Murnau, Martinez, Miike And Many More Hit The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival

What evil lurks in the hearts of picturesque, Swiss lakeside towns?

Returning for its 13th edition, the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF from here on out) has announced its full program today, and does it ever look fun.

The festival, which runs from July 5  - 13, will play host to several euro-horror premieres and festival circuit holdovers, including Vincenzo Natali's Haunter and Javier Ruiz Caldera's Ghost Graduation, which has been well loved here at Twitch. Johnnie To's Blind Detective and Takashi Miike's Shield of Straw, both fresh from Cannes, are two of the flagship films in the festival's New Cinema From Asia focus, which also includes Ringu and Dark Water director Hideo Nakata's supposed return to form, The Complex.

But what's most exciting are the two main retrospectives.  Larry Cohen is the festival's guest of honor this year, and he'll be presenting screenings of Q, God Told Me To, the It's Alive series and some of his latest work throughout the festival.

At the same time, a series called When Music Scores will honor that alchemical union between sound and picture with a series of classic screenings (Ran, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Alien. Will there be Suspiria? Of course there'll be Suspiria), a master class with musican/composer Cliff Martinez and a special event where Murnau's Nosferatu will be live-backed by French electronic group Turzi.

There's a hell of a lot more too, so check it out below, and get yourself to Switzerland for July 5!

In 2013, the NIFFF confirms its leading position on the Swiss and international scene with a program full of quality and prestige, a selection of premieres and some films coming straight out of Cannes. The NIFFFs take on fantastic filmmaking is reflected in its official selection, augmented by elements such as a new program called Histoires du Genre, the Imaging The Future symposium, the literary forum New Worlds of Fantasy and the Call for Projects: Swiss Games 2012 / 2013. In addition, the festival will present a retrospective called When Music Scores!, including five master classes and a tribute to Larry Cohen, guest of honor of this 13th edition. To celebrate the best of fantastic cinema, see you in Neuchâtel from July 5 to 13!

The NIFFF in a few figures
With a total budget of CHF 1,450,000, the NIFFF 2013 will be offering 9 days of screenings in 5 screening venues with a simultaneous capacity of 1,824 seats. In 136 public screenings, 80 feature films and 17 short films from thirty different countries will be shown.

International Competition
With its 14 titles, the International Competition offers an overview of the latest trends in worldwide fantastic cinema. For the first time ever, two Swiss films are present: Der Ausflug, a modern fairy tale from Mathieu Seiler (Zurich) and Chimères, a horrific tragedy from Olivier Beguin (Neuchâtel). Among the most anticipated films by big-name directors are You're Next by Adam Wingard, The Dyatlov Pass Incident by Renny Harlin, Vincenzo Natalis new film Haunter, and Dark Touch, the highly anticipated supernatural thriller by Marina De Van, who was a NIFFF jury member in 2011. The geographical and thematic variety of the world's best fantastic cinema of the moment is also represented by the gory Raze by Josh C. Waller (USA), the amazing zombie film Contracted by Eric England (USA), the hilarious comedy Ghost Graduation by Javier Ruiz Caldera (ES) and the stunning sci-fi film Mars et Avril by Martin Villeneuve (CA). Two additions to this diversity are the Latin American co-productions Here Comes the Devil by Adrián García Bogliano (MEX) and The Crack by Alfonso Acosta (CO). And finally, two films set in particularly unusual universes: Kiss of the Damned, an erotic thriller by Xan Cassavetes, one of two women directors in the competition and the daughter of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands, and We Are What We Are by Jim Mickle, a cruel and heartbreaking tale about free will.

New Cinema from Asia
Showcasing the quality and the characteristics of popular cinema in Asia, the 2013 selection is distinguished by the presence of several renowned authors. The vitality of current Japanese cinema becomes evident in The Complex, Nikkatsus flagship director Hideo Nakatas comeback. Also in the spotlight: a new animated film from the studio behind Ghost in the Shell, Kenji Kamiyamas 009 RE: Cyborg 3D. Fans of Korean cinema will not want to miss out on Ryoo Seung-wans The Berlin File, an extremely efficient thriller. Plus a Hong Kong film coming from this year's Cannes selection, Blind Detective - another must-see by genre master Johnnie To.

