About – GIFF 2021


Founded in 1995, the Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF) is Geneva’s oldest film festival and one of the first in the world to include television in its programs. A crossroads of genres and disciplines, a place of experimentation, encounters and celebration, it offers every year for ten days, films, series, interactive installations and virtual reality works to some 40,000 festival-goers. The largest space in Switzerland dedicated to immersive arts, the GIFF has become one of the major events in Europe in this field.

At the heart of the event is the Geneva Digital Market, a unique event in Switzerland dedicated to audiovisual innovation. Professionals of the image, industrialists and theoreticians from all over the world meet, debate and exchange on what makes the audiovisual universe of today and what will cross it tomorrow.

GIFF is also active throughout the year through its GIFF UNLIMITED program, which brings together each year a series of events organized in partnership with other Swiss and foreign institutions, festivals and markets.

Recognized as a strategic player in the development of the audiovisual arts in Switzerland, GIFF is supported by the City and State of Geneva, the Federal Office of Culture, SSR SRG, Pro Helvetia, SWISSPERFORM, as well as numerous private actors. Follow the Festival on facebook, instagram & twitter.


GIFF 2021 Alain Berset

©Gaetan Bally

Alain Berset


What will the cinema of tomorrow look like? Since 1995, the Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF) has been providing answers by exploring the future of the seventh art. As a space for research into new formats and new forms of storytelling, the GIFF has become a benchmark for cinematic innovation. As such, the Confederation has been supporting it for many years.

While the festival plunges us into parallel universes and pushes the limits of our imagination, it remains a celebration of cinema. Through its stories, regardless of the medium, we are thrilled. A cutting-edge festival that attracts specialists well beyond our borders, it also attracts a wide audience, who find the opportunity to experience the most audacious digital creations.

This year, the new festival director and her artistic team are offering us a programme that builds bridges between eras and genres, reflecting a period of change.

I hope you will enjoy discovering films in cinemas where cinema – at last! – has once again become a collective experience.

GIFF 2021 Thierry Apotheloz

Thierry Apothéloz

State Councillor in charge of the Department of Social Cohesion 

“Innovation is a situation you choose because you have a burning passion for something”. We owe this quote to Steve Jobs. Thousands of miles away from Silicon Valley, the Geneva International Film Festival is, in its own way, in keeping with this spirit. Since its creation, under different names, the GIFF has been bubbling with energy to offer Geneva a platform where the best of the world’s audiovisual production and the latest technological trends can be found in the service of culture.

Under the new leadership of Anaïs Emery, this ideal continues. The canton of Geneva is proud to be able to contribute to these values, whether through the co-financing of prizes or through its contribution to Cinéforom. During the Digital Night, the Fondation romande pour le cinéma will unveil the 2021 winners of its innovation support fund, as part of its partnership with GIFF and RTS. Enjoy the festival! 

GIFF 2021 Sami Kanaan

Sami Kanaan

Administrative councillor in charge of culture and digital transition

Following an edition that was badly affected by the struggle against Covid 19, the GIFF is back: recent international and local audiovisual creations, in all genres and formats, research into innovative screenwriting and the resulting social issues are once again on our agendas.

GIFF is back, with the first programme of its new director Anaïs Emery. A GIFF turned towards the future, towards a tomorrow that today takes shape. For this festival, which has always been ahead of its time, by bringing together different audiovisual production formats from the outset, gives an increasingly prominent place to the digital world, which cristallises our attention and interrogations.

For this reason, it is with great pleasure that the department I chair, the Department of Culture and Digital Transition, is joining forces with GIFF this year for two events, one devoted to digital creation and a second to reflect, with the actors and actresses of the digital sector in Geneva, on the viability of a digital ecosystem commensurate with Geneva’s extraordinary pool of digital creation.

I wish you a wonderful festival!

