St. Moritz Art Film Festival will launch in the Swiss Engadin Valley
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St. Moritz Art Film Festival will launch in the Swiss Engadin Valley
SMAFF is the first film and art festival in the Grisons Canton in Switzerland taking place in the iconic locations of Badrutt’s Palace and Laudinella cinema in St.Moritz Bad.

ST. MORITZ.- The St. Moritz Art Film Festival -SMAFF announced its first edition, taking place in the Engadin Valley from 25th - 28th August 2022. This is the first festival in the world mainly focused on films by artists and directors of arthouse movies and also the first festival to bring film and video art works in the Grisons Canton in Switzerland. SMAFF’s inaugural edition will feature works by artists and directors such as Stephanie Comilang, Sophie Fiennes, Heecheon Kim, Diego Marcon, Michel Auder, Malcolm McLaren, Adrian Paci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Andrew Norman Willson, and others.

With a 4 day programme, Artistic Director Stefano Rabolli Pansera has curated the project around the theme Face to Face.

Stefano Rabolli Pansera comments: “The ‘face’ is the place of humanity; and it is the interface with others. The theme of the face sits at the convergence of many fundamental and timely themes: the re-appropriation of our faces after a period where our faces were covered by masks, the discovery of the Other in times of raising populism, the challenges of biopolitics in a society where control is getting more stringent.”

“Furthermore, Face to Face describes the specific event of being confronted with the Otherness. Being Face to Face offers the opportunity to come to terms with the world around us and to challenge our relationship with history, with technology, with nature. Jean-Luc Godard said: “Un paysage, c’est comme un visage” and, in this respect, it is illuminating to explore the relationship between face and the landscape especially in a unique geographic context such as St. Moritz in the Swiss Engadin Valley.”

Martin Hatebur, President of the SMAFF comments: “I am very proud to be part of the launch of the first film festival, mainly focused on art films, in Switzerland in famous St. Moritz. The program which Stefano Rabolli Pansera and Ewa Hess put together is promising and full of surprises and creativity. It will be a journey of great discovery for the international and national visitors but will also allow the local community to have an insight into all the different aspects of art films.”

Highlighting the strong connection between visual arts and cinema, the SMAFF programme will develop the complexity of the notion of ‘face’ through screenings

and debates, roundtables, readings, talks and gatherings both during the film festival and throughout the year with online monthly seminars. Each annual theme will unravel through a series of old and new movies, videos and audiovisual material as well as debates with global opinion leaders such as philosophers, artists, film producers, actors and writers before and after the actual screenings, creating a perfect context for an in-depth analytical approach. The creation of this unique platform for research in St. Moritz, will put the spotlight on the creative interpretation of existing movies, thus revealing the power of curating cinema and audiovisual material to develop a new perspective of thought and action whilst fostering a new cultural environment in the Alpine city and the entire Engadin Valley.

SMAFF screenings will take place in the Embassy Room of Badrutt’s Palace, the emblematic 125 years old hotel that has attracted historic film personalities from Marlene Dietrich to Audrey Hepburn and the director Alfred Hitchcock, whose love affair with the Palace began in 1926 inspiring his famous film The Birds. The screenings will also take place in the art nouveau Laudinella cinema in St.Moritz Bad, with its famous ceiling paintings by the 19th century Italian decorative painter, Antonio De Grada. Both locations are iconic for their rich history, their setting, their mineral spring waters and for their stunning views over the St. Moritz lake and surrounding mountains.

Francesca Ariani, Member of St. Moritz Tourism Board comments: “I am delighted that the team from SMAFF is uniting with the historical and really iconic locations of Badrutt Palace and the Laudinella Cinema, among others, for this very special event. St. Moritz has such a strong - almost mythical - history; our town makes a perfect location to host a festival that unites film and arts, a festival that looks to explore and celebrate curiosity, beauty and the artistic endeavour. We look forward to welcoming the first event in August.”

A yearly publication and a series of podcasts will collect the transcripts of the conversations and preserve the legacy of the research.

Full programming and further details and locations will be released soon.

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