Swiss Short Films Competition
In order to show what Switzerland's latest filmmakers are doing, the NIFFF presents a competition of eight Swiss short films, mainly independent productions, including a European premiere and two world premieres. A conference will allow the audience to meet the various Swiss directors.
 
Films of the Third Kind and Ultra Movies
Between fantasy and thriller, the Films of the Third Kind section offers titles that should attract eclectic and cinephilic audiences. Make sure you catch some Latin new wave with 7 Cajas by Paraguayan directors Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schembori or get to see the hardest working Japanese director Takashi Miike's urban western Shield of Straw, in competition at Cannes. Comedy lovers will enjoy A Liar's Autobiography by Ben Timlett, Jeff Simpson and Bill Jones as well as How to Use Guys with Secret Tips, a weird ode to female power by South Korean director Wonsuk Lee.

To bring some life into the late evenings of the festival, the NIFFF offers midnight sessions with all kinds of surprises ranging from the most extravagant productions to the most extreme genre cinema. The Ultra Movies section starts off with the European premiere of V / H / S / 2, a collaboration of eight directors, including the famous Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project, Lovely Molly). This will be followed by E.L. Katz's new film Cheap Thrills, The Rambler, a gore tribute from Calvin Reeder to David Lynch, Gallowwalkers, a supernatural western starring Wesley Snipes and HK: Forbidden Super Hero by Yuichi Fukuda (Japan).

Histoires du Genre
The new program Histoires du genre offers a journey through time, space and art with exclusive documentaries including Despite The Gods (Penny Vozniak, AUS) with Jennifer Lynch trying to shoot a film in India, Rewind This (Josh Johnson, USA ) about the important role VHS has played in the democratization of genre cinema and the documentary Roland Klick-The Heart is a Hungry Hunter (Sandra Prechtel, DE) about German cult director Roland Klick, who will be present at the festival.

When Music Scores ! / Tribute to Larry Cohen
To celebrate the magic between music and images, several guests will attend and present master classes and cartes blanches: American composers Cliff Martinez (Drive, Contagion, Only God Forgives) and Jeff Grace (House of the Devil, We Are What We Are), Swedish composer Johan Söderqvist (Let The Right One In, Tannöd, Insensibles), French producer Marc Teissier Du Cros (Drive, Virgin Suicides) and Laurent Guido, professor at the University of Lausanne and leading expert on the subject.

Larry Cohen, a main figure of American horror cinema, is this 13th edition's guest of honor. He is presenting many of his most significant works, including the famous It's Alive trilogy and a program consisting of three TV series episodes he scripted.

Opening and Closing Night
To open and close this thirteenth edition, the NIFFF presents Park Chan-wook's first Hollywood film Stoker, a sensory, macabre thriller with a five star cast including Nicole Kidman, and Byzantium with actresses Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan, which marks Neil Jordan's return of to vampire cinema.

Additional Events
Among the other important events: New Worlds of Fantasy, a literary forum with one of the major authors of the contemporary SF literature, Orson Scott Card, the Imaging the Future Symposium, a multidisciplinary event dedicated to the latest developments in the field of digital images in video games, cinema and new media. The 8th edition of this year welcomes 16 conferences, round tables and master classes as well as international speakers. The award ceremony for the winners of the Call for Projects: Swiss Games 2012/2013 will take place on July 9 it at 18:00 at the Théâtre du Passage. For families and lovers of music, NIFF! F INVASION 2013 will take over the city on July 6 with many performances, including the Cinema-Concert Nosferatu vs. Turzi, for which Parisian group Turzi will perform live to a screening of the German silent classic.


The complete program is online at: www.nifff.ch


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