GIFF 2021 GILLES MARCHANDGIFF 2021 Pascal Crittin

Gilles Marchand & Pascal Crittin

DirecDirector general, SSR & Director, RTS

As a leading player in the development of the audiovisual arts in Switzerland and a place for experimentation and encounters, the Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF) will this year bring together audiences who, more than ever, want to share collective experiences.

After a sadly shortened 2020 edition, it is with a singular conviction that we are renewing our historical support to the GIFF by presenting, in particular, new co-productions such as the series Sacha or La Vie de J.C. SSR and RTS share the festival’s vocation to encourage authors in their creative process and to promote all forms of audiovisual writing. 

With this in mind, we created Play Suisse, the Swiss streaming platform, which today offers a catalogue of more than 2,500 films, series and documentaries, subtitled in all national languages. A collection of films selected by GIFF will be available on Play Switzerland from 5 November.

We are looking forward to sharing this 27th edition with you and wish you rich discoveries!

GIFF 2021 Anja Wyden Guelpa

Anja Wyden Guelpa

Présidente du Conseil de la Fondation GIFF

For the past 27 years, the Geneva International Film Festival has explored the cutting edge of the audiovisual experience. With a focus on innovation, it imagines the future and resumes its search for new forms of storytelling. The convergence of its programmes bears witness to its spirit of openness and its desire to positively shake up pre-established concepts. A field of exploration and discovery, the GIFF is a privileged place for sharing and encounters, between the public and the Festival’s guests, as well as for industry professionals.

The rapid development of the Festival has been acknowledged by the Federal Office of Culture, which has decided to renew and double its contribution this year. Thanks to the rich experience and vision of Anaïs Emery, there is no doubt that the upcoming edition of GIFF will continue to offer the public an innovative and curious gaze on the audiovisual sector and its future revolutions.

GIFF 2021 Anaïs Emery ©Vincent Calmel

©Vincent Calmel

Anaïs Emery

General and Artistic Director

Since its last edition in 2019, it’s been quite the rodeo for the GIFF’s valiant team. Like its peers, the festival was not spared the months of reflection on its role and format. One thing is certain, the pandemic and my arrival at the beginning of the year have reinforced the exploratory nature of GIFF. As you read these lines, we have managed the miracle of conceiving, despite the odds, an uncompromising programme that shows the impetus we want to give the festival in the future.

A constellation of 150 films, series, digital works and performances that probe the limits of fiction and energise the traditional notion of the 7th art by expanding it to multiple formats. The 2021 programme brings together the general public, digital actors and film industry professionals in an immersion at the peak of audiovisual innovation. As a crossroads between formats and genres, GIFF advocates the use of technology to serve the imagination, and offers its various audiences a place of exchange where the possible futures of the audiovisual industry are envisioned.


GIFF 2021 Fabienne Fischer

Fabienne Fischer

State Councillor in charge of the Department of Economy and Labour

Both inclusive and innovative, the GDM gives a key place to exchanges between entrepreneurs and artists. It contributes to the evolution of technologies and means of production towards more sustainable models. This meeting of the artistic and entrepreneurial worlds encourages the emergence of new professions to meet the growing demand for creative and specialised profiles, and helps to support an ecologically and economically sustainable industry. The GDM contributes to the development of Geneva and its creative economy, through the promotion of new technologies and the actors of the creative industries. Thank you for your vibrant activity and we wish GDM every success!

GIFF 2021 portrait Marschall Corinna

Corinna Marschall

Directrice MEDIA Desk Suisse

Meaning at the crossroads

The creative gesture remains abstract and internalised until it has found a form of expression and a means to reach an audience.

Technology, on the other hand, is but an empty shell until it finds a purpose and becomes the vector of an action or content. 

Thus, the role of the Geneva Digital Market as a bridge between audiovisual creation and innovation is fundamental to allow this necessary encounter to take place.

The renewed support of the MEDIA compensatory measures will, I hope, reinforce this function as a link between Swiss and European structures and professionals.

May the GDM once again be the cradle of enriching collaborations!


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