Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person

Source: Venice Film Festival

‘Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person’

Canadian director and screenwriter Ariane Louis-Seize won the Reflet d’Or for best feature prize for Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person as this year’s Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF) drew to a close this weekend (Saturday November 11). 

Louis-Seize took home the prize for her film about a female vampire too sensitive to kill who meets a lonely man which carries a cash prize of CHF 10,000 (€10,300), 75% of which goes to the director and 25% to the rights holder who registered the film in the Festival selection. The cash prize is provided by the Swiss city and the state of Geneva. The film was billed by the festival programmers as “a genuine tribute to movies of this genre and an ode to neurodiversity.”

Swiss director Stephanie Chuat led the international feature competition jury, alongside a quartet of students from Swiss film schools: Production manager Gabriel Grosclaude, videographer Anna Joos, programmer Timon Musy and Sofia Pasotti.

The Reflet D’Or for best international series and its CHF 10,000 (€10,300) prize, judged by three members of the public, went to Belgian series The Club by Leander Verdievel and Zita Theunynck. The series details the joy and pain of three couples who meet in the corridors of a fertility clinic. This year’s international series competition strand saw all 10 series available in their entirety through a hybrid presentation format, the first episodes in cinemas then making the rest of the series available through personalised viewing links – for the first time this year.

The winner of the Immersive Experiences competition strand and its CHF10,000 (€10,300) cashpool, judged by three creative industry professionals, went to Eternal Walkers by Hayoun Kwon. Signposted as a meander through Korean mythological tradition, the immersive experience is inspired by the painting The Nineteen Taoist Immortals by Kim Hong-do, taking VR headset wears on a journey to better understand the  exoduses made by people today. 

GIFF’s Immersive Experiences strand was open to VR, augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) work, and helps fulfil the festival’s ambition to be a pioneer in showcasing and recognising artists and content creators working in digital arts.

Another such strand, complete with a cash prize of CHF10,000 (€10,300) – picked by a jury of three international personalities active in the audiovisual field and creative industries: Nora Nahid Khan, Giovanna Fossati, Keith Stuart –  is the Future is Sensible convergent competition programme. Focused on social prospects and visions of the future, the prize was won by Norwegian satire The Architect by Kerren Lumer-Klabbers and Nora Landsrød, with their critique of modern urban planning’s drift away from humanity.

Digital Market boom

The 2023 Geneva Digital Market (GDM), the 11th edition of the industry platform of Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF), this year overseen by incoming head of industry Mathieu Gayet, posted a 17% rise in attendance. It closed on Friday November 10. 

Gayet and team also signed the SWAN charter for equality and diversity in movie, audiovisual and animé festivals.

GDM focused on audiovisual innovation, brought together hundreds of international experts working in the fields of the new technologies, arts and creation, to swap ideas on the challenges facing the sector. Spotlighted topics included the use of Artificial Intellgence, and feminism in VR.

The GDM also brought together directors from across the French-speaking world at the ’Francophone co-production Encounters’, organised by the Federal Office for Culture, and produced by Focal (the Swiss Foundation for professional training in cinema and audiovisual media). One highlight was the Digital Night held in the iconic Bâtiment des Forces Motrices, bringing together 600 guests as well as the GIFF’s guest of honour Jean-Michel Jarre, in attendance to receive the Film & Beyond Award.

The 29th edition of GIFF ,which ran November 3 -12 marked one of consolidation after three editions under executive and artistic director Anais Emery.

The festival’s digital programme saw 50% of festival-goers professing to experiencing VR for the first time. Jarre attended GIFF to pick up one of the festival’s three honorary plaudits, fittingly named the Film and Beyond award.

He was also in town to support the world premiere of his VR experience The Eye And I, which he created with Taiwanese artist, Hsin-Chien Huang and delivered a masterclass on his work and creative methods to a packed Fondation Arditi, one of the Swiss city’s largest cinemas.