vision du Reel Nyon.

The five films selected for 2009 are:

  •        Auto*Matby Martin Marcerek (Czech Republic)
  •         Big Johnby Havard Bustnes (Norway)
  •         Hotel Saharaby Bettina Haasen (Germany)
  •         Maggie In Wonderland by Ester Martin Bergsmark and Mark Hammarberg (Sweden)
  •         The Sound Of Insects - Record Of A Mummy by Peter Liechti (Switzerland)

They will tour to the other Doc Alliance festivals until the end of October, when the Doc Alliance Award will be presented during DOK Leipzig.

The five film selection is joined this year by Yu Guangyi’s International Competition title Survival Song, which had been chosen by the China Documentary Film Festival of Beijing as a guest of honour.