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Interview with Gudula Meinzolt, VISIONS DU REEL Festival International du Cinema Nyon, Switzerland, Doc Outlook-International Market, April 25 – May 3, 2014

Interview with Gudula Meinzolt, VISIONS DU REEL Festival International du Cinema Nyon, Switzerland, Doc Outlook-International Market, April 25 – May 3, 2014

In Locarno recently we met with old film circuit friend
Gudula Meinzolt (from our Mannheim Meetings days), who now holds the
Head of DOCM position at Doc Outlook-International Market at
VISIONS DU REEL Festival International du Cinema Nyon, Switzerland.

This documentary market is one of the best known and respected in Europe and the world.  

of careers began here, the Market focusing on exchanges between
international filmmakers of different career levels.  Meetings held at
Nyon focus on creative aspects of documentary film making.  The films are
creative and experimental.  The questions
‘how are films made?’ ‘and told?’ and filmmakers are encouraged to tell
and show those ‘invisible’ aspects and get down and discuss passion and
emotions.  There is an insistence there that the films discussed MUST
be made!

The Doc Outlook-International Market is 12 years old now and growing.

focuses on the documentary features in development.  Pitching to
acquire co producers is a goal.  Short pitches are presented at round
tables, trailer is shown, developing projects seek financing from TV
buyers attending.  Films are not yet in production
but seek to get set up, perhaps as co productions, some TV financing
could help, co production, TV funds.

Gudula spoke about other docu markets.

IDFA – Nyon is not as big as this.  The smaller environment makes it easier to connect, it is intimate, very easy to talk.

Sheffield – Different from, here too, Nyon is smaller, tries to be and emphasize creativity, the personal and artistic. 


Another Nyon specialty is the focus on the diversity
of film styles, subjects, emphasizing the creative, personal and
artistic.  It emphasizes the personal voice of directors to discuss
CINEMA, the creative aspects of modern distribution, how to reach
audiences.  Also discussed how to distribute via social networks.  They
are inviting crowd funding groups to participate in discussions.

Gudula also talked up some special sections.

Rough Cut Lab – will have 4 films.  These are first or second feature
docu makers with a tutor from the biz and they will criticize, discuss
how to proceed funding, distribution, sudeince development etc.

In Progress – will have 7 films at rough cut stage.  This emphasizes
outreach to buyers and film fest directors, programmers to get the film

One country will be focused on for the next two sections –

Focus Talk – 5 projects.  These will be well developed, in post production, seeking co producers.

is also the large Media Library (online, 400 films).  This is a
selective Market, filmmakers can apply or there are selected films from
IMCINE, Chile, Cracow or from various international sales agents.

The Festival program contains 180 films.  These are features, shorts, medium length productions.

The website is excellent at

from their website the Fest explains itself –

The Festival

in the trend for ciné-clubs, the Festival first came into being in
1969. At the end of the seventies, it reached its first stage of
maturity. It was in Nyon that it became possible to discover the films
produced in the countries of the Eastern
bloc, as well as those from other parts of the world, without
forgetting Swiss productions which have always been outstanding for
their subject matter and aesthetic qualities. It was also in Nyon that
the various struggles for independence found an echo :
ranging from the Third World countries to the emancipation of women and
even taking in sexual liberation.

Visions du Réel

evolution of the Festival continued in 1995, when a new management was
appointed. Renamed from then on « Visions du Réel », the event very
quickly made a name for itself as one of the most important rendez-vous
of this speciality cinema, both in Switzerland
and on the international scene.

