Switzerland Showcase

Swiss Films, the national promotion agency for Swiss filmmaking and Visions du Réel, Switzerland’s only non-fiction film festival and one of the most prestigious internationally, present together for the first time four boundary-pushing non-fiction projects in their finishing stages as part of the 2024 Swiss Showcase.

📆 The Switzerland showcase will be held on 19 May 2024 | 11:45-13:00 (Lerins 4, Riviera).

Find out more about the projects & and check out our teaser!


Cannes Docs

Tale of Baba

Original title: La grange à Baba

Directed by: Matthias Joulaud, Lucien Roux

Produced by: Juliana Fanjul, Annick Bouissou (Akka Films, Switzerland), Alexandre Cornu (Les films du tambour de soie, France)

Country of production: Switzerland, France

Runtime: 80'

Expected release: April, 2025

Production stage: In production

Budget: €590 000 (85% in place)

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: Sales Agents / Distributors, Buyers, Gap Financing


Didier, a deaf farmer from birth, has just lost his eldest brother. Now alone in his isolated house in the Cantal mountains, he must find his way without his brother’s help. He must overcome his fear of the unknown and forge links with the other inhabitants of the hamlet. Tale of Baba follows Didier’s routines as he has to reinvent his language and his exchanges, turning his handicap into a strength.

Director’s profile:

Matthias Joulaud, a filmmaker with a multidisciplinary background in photography and drawing from the Beaux Arts in Paris, brings a unique perspective to his cinematic endeavors. Graduating with a Master’s degree in filmmaking from ECAl and HEAD in Lausanne-Geneva, Matthias’ work is characterized by a subtle and intimate visual style, influenced by his exploration of analog photography and color film.

His portfolio spans across documentary, fiction, and music video genres, showcasing his versatility and artistic range. Notably, his short film “Ramboy,” produced in collaboration with AKKA Films and the ECAl-HEAD Master’s program, has received recognition at various international festivals, including Visions du Réel and IDFA. With a focus on capturing the essence of human experiences, Matthias Joulaud’s work resonates with audiences, earning praise for its authenticity and emotional depth.

Co-director’s profile: 

French filmmaker and cinematographer, Lucien Roux acquired a Master’s Degree in Plastic and Visual Arts through the partnership between ESADMM (Marseille) and the Université du Québec UQAM (Montréal). With extensive skills in visual and audiovisual arts, he is currently collaborating on documentary projects alongside anthropological researchers from The National Center for Scientific Research Norbert Élias. Lucien has worked on various feature-length and short documentary film projects. He notably co-directed “Ramboy,” a short film with an exceptional journey, awarded at numerous festivals such as IDFA (best Youth Film 2022). It received the Golden Chair award at the Norwegian Short Film Festival which in turn earned it an entry for the Oscars, and was selected by the New York Times Op-Docs platform.

Producer’s profile:

Producer and director. Based in Geneva since 2011, Juliana Fanjul has a MA in arts from ECAL-HEAD. She specialised in documentary filmmaking at the International Film School in Cuba, after doing a BA in audiovisual communication in Mexico City. Her films Muchachas (Visions du Réel 2015), Radio Silence (IDFA 2019) and Je suis noires (Prix Cinéma Suisse 2023) have been screened and awarded at numerous international festivals. As a freelancer, she has produced documentaries for Radiotelevisione Svizzera (RSI) and Al Jazeera English. In 2021, she joined Akka Films to produce documentaries. She is a teacher and Head of the Documentary Department at the International Film School in Cuba.

Cannes Docs

ROAD 190

Original title: ROAD 190

Directed by: Emilie Cornu, Charlotte Nastasi

Produced by: Joëlle Bertossa (Close Up Films, Switzerland) and Anton Iffland Stettner (Stenola Productions, Belgium)

Country of production: Switzerland, Belgium

Runtime: 85'

Expected release: April, 2025

Production stage: Shooting

Budget: €480 000 (90% in place)

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: Festivals, Sales Agent, Distributors


From his cell in Livingston prison, Texas, Mabry, a death row inmate, imagines the final journey that will one day take him to the place of his execution. Sixty kilometers along which live and work those whose daily lives are tinged by the omnipresence of the prison system.

Director’s profile:

Emilie Cornu (1994) lives in Geneva, Switzerland. She holds degrees in law and criminology and currently works as a psychocriminologist in several Geneva prisons. ROAD 190 is her first feature film co-directed with Charlotte Nastasi.

Co-Director’s profile:

Charlotte Nastasi (1994) was born in Switzerland. In 2013 she moved to Brussels to study at Institut des Arts de Diffusion (IAD) where she earned a master’s degree in documentary filmmaking. Since 2022 she has been working at the CBA- Centre de l’audiovisuel à Bruxelles, in charge of the distribution and promotion of French-speaking Belgian documentaries. ROAD 190 is her first feature film co-directed with Emilie Cornu.

