Visions du Réel – Films from 68 countries and 85 world premieres 

4 April, 2022

Swiss documentary film festival Visions du Réel returns with a new edition between April 7-17. The program features 160 films from 68 countries, including 85 world premieres.

Returning to the cinema does not mean quitting the online medium for good. Thus, a selection of around 50 films and this year’s masterclasses, hosted by this year’s special guests, Marco Bellocchio (director), Kirsten Johnson (cinematographer), Hassen Ferhani (director) will also be available online.

“We realized it’s a way of expanding the spectrum of people taking part. It’s not about replacing the theaters, but most of the films won’t be released so I feel it’s our job to go beyond and reach the people who cannot attend physically,” the festival’s artistic director Emilie Bujès told Variety.

International Competition

The International Feature Film Competition comprises 16 films, including 9 debuts and 14 world premieres. The jury consists of Jovan Marjanović (director of the Sarajevo Film Festival), Jessica Beshir (winner of last year’s Grand Prix with her debut film, Faya Dayi) and Beatrice Fiorentino (General Delegate of the Venice Critics’ Week).

Among the films screening in the main International Competition are:

Ma vie en papier (dir. Vida Dena) – a hybrid film, which follows the story of two young Syrian refugees in a Brussels apartment and includes drawings to illustrate the girls’ memories and dreams;

Dogwatch (dir. Gregoris Rentis) – tells the story of three mercenaries in the High Risk Area on the Somali coastline, who are running out of work and face the absurdity of daily training to face a non-existent enemy;

Bitterbrush (dir. Emelie Mahdavian) – follows two cow-girls as they embark on a long summer season.

Burning Lights

Fifteen exceptional films, of which 13 are European co-productions, make up this year’s Burning Lights Competition. The jury consists of Chiara Marañón (Senior Director of Programming at the streaming platform MUBI), Cyril Schäublin (winner of the Encounters Award – Best Director at the 2022 Berlinale), Gema Juárez Allen (film producer from Argentina).

The Grand Angle competition features films that have already toured other international festivals.

Not to be missed are the non-competitive sections Latitudes, showcasing a panorama of current practices in non-fiction filmmaking, and Opening Scenes, dedicated to first films or student films.


For more details and the full program, visit the Visions du Réel website.



Photographer and editor, she co-founded Dissolved Magazine. For Films in Frame she brings the news from the film world, in the Monday News column. She likes stories, Monty Python and going to the seaside.