High profile stars fill out Neuchatel Film Fest program

AFP Relax News
The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival skipped a year in 2001.

Filmmaker Kevin Smith and literary figure George R.R. Martin will be among those travelling to the weeklong Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival held in Switzerland from July 4.

Now approaching its 14th edition, the NIFFF has cultivated a reputation for featuring the best of Swiss, Asian and world cinema, with its annual H. R. Geiger Award the pinnacle of a dozen juried competition categories -- previous winners include "Citadel," "Fish Story" and "You, The Living."

Opening this year's festival will be the Swiss premiere of Terry Gilliam's "The Zero Theorem," starring Austrian-German actor Christoph Waltz, with "Young Ones" from Jake Paltrow chosen as the event's closer.

Martin will attend the New Worlds of Fantasy literary forum, while Smith is to be welcomed as guest of honor, with "Clerks," "Clerks II" and "Red State" screened along with the director's pick of inpirational films.

As for the Asian selection, picks from the continent include Bruneian martial arts film "Yasmine," Indian thriller "Monsoon Shootout," Japanese conceptual piece "Live" and the Philippines' "Kung Fu Divas," as well as Indonesia's international hit "Raid 2: Berendal."

Not only that, but Taiwan is the focus of this year's Histoires du Genre program, with documentary feature "Taiwan Black Movies" leading up to showings of rare works from Chun Ouyang and Yang Chia-yun; other documentaries explore the fantasy teen genre ("Beyond Clueless"), Tarantino's Italian influences ("I Tarantiniani") and a 1980s French film festival ("Super 8 Madness!").

In addition, 14 of global cinema's finest contemporary films are to be shown as part of the International Competition, including David Robert Mitchell's "It Follows," Takeshi Miike's "The Mole Song," Colin Minihan's Canadian sci-fi horror "Extraterrestrial" and the Cannes 2014 Un Certain Regard winner "White God" from Hungary's Kornél Mundruczó.

For culture vultures within reach of Switzerland's 26 cantons, the NIFFF's July 4-12 dates coincide with the Avenches Opèra and overlap with those of the Montreux Jazz Festival; Geneva's open air CineTransat showings take place July 10 - August 17.

Official website: http://www.nifff.ch/