52nd Visions du Réel with world premieres of SOLDIER AHMET and THE BUBBLE

The 52nd Visions du Réel Festival at the Swiss town of Nyon kicks off its second “Corona” edition offering a hybrid festival format from April 15 to 25, 2021. Two Austrian (co-)productions are to celebrate their world premiere  in their respective competition line-ups.

Burning Lights Competition

SOLDAT AHMET by Jannis Lenz
produced by Panama Film (A)

Ahmet, a champion boxer with Turkish roots and a professional soldier in the Austrian Army, starts taking acting lessons. On stage he comes face to face with his own internal battles.

Jannis Lenz: Ahmet is someone who theoretically fits into many boxes: as a Turkish immigrant and as a Soldier. But he actively tries to subvert these labels. I wanted to play with the viewer’s initial expectations, which are further put into perspective by Ahmet’s position as a Muslim in the Austrian Federal Army. The title challenges the viewer to confront their own prejudices. We get to know Ahmet as a real person and not as a fictional character who is easily classified.

International Feature Film Competition

THE BUBBLE by Valerie Blankenbyl
a Swiss-Austrian co-production by Austrian director Valerie Blankenbyl
produced by Catpics (CH) with Golden Girls Filmproduction (A)
International sales: Deckert Distribution

THE BUBBLE examines often-surreal senior citizen life within the The Villages, America’s largest retirement community. Leisurely retired life beneath the year-round Floridian sunshine however, is not perhaps as idyllic, or as welcomed, as viewers may imagine.

Valerie Blankenbyl: When I first went there, I was overwhelmed by how impeccable everything looked. No blade of grass was out of place. Everything was clean and neat, and well: repetitive. I was surprised at how friendly and inviting and also happy and healthy everyone was. Yet, I started wondering at what cost this perfection came. To the surrounding communities, that were there before The Villages came. To the environment, and also to society as a whole.