Originating 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
The 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.
Visions du Réel
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, etc.).
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.