The Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF) is an annual film festival in Fribourg, Switzerland. It is focused on selected films from Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Grand Prize is the main award of the Fribourg International Film Festival. FIFF aims to promote the understanding between the cultures and more particularly between the so-called North and South. It gives preference to films that stimulate reflection and provoke discussion. In 1980, Magda Bossy, working for the Swiss NGO Helvetas, organized an event in honour of the 25th anniversary of the French-speaking Swiss association. Convinced that film would be an excellent medium for expressing cultural richness, the Egyptian native thinks to open the floor to filmmakers from the South. Its success – although varying city to city – calls for a second edition. In 1983, the second edition was entitled "Festival de Films du Tiers-Monde" (Third-World Film Festival). In 1992, the Festival de Films de Fribourg (the "Third-World" title is dropped in 1990) grows more professional with an artistic director Martial Knaebel working with two assistants. In autumn 1992, the Festival receives international recognition from UNESCO: the World Decade for Cultural Development seal. The ongoing evolution of the event is pronounced with the addition of "International" in the festival name in 1998. Also, the Grand Prize awarded by FIFF (Fribourg International Film Festival) becomes the Regard d’or, embodied in an original design by Fribourg sculptor Jean-Jacques Hofstetter. In 2001, the Regard d’or is awarded to Yi Yi, by Taiwanese director Edward Yang, marking one of the greatest successes for a FIFF première beyond the festival. A new artistic director, Edouard Waintrop, is named in 2007. He opens the festival to genre cinema. His successor, Thierry Jobin, put forward a redefinition of the FIFF sections: he makes the parallel sections more identifiable by using the same names that recur each year. The 29th edition breaks the record for any film festival ever held in western Switzerland with 40,000 tickets sold. More information...

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