The Neufchatel International Fantastic Film Festival took place in Switzerland from 30th June to 5th July.
The festival was something of a flick fest for geeks, the genre being fantasy films set in alternative realities. If there was a theme running through the festival it was Asia and digital imaging – and the leaning was definitely towards the horrid. “Left Bank” by Belgian director Pieter Van Hees is a good example of the genre being about Marie, a young athlete who suddenly falls ill and moves in with her new boyfriend Bobby. When she starts to investigate the mysterious unsolved disappearance of the previous tenant, all sorts of nasty things start to happen. “Left Bank” won two prizes at the festival: The Silver Méliès for best European feature film, and the Mad Movies Award for “le film le plus Mad”. “Infestation” by US director Kyle Rankin also won a special mention from the jury. The story concerns a slacker hero fighting to save the planet after it is taken over by giant alien insects. On judging the competition, jury president Bong Joon-ho said that at the beginning the jury thought that it would be easy to award the prizes, but that once they started discussing the films they realised that it wasn’t that simple because all the films had their own merits. For more information about the festival see: