St. Moritz Art Film Festival (SMAFF) Reveals Its Full Program & World Premieres for 2023
The St. Moritz Art Film Festival (SMAFF), which will take place in the picturesque Engadin Valley from August 31 to September 3, 2023, announces the program for its second edition. Following the success of 2022 first edition, the Festival continues establishing focused research on the annual curatorial theme through artistic and
This second edition of SMAFF focuses on the theme “Becoming Landscape” that will be explored through a selection of twenty films in competition. These cinematographic works, which are shown as world premieres, represent the challenge of transforming the traditional idea of landscape in a unique and exciting visual experience.
John Stezaker, Pair IV, 2007, Collage. Copyright of the artist. Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London
In addition to the competition, the festival will also present a selection of historical films, documentaries, and experimental videos out of competition, including the experimental short film “Spirits of Maritime Crossing” (2023),
starring the internationally renowned artist Marina Abramović as well as the famous Thai choreographer and dancer Pichet Klunchuen. The film, written and directed by Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, artistic director of the Bangkok Art Biennale, links Venice and Bangkok through the journey of a wandering spirit played by Marina.
The festival is proud to announce several world premieres that include: Theo Eshetu “The Moving Museum”, Karim Zeriahen “the Love in your Veins”, Xavier Cunilleras “Novacene”, Santiago Torregasti “Het” and Edouard de Luze “24 Hours Sunset” on top of the screenings of fourteen films that are Swiss Premieres.
On Saturday 2 September 2023, the jury of the St. Moritz Art Film Festival will award two prizes: the Best Art Film and the Special Prize of the Jury.
A special prize “Love at first sight” will be awarded by the Hotel Kulm St. Moritz.
The second edition of SMAFF focuses on the theme of “Becoming-Landscape”. Of course, the notion of ‘landscape’ is pertinent with the natural context of the Engadin Valley, yet “Becoming-Landscape” introduces a new element beyond any mimesis or representation: the landscape is the result of a transformation, of a becoming.
In fact, every time we look at our surrounding, our sight is entangled with cultural, historical and ideological structures that inform our vision and that turn what we see into a landscape. The classical opposition between
“figure and ground” blurs into a new configuration: the subject expands into the landscape and, symmetrically, the landscape is the mirroring of the subject’s perspective.
In the program of SMAFF, most films do not show landscapes as given entities but unveil the structures upon which the subject’s views of the landscapes are organised and constructed. In other words, they show the
modalities through which our views become landscapes.
“As in the photographic collages by John Stezaker, the landscape actually ceases to be a “given” element and becomes an extension of the subject. Far from being mere imitations or representations of landscapes, the films
present something entirely new: the movies capture an underlying structure informing the view: a becoming-landscape of the subject and a becoming-subject of the landscape”.
Stefano Rabolli Pansera, Artistic Director
“SMAFF wants to be a one of its kind festivals, leading the path to a sustainable cultural tourism in one of the most beautiful valleys, the Engadin. The unique landscape of the valley invites to a responsible and sustainable use of the festival’s resources. Besides this year’s theme, we want to maintain the care of our planet as a centre piece also in the festival’s programming and side events, creating awareness around these vital topics to which the artistic scene is also particularly sensible”.
Diana Segantini, Managing Director Several films deal with the topic of sustainability and climate change, for example:
“Earth Protectors” by Anne de Carbuccia, “Machines don’t die” by Eunhee Lee or “Iroojrilik” by the famous Swiss artist Julian Charrière.
In addition, the SMAFF also wants to celebrate the artists of the Engadin and thus also attract a local audience, some projections are: “Not Me – A Journey with Not Vital” by Pascal Hoffmann “Giovanni Segantini – Magic of Light” by Christian Labhart
Spirits of Maritime Crossing, 2023 (still from video). Image courtesy Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation
The St. Moritz Art Film Festival – SMAFF was founded in 2020 as a non-profit association, with the declared intent of organising a national and international cinema and audio-visual festival in St. Moritz and the Swiss Engadin Valley and fostering the dissemination of cinema, art and audio-visual culture at the cantonal, national and international level.
The core activities of the Festival (projections, talks & debates) will happen on a yearly basis in St. Moritz at the end of August. Collateral activities including digital events and presentations throughout the year will contribute to enlarging the global outreach of the festival and increasing the visibility of the initiative.
The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote international cinema in all its forms: visual art, video art and films, as a coherent audio- visual expression, in the spirit of freedom and dialogue. In line with the sections mentioned in the following paragraphs, SMAFF organises retrospectives and tributes to major figures as a contribution towards a better understanding of a specific theme chosen by its Artistic Director every year. The coherent development of a theme triggers debates in philosophical, social and cultural fields.
SMAFF will occupy an exclusive and refined place within the international arts and film scene defined largely by its focus on art and film, its location within the Swiss Alps, the historical Engadin Valley and the already well- developed St. Moritz cultural scene.
Founder & Artistic Director
Stefano Rabolli Pansera is an architect and curator operating at the threshold of art, architecture and geopolitics.
He developed projects in Africa, in Europe and in the Mediterranean coastline. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Golden Lion for best national participation for the Angola Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia.
From 2017 until 2022, he worked as director for Hauser & Wirth Gallery in London and in St. Moritz. He is currently based between St. Moritz and Bangkok where he is the director of Khao Yai Art, a new cultural institution in Thailand.
Diana Segantini has arts & culture in her DNA being the great-granddaughter of the painter Giovanni Segantini and curating the family’s artistic heritage in the Engadin.
Diana holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and Arts, specializing in Documentary Film and Radio, and holds a PhD in Arabic-Islamic Culture.
In 2008 she founded Segantini Unlimited, an agency specializing in curation, cultural mediation and productions such as documentaries and feature films, art exhibitions, music concerts and art talks.
As Head of culture at Swiss Broadcaster RSI and as an independent producer, she has managed more than 100 film and music productions, which have also won awards at important festivals around the world.
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