VdR–Morning Talks is a panel of discussions inviting various filmmakers and protagonists of the film industry to get together and exchange ideas and opinions around important issues. Always revolving around the latest burning questions in the field, the talks represent a crucial moment of confrontation and interaction, an opportunity to lay everything on the table and unfold the most urgent topics step by step.

The Morning Talks will be announced by the Festival’s dates.

April 14 – 18, 2024
10:00 – 11:30
La Colombière
Rue de la Colombière 18, 1260 Nyon
(Open to all accredited professionals)


Online Talk: How to play in the big league: Documentary productions at A-festivals and prestigious
international festivals
Given the essential role that the highly prestigious and A-list festivals play in the life of film productions, we invite festival representatives to discuss the programming of documentary films in their selections: what kind of decisions are involved, what is the potential for documentaries in the major festivals, and how do they interact with the rest of the program?

Moderation: Finn Halligan (Screendaily)
Participants: Frédéric Boyer, Artistic Director, Tribeca Film Festival; Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan, Venice Film Festival; Cristina Nord, Berlinale Forum; Eva Sangiorgi, Director, Viennale

Online Talk: Filming in resistance
Since February 24, the war in Ukraine is also driven by the images that report or distort its reality. Every day, the unbearable is revealed to us, as shown by the latest revelations on the martyrdom of Boutcha. The Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius paid with his life, in Mariupol, where he was documenting the atrocities committed by the Russian forces” (tweet of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Even before the announcement of this terrible news, Visions du Réel decided to offer a platform to young Ukrainian filmmakers and producers who are currently standing alongside their compatriots under the Russian bombs, to reflect and debate with them on the possibility of resisting the ongoing onslaught with images that document it.

Moderator: Emmanuel Chicon (selection committee).



Talk 1: Filmmaking and Resistance
Please, click here to access the recording

Two masters of non-fiction filmmaking have met and discussed in this panel session. One of them is working and living in the very country he questions, the other one is forced to live in exile because of his positions and films. A conversation with two filmmakers in resistance.

Vitaly Mansky, Film Director
Avi Mograbi, Film Director

Orwa Nyrabia, Artistic Director, IDFA (The Netherlands) and Producer


Talk 2: Film Festivals, Distribution and Strategy – One Year Later
Please, click here to access the recording

In light of the reflections we initiated in 2020 on the different alternatives that festivals have chosen to undertake under corona-times (namely festivals going online, cancellations, and postponements), we aimed to gather some prestigious festival representatives alongside further market players to consider what happened in the past 12 months, what kind of decisions were made, and which effects they had. The Festival Directors of major festivals of the beginning of 2021 – i.e. Sundance Film Festival and the Berlinale – have met with important sales and distribution representatives in order to understand the role of festivals in today’s market strategies.

Carlo Chatrian, Artistic Director, Berlinale, Germany
Tabitha Jackson, Festival Director, Sundance Film Festival, USA
Jason Ishikawa, Senior Executive, Cinetic Media, USA
Hédi Zardi, CEO, Luxbox, France

Finn Halligan, Screendaily


Talk 3: Filmmakers and Producers at Work
Please, click here to access the recording

A panel focused on the situation that filmmakers are facing now and might have to deal with in the near future. The discussion has been specifically focused on the work, the shooting conditions, the changes and adjustments needed. How can filmmakers adapt (or not) to new realities? Filmmakers, directors and producers are exchanging on these topics.

Gaston Solnicki, Film Director, Argentina
David Epiney, Producer, Alina Films, Switzerland
Myriam Sassine, Producer, Abbout Productions, Lebanon

Francesco Giai Via, Venice International Film Festival, Italy



Talk 1: Film Festivals under Corona-times
Please, click here to access the recording

A debate about the different alternatives festivals have chosen or are considering under this unprecedented scenario: festivals going online, cancellations, postponement, etc.

Emilie Bujès (Artistic Director, Visions du Réel)
Sergio Fant (Berlinale Selection Committee and Head of Programming, Trento Film Festival)
Orwa Nyrabia (Artistic Director, IDFA)
Paolo Moretti (Artistic Director, Directors’ Fortnight)
Miguel Valverde (Director, IndieLisboa)


Finn Halligan (Chief Film Critic, Screen International)

Talk 2: Film Industry under Corona-times
Please, click here to access the recording

Being aware of the difficulties and the big uncertainties the whole Industry is facing, we propose a conversation between representatives of Funds, Markets, Labs, Productions, Sales Agents in order to have a reflection on the effects of covid-19 and to think together of possible (re)actions and collaborations.


Heino Deckert (Managing Director at Deckert Films; Producer, Distributor, Sales Agent)
Marit van den Elshout (Head of IFFR PRO, International Film Festival Rotterdam)
Daniela Elstner (Managing Director, UniFrance)
Roberto Olla (Executive Director, Eurimages)
Jérôme Paillard (Executive Director, Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes)
Laurent Steiert (Deputy Head, Film Department of the Federal Office of Culture)


John Hopewell (International Features Editor, Variety)

Talk 3: Filmmaking and film development under Corona #3
(this Talk has not been recorded)

We propose a discussion focused on what filmmakers face now and might have to deal with in the (near?) future, with projects already developed and with the ones under development. How can filmmakers adapt (or not) to new realities? What might be the impact on the image? We invite filmmakers, film critics and programmers to have a debate on these topics.

Confirmed Speakers

Kamal Aljafari (Filmmaker)
Lionel Baier (Filmmaker, Producer and Head of the Film Department of ECAL)
Scott Cummings (Filmmaker)
Carmen Gray (Freelance Critic and Journalist)
Barbara Miller (Filmmaker and President of the Swiss Filmmakers Association – ARF/FDS)
Jonathan Perel (Filmmaker)


Giona Nazzaro (Delegate of Venice Critics’ Week and programmer at Visions du Réel)



Morning Talks 2023