SMAFF, the St. Moritz Art Film Festival in the Engadine, is born. Here is the complete program

Limited edition poster designed by Oscar Mariné

The St. Moritz Art Film Festival – SMAFF has unveiled the complete program of its inaugural edition, which will take place in the Engadine from 25 to 28 August 2022

It is the first film festival in Switzerland to focus primarily on films shot by visual artists and directors. The St. Moritz Art Film Festival (SMAFF) was founded in 2020 as a non-profit association, with the intention of organizing a film and audiovisual festival in one of the most luxurious ski resorts in the world to promote the dissemination of cinema, art and audiovisual culture.

The theme of this first edition is “Face to Face”And will be directed by Stefano Rabolli Pansera with Ewa Hess. The editor comments: «The ‘face’ is the place of humanity; and it is the interface with others. The theme of the face is placed at the convergence of many fundamental and current themes: the re-appropriation of our faces after a period in which our faces were covered by masks, the discovery of the Other in times of high populism, the challenges of biopolitics in a society where control is becoming more stringent. Furthermore, ‘Face to Face’ describes the specific event of being confronted with 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 regard, it is illuminating to explore the relationship between face and landscape, especially in a unique geographical context such as St. Moritz in the Swiss Engadine ».

With a 4-day program, SMAFF intends to develop the complexity of the notion of “face” through screenings and debates, round tables, readings, conferences and meetings both during the film festival and throughout the year with monthly online seminars. Each annual theme will be unveiled through a series of old and new films, videos and audiovisual material, as well as discussions with international opinion leaders such as philosophers, artists, film producers, actors and writers before and after the actual screenings, creating a perfect context for an approach in-depth analytic.

The program of the first edition

World premieres

The Franco-American video artist Michel Auder will present his latest work: “Several Perceptions” part of the trilogy “Several Perceptions x3”. The first two videos, already published, are titled “The Heads of the Town” and “Gemalde”. “Several Perceptions x3” focuses on the human face as an interface between the urban context, history and contemporary culture. American dancer and choreographer Trajal Harrel and Swiss artist Raphael Hefti will present a new film directed by Serbian director and cinematographer Kosta Glušica.

Premieres in Switzerland

Albert Oehlen (Germany) will premiere “The Painter” under the direction of director Oliver Hirschbiegel. Ute Aurand (Germany) will present “Rushing Green with Horses”. Diego Marcon (Italy) presents “Monelle” and “The parents’ room”. American video artist Andrew Norman Wilson premieres “The Impersonator” and “In the Air Tonight” in Switzerland. The Italian New York duo Eva & Franco Mattes presents “The Bots”. Cyan Cheng (UK, China) the documentary short film “Ripple Ripple Rippling”. Artist Sonia Boyce brings her performance film “Exquisite Cacophony” to the festival. German artist and director Dara Friedman projects “Almond”. Peruvian artist Elena Tejada-Herrera presents the video performance “Niña aprendiendo a pelear y jugando ajedrez (Girl Learning to Fight and Playing Chess)” curated by Proyecto Amil. The Italian writer and journalist Alessandra Borghese together with the Romanian artist Adrian Ghenie will present a preview of “The Ghenie Chapels”, a work that presents the curatorial theme Face to Face through the history of Christian iconography. Max Farago, from Los Angeles, brings a film shot on his iPhone in the days leading up to the 2020 presidential election as he drives through the American West. The pioneer of art installation in Thailand, Arin Rungjang, presents his video project “And Then There Were None“.

The inaugural edition of SMAFF it will also feature works by artists and directors such as Stephanie Comilang, Sophie Fiennes, Heecheon Kim, Dr. Daniel Milman, Malcolm McLaren, Adrian Paci, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Julian Schnabel, among others.

SMAFF screenings will take place in the Embassy Room of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, the legendary hotel has attracted historical figures of the cinema for more than 125 years, from Marlene Dietrich to Audrey Hepburn and director Alfred Hitchcock, whose love affair with the Palazzo began in 1926 by inspiring his famous film The Birds. Screenings will also take place in the Reithalle in St. Moritz Bad.

The complete program is HERE

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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