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The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF)’s 19th edition (5 – 13 July) will be the last one presided by Jean Studer after six years of collaboration. The former president for Banque Nationale Suisse (BNS) will leave the festival and join the Banque Cantonale Neuchâteloise (BCN). Taking over from him will be journalist Nathalie Randin, former parliamentary correspondent for the RTS. She will pick up the torch to lead the festival into its 20th anniversary edition as soon as July 14th, the day after the closing ceremony. The new team’s first feat of arms will involve the SWAN charter (an initiative promoted by the Swiss Woman’s Audiovisal Network for equality and inclusion in film festivals) being signed on July 8th by Nathalie Randin (future NIFFF president) and Anaïs Emery (General Director of the NIFFF), as well as SWAN copresidents Gabriel Baur, Laura Kaehr and Stephane Mitchell. Annick Mahnert, the event’s patron, will be in attendance for this historic signing. As an Acquisition Consultant, Programmer at several major festivals, Development Specialist, Producer and former NIFFF collaborator, Annick Mahnert is a reference for the new generation of fantasy cinema.

Nathalie Randin, new President of the NIFFF

As soon as this year’s edition ends, expert independent journalist Nathalie Randin will take over. She has been working for 30 years on the radio, on TV and as a debate moderator, as a parliamentary correspondent for the Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) for a period of 10 years, and as a member of the teams behind major programs such as Infrarouge, Mise au Point or TTC. The new direction will continue to support the development of the NIFFF all the while working towards the festival’s institutionalisation. The latter phase was successfully set in motion under Jean Studer and remains essential to the organisers’ strategic vision. The comity and the management and delighted and honoured to welcome Nathalie Randin whose skills and motivation should make for a fruitful collaboration that will usher a new era in the history of the NIFFF.

Nathalie Randin, future NIFFF President © Joel Von Allmen, NIFFF 2019
Fanny Guichard, communication Director; Juan Diaz, administrative Director; Anaïs Emery, Director; Nathalie Randin, future NIFFF President © Joel Von Allmen, NIFFF 2019

Signing of the SWAN charter for equality and inclusion

In addition to a new festival president taking over, this edition’s highlights include the signing of the SWAN charter on July 8th, 2019. Patroned by Swiss programmer and producer Annick Mahnert, the NIFFF is the first genre film festival to sign this essential charter to promote equality and diversity in the audiovisual industry. The NIFFF will thus stand alongside prestigious festivals like Cannes, Locarno and Visions du Réel for everything the SWAN initiative fights for:

  • Gendered statistics (especially regarding the number of submitted films for selection) to ensure accurate data is available.
  • Make transparent the list of programming and selection comity members. The goal is to prove diversity and equality are ensured while giving festivals the freedom they need.
  • Agree on a schedule for transforming leading festival bodies in order to reach perfect equality before the current mandates end.
  • Each exercise set during the transitionary period will allow annual communication about actual achievements.

The charter will be signed on July 8th, at 7:45 p.m. in the presence of Anaïs Emery (General Director of the NIFFF), Nathalie Randin (future NIFFF President) and Annick Mahnert (the charter’s patron), as well as SWAN copresidents Gabriel Baur, Laura Kaehr and Stéphane Mitchell.

Nathalie Randin, future NIFFF President and Anaïs Emery, Director © Joel Von Allmen, NIFFF 2019