Petrov's Flu

Source: Charades @Sergey Ponomarev

Petrov’s Flu

The Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF, November 5-14) has revealed its first selection under new director Anais Emery, including its competition line-up and an honorary award for Italian director Luca Guadagnino.

The Swiss festival’s international feature film competition will see 10 titles compete for the Reflet d’Or for best film. They include Kirill Serebrennikov’s Russian drama Petrov’s Flu, which played in competition at Cannes, and Anita Rocha da Silveira’s Brazilian fantasy-horror Medusa, which screened in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight and won the best Latin American film award at San Sebastian.

Also competing for the best film prize, which comes with $10,800 (CHF10,000), is Mounia Akl’s Costa Brava, Lebanon, which screened at Venice and won the Netpac award at Toronto, alongside Damien Odoul’s Théo And The Metamorphosis, which played the Berlinale and won the grand prix at Poland’s New Horizons film festival.

It is one of three international competitions that will play out at the festival, which also includes prizes for best series and best immersive work. The latter considers installations and XR projects. Both awards also come with a CHF10,000 prize.

GIFF is also hosting the European Script Award for a second year, which offers a €10,000 prize to a new, original series from a rising European screenwriter. The three contenders are Niklas Rockstrom for Swedish policewoman drama Before We Die, Henriette Steenstrup for Norwegian drama Porni and Patrik Gyllstrom for Swedish comic mystery series Agatha Christie’s Hjerson.

Two honorary awards at this year’s GIFF will be presented to Call Me By Your Name director Guadagnino, who will receive the Geneva Award during the festival, and graphic novelist, screenwriter and director Riad Sattouf, who will receive the Film and Beyond Award.

The 27th edition of GIFF will open with the world premiere of Stephan Eicher’s It’s Alive: A Journey Into Invisible Cinema and close with Eric Gravel’s Full Time, following a ceremony announcing the winners.

It marks the first edition under new GIFF general and artistic director Emery, co-founder of the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, who replaced Emmanuel Cuénod when he stepped down last year. 

Digital market

The 9th Geneva Digital Market, which serves as both a forum and pitching event, will take place as a hybrid event from November 8-12.

Industry talks include a look at the future of Netflix in Switzerland and the potential for co-productions and collaborations with the streaming giant, with Netflix director of public policy Wolf Osthaus due to speak.

The talks will also include a discussion on the use of AI in the production and writing process of series, and the impact of hybrid events on the environment.

A selection of 25 digital projects will also be showcased during the market.

International Feature Film Competition line-up

Costa Brava, Lebanon (Leb-Fr-Sp)
Dir. Mounia Akl

El Planeta (US)
Dir. Amalia Ulman

Ghost Song (Fr)
Dir. Nicolas Peduzzi

I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking) (US)
Dirs. Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina

Petrov’s Flu (Rus-Fr-Switz-Ger)
Dir. Kirill Serebrennikov

Medusa (Bra)
Dir. Anita Rocha da Silveira

Mighty Flash (Sp)
Dir. Ainhoa Rodríguez

Poulet Frites (Fr-Bel)
Dirs. Jean Libon, Yves Hinant

The Great Movement (Bol-Qat-Fr-Switz-UK)
Dir. Kiro Russo

Théo And The Metamorphosis (Fr-Switz)
Dir. Damien Odoul