Vincent Perez is putting on a show

In his hometown of Lausanne and in tribute to the cinema he loves so much, my friend Vincent Perez invited me for the first edition
of his festival, the “Rencontres 7ème Art Lausanne”.

In partnership with the Swiss Film Archive, the actor/director creates an international event in his hometown. The city was obvious to Vincent, he says himself "My unbridled passion for cinema developed while growing up in Lausanne. This passion gave my life its meaning."

For its first edition, he chose to pay tribute to the cult films of the Hollywood New Wave.

Around forty masterpieces are screened during four days, including Deer Hunter, Bonnie & Clyde, Easy Rider, Jaws, Carrie ...

Vincent’s idea is to invite the audience into a reflection on cinema, to highlight issues and bring actors, directors and producers from around the world to give talks.

Conversations focus on their career, the way they work, but also on the future of cinema and their profession.

The themes of women in the film industry, as well as virtual reality are also discussed; ten films in virtual reality will be screened.

Around the emblematic Capitole theatre, I have the great joy of meeting actors that I love: Fanny Ardant, Rossy de Palma, Léa Seydoux ...
And directors whose work I admire: Tim Pope, Darren Aronofsky, Michel Hazanavicius… among others.

It is essential for Vincent to share his passion by fully integrating the public in the event : debates, masterclasses and workshops
are given during the weekend to bring guests together.

I met him after this weekend, filled with emotions, to ask him a few questions about the first edition of his festival.

The festival takes place in Lausanne, an evidence for you?
Yes, I was born in Lausanne and the Swiss Film Archives, the 6th largest in the world, are in Penthaz my hometown.
The area is protected by UNESCO, the Riviera is superb, with vineyards, sumptuous hotels, like the Beaux Rivages
Palace which is a partner. All this creates a beautiful setting to host an event like r7al.  

The festival is coming to an end, are you satisfied with this first edition?
We lived unforgettable moments, people smiled, thanked me for organizing this festival in Lausanne. It was very strong.
Mostly thanks to the presence of all these great artists. Lausanne has never hosted so many Oscar winners at the same time.

What was the most emotional moment?
The cheering crowd for Christopher Walken at the Capitol Hall. My daughter Tess who sang at the opening ceremony "Be my Baby" in tribute to the Hollywood
New Wave. Desplat’s conference, the full houses for Hazanavicius,
Aronovsky, Hugh Hudson, Léa Seydoux, etc ...

Why did you choose to highlight the Hollywood New Wave to inaugurate this first season? What does it represent for you?
An enchanted break, the arrival of movie masters. The cinema became a mirror of morals’ revolution, but also of a disenchantment, with the Vietnam war, all of a sudden it was the end of a clean America.

You invited renowned directors to illustrate this theme - Darren Aronofsky, Tim Pope and Michel Hazanavicius among others - wasn’t the selection too difficult?
Tim and Michel are friends. I met Darren when he arrived. You have to find a balance, and at the same time they are all visionaries. My guideline was and will be : I wish to invite visionaries who have a masterpiece.I like to say that a masterpiece is the search for this masterpiece.

How does your festival stand out from the "classic" film festivals?
The involvement of prestigious universities, the sense of transmission, non-competitiveness, and then the accessibility of artists, a real reflection on creativity and new technologies. And to give the opportunity to all these artists to meet, to spend time together and get to know each other.  

For this 1st edition, you presented the honor award to actor
and dancer Christopher Walken, why?
He is a cult actor not rewarded enough.
He embodies a great thing, he's cool and so magnetic.


In the categories "Women in motion" and "Speak with Women" you highlight the work of women in the film industry with the actress Rossy de Palma. Why is this approach important to you today?It was essential to have a woman's day during these five days. When Jessica Chastain revealed at the Oscars’ closing press conference that she was shocked by the image given to women in movies, it particularly marked me.Since then, my view on women in cinema has changed. Women have always been my allies in life, it was a priority to give space for reflection during the "Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne". 

This first edition is also an opportunity to highlight the cinema of tomorrow with virtual reality technology. Did it make you
want to experience it in your next movies?
I think about it for my next film, but it's a bit early to talk about it. Yes, new technologies also have a place in the game.
Many conferences and also virtual reality films were made available for those who wished.  

Among the films selected for this festival, which one affected you the most?
The Deer Hunter presented in 35MM by Michel Hazanavicius in the Capitole (1000 places), and the arrival of Christopher
Walken after the screening. It was huge. People were in shock.

What can I wish you for the 2nd edition?
As lucky as the first. Now r7al exists, the feedbacks are extraordinary. I was dubbed by Thierry Fremaux,
thanks to his presence and his beautiful energy, he really played the game.
We are already tackling the next. It's great !