53rd Visions du Réel

Festival international de cinéma Nyon
07.04.2022 to 17.04.2022

„Ma vie en papier“ (My Paper Life), a documentary by Iranian film director Vida Dena about Syrian refugees in Brussels, has won the prize of CHF 5.000.- of the Interreligious Jury in Nyon 2022. The Grand Prix of the festival went to „L‘ȋlot“ (Like an Island) by Tizian Büchi from Switzerland, the Fipresci Prize to “Steel Life” (Vida ferrea) by Manuel Bauer from Peru. The opening film of the festival, “Fire of Love”, directed by Sara Dosa (USA, Canada 2022) won the Audience Award.

After the digital and hybrid editions of the past two years, the festival team was looking forward to the return to cinemas, with a limited selection of films and the masterclasses also available in streaming. "We are experiencing the 2022 edition as a kind of renewal," explained festival president Raymond Loretan at the mid-March press conference. "By integrating the digital developments of the last two years while placing a special focus on face-to-face encounters, we are combining the best of both worlds and moving into the future with even more dynamism."

Against this background, Raymond Loretan affirmed solidarity with Ukrainian artists and filmmakers as well as with Russian artists and filmmakers who are resisting. In addition to several films shot and/or produced in Ukraine and already included in the programme, the festival has shown the film "The Earth is Blue as an Orange" by Ukrainian director Iriyna Tsilyk as a Swiss premiere at the end of the festival and as a sign of solidarity. The film provides insights into the everyday life of Anna, who lives alone with her four children in the Donbass. Her home is a place of harmony, while the chaos of war reigns outside.

The festival presented a total of 160 films from 68 countries in seven differently characterised sections. From the 124 films in the official selection, 85 films were presented in world premiere and 19 in international premiere. With 26 Swiss (co-)productions, the festival once again proved to be an important partner of local filmmaking. The international competition for long films included 16 films, 15 of which were world premieres. The members of the Interreligious Jury, appointed by INTERFILM and SIGNIS, choose their winner from this festival section.

Link: Festival website


My Paper Life
Directed by:

The film offers insights into the life of a Syrian family in Belgium, characterized by the director's empathy towards her characters. Starting with drawings made by the family members, their experiences of refuge and their dreams are confronted with the realities they have to deal with. At the center are the daughters, two young women in search of their way between tradition and modernity.

With attention and tenderness, Vida Dena shows the problems typical of refugee families: shaken identities and often difficult experiences of integration. But they also inspire dreaming; life proves stronger than all obstacles.

We are very proud to be able to award this touching film, which - although shot almost exclusively in the family's living quarters - connects past and future, life and dream, roots and identity, and which consists to a considerable extent of drawings that are integrated in a surprising and convincing way as poetic animations.