Visions du Réel, a film festival in Nyon, Switzerland, has changed the format of its next edition to accommodate the restrictions imposed by the Swiss government in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Originally planned to run from April 24 to May 2, the festival will now be a digital-only event held over a longer period, with much of its lineup made available online from April 17.

Émilie Bujès, artistic director of the event, said: “Visions du Réel 2020 will not take place at the Place du Réel, in the cinemas, in the tent and in the bar in Nyon. But it will resolutely be held on the internet, in almost all its generous diversity, and will visit the spectators at home, further expanding the possible territories.”

In redesigning the festival, its organizers have sought to remain true to its essential nature – defined by rigorous artistic standards and conviviality.

The new version includes open-access platforms from which festivalgoers can view most of the selection, alongside short-form interviews with directors, and online masterclasses.

The films in the International Feature Film Competition, International Burning Lights Competition, International Medium Length and Short Film Competition, and Opening Scenes form the bedrock of the programming. The vast majority of these productions (around 98%) will be accessible from April 17 in collaboration with the Festival Scope platform. Access is open to everybody and free of charge, but limited to 500 spectators per film. All the films selected for the National Competition will be available online via the RTS website. These free broadcasts will be available for 24 hours for each film. The different competitions will still go ahead and the juries will deliberate remotely.

The Grand Angle section will be presented on dafilms.com, also with open-access and free of charge. Finally, the independent documentary platform Tënk will show the films from the non-competitive Latitudes section free of charge. All films and platforms will be accessible via the festival website: http://www.visionsdureel.ch/en.

Some works by the special guests of this 51st edition will be visible on these platforms as well. 2020 Maître du Réel, Claire Denis, will give her Masterclass as planned, online, and some of her films will be available on Tënk.fr. The filmmakers Petra Costa and Peter Mettler, to whom the Ateliers 2020 are dedicated, will also give masterclasses online, while it will be possible to view a selection of their films on the Doc Alliance platform (dafilms.com).

Visions du Réel also presents “Sentiments, signes, passions – à propos du livre d’image,” an exhibition developed during a long dialogue between Jean-Luc Godard, his producer and close collaborator Fabrice Aragno, and Émilie Bujès, artistic director of Visions du Réel. Based on the filmmaker’s latest film, “Le Livre d’image,” the exhibition allows the public to understand the work of the French-Swiss director, who lives in Rolle and is connected to the city of Nyon through his personal history. It will take place as soon as Nyon Castle re-opens.