Visions du Réel 2019

05.04.2019 to 13.04.2019

With the motto "50 years of freedom, 50 years of openness, 50 years of film", the Festival Visions du Réel celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019. From 5.-13. April, 169 films from 58 countries were scheduled. 15 films premiered in the International Competition - Feature Film. The Interreligious Jury chose its winner from them. They awarded "When the Persimmons Grew" by Hilal Baydarov from Azerbaïdjan which also received a Commendation by the international festival jury. The Interreligious Jury awarded a Commendation as well: to "Norie" by Japanese-born director Yuki Kawamura.

The winner of the main festival prizes were "Heimat Is a Space in Time" by Thomas Heise (best long film) and "That Which Does Not Kill" by Alexe Poukine (most innovative long film). The title of the latter refers to the difficulties of victims of a rape to speak about their experience.

For its anniversary, the festival organized a retrospective in the section "Cinquante" curated by the festival's four former artistic directors: Moritz and Erika de Hadeln, Jean Perret and Luciano Barisone. The Churches invited to an ecumenical service and celebrated the festival by a reception. At this occasion Marianne Ejdersten, Director of Communication of the World Council of Churches (WCC), appreciated the art of film as a "prophetic voice". With a retrospective of 14 of his films, and the title Maître du Réel, the director Werner Herzog was honored.

The festival was opened with the Finnish documentary "Gods of Molenbeek", which received the award of the Church Media Foundation at the Tampere Film Festival before.

Link: Festival-Homepage

Link: Festival résumé of jury member Carlos Aguilera


When the Persimmons Grew
Directed by:

A cinematic soulscape – in poetic images and still lifes we get to know a mother who has the ability to remember what really counts. During the persimmon harvest she philosophises with her son about the fruits of life. With a penetrating eye, the Azerbaijani director succeeds in interweaving linear time with the moment, capturing for eternity the joys of everyday life.

Directed by:

The filmmaker accompanies his father on a journey to the core of the pain caused by the death of his young wife Norie, allowing the viewers to participate in a deeply human process of mourning.

More about the festival

On the occasion of the reception of INTERFILM and SIGNIS for the Interreligious Jury of the Visions du Réel on Sunday, 7th April, 2019, Marianne Ejdersten, Director of Communication of the World Council of Churches, directed a message reflecting the connections between culture, film, politics and church to the visitors of the festival.
The Church Media Foundation Award at the Tampere Film Festival 2019 was given to the director Reetta Huhtanen for her feature-length documentary film debut "Gods of Molenbeek" (Aatos ja Aminen, Finland 2019).