The Nyon international documentary festival, founded by Moritz de Hadeln in 1969 and run by de Hadeln and his wife Erika for a quarter of a century, took place this year on the shores of Lake Geneva for the 30th time. It has been 5 years since Geneva journalist Jean Perret took over the well-reputed festival and gave it an ambitious new outlook and a new name. At the same time, French-Swiss TV’s “Temps présent” strand was also celebrating its 30th year. All three anniversaries were celebrated with Calvinist sobriety, which had a soothing effect at a time in which the symbolic meaning of dates seems to have reached highly superstitious proportions.

Nyon did not lack for imposing display in other ways, however: an impressive number of films could be discovered in the competition and sidebar programmes, and the special events featuring Lisl Ponger, Robert Frank and Jennifer Fox also contributed to the wide-ranging selection. At times one had the feeling it was almost a little too much. It was difficult for individual gems to shine among the multitude, and the exponential increase of the crowd on the weekend also stretched the limits of the festival’s infrastructure, staff and financial . . .

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