Alongside a programme planning
which encourages meetings and dialogue between every form of cinema du
réel (experimental films, essays, diaries, family films, major reports,
historical inquiries, epic or fragmentary stories), events such as Etats
des Lieux
and their Workshops which welcome the illustrious names of cinema
(Johan van der Keuken, Robert Kramer, Alexandre Sokourov, Robert Frank,
Raymond Depardon or Frederick Wiseman) have become musts. As for Séances
spéciales, or Special Sessions, these shed new
enlightenment on a group of coherent films (“Corpus Chisti” and Arte,
Les Hommes-livres et Memoriav, Steps for the Future and Atelier 02,

Doc Outlook-International Market

Finally, it should
be noted that although Visions du Réel has as its principal ambition to
show the best of films being currently produced to the largest possible
public, the Festival also invites professionals to promote the films.
These include sales agents,
commissioning editors and programme buyers, distributors, independent
producers and directors, who are invited to exchange information, points
of view and projects during special brunches where they can meet
interesting and important people and enjoy informal
discussions. In addition, every year, Market Screenings places some two
hundred carefully selected films at the disposal of broadcasters.


Visions du Réel co-founder of Visions Sud Est

Swiss Fund for Production aid

Sud Est Swiss fund supports film productions from Asia, Africa and
Latin America, guarantees their distribution in Switzerland and helps in
making them visible worldwide. For further information please visit the

DOC ALLIANCE – The New Deal for Feature Documentaries

Doc Alliance is the result of a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals:

CPH:DOX Copenhagen

Doclisboa (from 2013)

DOK Leipzig, FID Marseille

Jihlava IDFF

Planete Doc Film Festival Warsaw

and Visions du Réel.

aim of Doc Alliance is to support the diverse nature of documentary
film and to increase audience awareness of the fascinating possibilities
of this genre, which often manages to be more moving than the world of
fiction. Doc Alliance represents
a dynamic platform offering filmmakers and producers alternative forms
of distribution for films that are often difficult to get onto the
market. The purpose of Doc Alliance is to help documentary films reach
as many viewers as possible, and to systematically
support their distribution through their festival markets and online

About the Festival (from website)

Our commitment

objective of Visions du Réel is to show the world as it is perceived,
to break away from the mainstream. All the players of the brand Visions
du Réel are mobilised to ensure a very high level of quality in their
work and to contribute to the common good.
The Festival offers a diversity of committed and inspired points of
view whilst making it possible to correlate experiences, reflections and

The Ethics

The pursuit of
excellence, loyalty, tolerance, respect, honesty, and equity, these are
the values that must not only influence our relations with others, but
must also be found in the films programmed.

At the Crossroads of Europe

are not just another international Festival. Situated in Nyon in
Switzerland – geographically at the centre of Europe – we want to be a
crossroads, a stopping place presenting real opportunities for new
discoveries, encounters and discussions. We work
in French, German and English. The Festival is an axis which provides a
link between French and German-speaking cultures especially.


is a requirement that must ensure and demonstrate the leadership,
professionalism and high quality of our work. It must emerge at each
decision and at every stage of the Festival´s development, ranging from
programming and communication, to management
and administration.


Since the
beginning of the Festival´s history the professionals of the sector have
known that we make sure all the conditions a right for them to feel
comfortable and to enable them to work in Nyon (the focus is on the
films and the quality of the networks).

However, such an
event without the public would have no reason for being. We seek to
communicate our project to a great number of spectators from all walks
of life. The Festival also seeks to convince those who do not yet know

The Sensations

To show the world as it
is experienced implies our paying special attention to awakening the
senses of our audiences. Emotions and enjoyment, the stimulation of
intelligence and curiosity, should be the driving force behind all our endeavors.

Our Strategy, where are we headed?, our ambition

wish to preserve our international stature and to reinforce our
position as a « first choice », as an essential event for the
professionals of the sector of cinema du réel in Europe, but also in
other continents.

How to define us?

Our positioning

du Réel is a unique international Festival providing an overview of the
best of cinema du réel. It is the most important in French-speaking
Switzerland, and as one of the three main festivals in Switzerland
(along with Soleure and Locarno) to be
recognised by the Confederation, it features among key international

Our audience

Festival attendance is
increasing every year and is varied: professionals of the film sector,
journalists, school children, students, politicians, local entrepreneurs
and many members of the ordinary public, curious and seeking a change
from the mainstream,
make themselves receptive to a perception of the world as it is

In Nyon the cinéma du réel is a cinema in its own right, a moving, intelligent, amusing, serious, and enriching spectacle.

Visions du Réel, Festival international de cinéma Nyon

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