Producer’s profile:

Over the past years, Close Up has produced several important documentary and fiction films. These include ‘Advocate’, by Rachel Leah Jones: EMMY for best documentary 2021; ‘The Swallows ok Kaboul’ by Zabou Breitman: Un certain Regard Cannes 19; ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ directed by Raoul Peck: best documentary Cesar 2018 and nominated for the 2017 Oscars. More recently Carmen Jaquier’s ‘Thunder`, TIFF 2023 and Swiss representative for the Oscars 2024, `The plough` by Philippe Garrel `Silver Bear at Berlinale 2023, and Karim Sayad’s ‘2G’ IDFA 2024.

Cannes Docs

Songs of Sisterhood

Original title: Songs of Sisterhood

Directed by: Hanna Nobis

Produced by: Esther van Messel (First Hand Films, Switzerland), Hanna Nobis (Offhand, Poland)

Country of production: Switzerland, Poland

Runtime: 52' / 79'

Expected release: November, 2025

Production stage: Production

Budget: EUR 350’000 (42% in place)

1st feature: No

Looking for: Financing, presales, and co-producers to ensure it reaches the fullest


Lu and friends were celebrated on social media for their fight against conservative, oppressive norms of today’s Poland – in reality, life is a struggle.

Director’s profile:

Hanka Nobis
Born in 1990 in Białystok, studied Interdisciplinary Studies. Acting since 2009 in theatre, making videos, installations and costumes. Nobis’ first feature-length documentary POLISH PRAYERS (2022) premiered at IDFA LUMINOUS, supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and Zurich Film Fund in the development & production phase. SRF, RTS, HBO MAX and MDR/ARTE are co-producers. POLISH PRAYERS was selected at over 20 festivals ,among others at CPH:DOX, One World Prague, Thessaloniki, DocPoint Tallinn, GoEast, Pink Apple Zurich, Brussels, Crossing Europe, Kosovo, Ecuador, Queer Filmfestival Lisbon, South Korea, Locarno Panorama, DOC NYC and DocsBarcelona (Winner Youth Award) In 2023, Hanka Nobis was rewarded with the Zurich Film Award as Best Director of the Year, from across all categories.

Producer’s profile:

Esther van Messel
Born 1965 in Vienna, is based in Zurich and is a graduate from the Tel Aviv University. She headed Warner Bros. Israel and from 1992 produced feature films and documentaries in Zurich. Since 1998, she runs FIRST HAND FILMS for production, global sales and theatrical distribution.

Cannes Docs


Original title: Helvécia

Directed by: Pablo Francischelli

Produced by: Luc Peter, Katia Monla (Intermezzo Films, Switzerland)

Country of production: Switzerland (Germany & Brazil ongoing)

Runtime: 80'

Expected release: March, 2025

Production stage: Editing

Budget: €420 000 (37% in place)

1st feature: No

Looking for: Co-Producers, Buyers, Gap Financing, Strategic Guidance, Sales Agents, Distributors, Festivals


Wesley, a 15-year-old, lives in Helvécia, a former Swiss and German colony in Brazil. As he experiences the transition to adulthood and the discovery of a first love, he tries to escape the destiny of most of the village’s inhabitants: working on eucalyptus plantations. During the summer holidays, he gets together with his friends to overcome the lack of prospects and share their passion: taming wild horses

Director’s profile:

Pablo Francischelli is a film director, producer and editor. His most recent documentary feature film “Dois Tempos” (2021), premiered at It’s All True/É Tudo Verdade International Documentary Film Festival and was screened in movie theaters, museums and film festivals around the world. Before that, he directed the film “Electric Accent” (2017), and “Siba – Playing Through the Storm” (2012).

He also directed the doc series “A Invenção do Olhar” (nominated for the Brazilian Cinema Grand Prix), “Seven lives, seven strings” (Best Script award at São Paulo International Film Festival) and “Refugee’Sounds” (in partnership with UNHCR) among others. As a teacher, he collaborates with HEAD – Haute École D’Art et Design de Genève, Escola de Cinema Darcy Ribeiro and SAE Institute Geneva.

Producer’s profile:

Luc Peter is an independent film director and producer since 1995. He directed and produced his first feature-length documentary in 1995. Since then, he has directed 8 film documentaries and numerous TV documentaries. In 2000, he joined Intermezzo Films as an associate producer and was trained in production at EuroDoc in 2006. Founded in 1993, Intermezzo Films is run today by Luc Peter and Katia Monla and produces independent documentaries and fiction. It supports ambitious projects and revisits narrative forms to foster innovative and creative films. With over 60 films to its name, Intermezzo Films is today one of the most prominent production companies in the French speaking part of Switzerland. The films it produces have been presented and rewarded in the finest festivals (Sundance, IDFA, IFFR, ACID Cannes, Visions du Réel, Venice Film Festival).