A total of three Polish productions have been invited to the prestigious Swiss festival. In Limbo by Alina Maksimenko and Koka by Aliaksandr Tsymbaliuk are going to appear in two different competitions. In addition, Zuza Banasińska's Grandmamauntsistercat will be screened in the Doc Alliance Selection.

The Visions du Reél festival has been organised in the Swiss city of Nyon since 1969. In its early days, it mainly featured Swiss films and productions from the Eastern Bloc, as they were very difficult for Western European audiences to see. Today, Visions du Reél is one of the largest documentary film festivals in Europe.

The documentary Koka by Aliaksandr Tsymbaliuk has been selected for the International Medium Length & Short Film Competition. The film unfolds somewhere along the coast of the Bering Sea. A father and son are making a living from fishing in a community that seems suspended outside of time. The film brings us closer to both protagonists, capturing the harsh conditions of life and the rigorous education in equal measure, softened only by paternal love and the carefree spirit of the younger protagonist.  

Meanwhile, In Limbo will be judged by the jury of the International Feature Film Competition. The protagonist of Alina Maksimenko's documentary is Alina, who finds herself in Irpin near Kiev when the war breaks out. She is alone, with her leg in a cast after a recent operation. Bombed and cut off from the world, the city becomes a trap which she manages to escape from with one of the last evacuation groups. She reaches a hut in a nearby village where her parents are stranded. For the first few weeks, they try to live normally. Her mother runs online classes, her father takes care of his cats and the local animals, while Alina films the unfolding events. However, the front line draws closer, and they must make a decision – stay or flee? As neighbours keep leaving their homes, Alina and her parents hastily pack under the cover of night. However, at the last moment her father decides not to go…

The audience of the Doc Alliance Selection program section will have the opportunity to see a film crafted from materials originating from the Education Film Studio. Grandmamauntsistercat tells the story of a matriarchal family, seen through the eyes of a child grappling with a propaganda-laden reality full of ideological slogans. The footage was originally created as educational and propaganda tools in communist Poland but were transformed for the film, becoming a kind of centre for autobiographical memories.

The full program of the festival is available here.