Interview with Emmanuel Cuénod
Executive and Artistic Director
Who is the target public of the Festival Tous Ecrans?
The general public. What makes this such a great festival is that it offers spectators an abundance and variety of choice at various levels of entry, depending on the tastes, wishes and interests of each individual, without imposing ideological, aesthetic or narrative partitions. The common thread of our program is to always give festival-goers the opportunity to make their own decisions without submitting them to our own, while maintaining a high level of quality in every work featured, whether it is a cinema, television or digital production.
In this era when many of the works shown are also available on the Internet, what is the added value of the Festival Tous Ecrans?
The same as that of all festivals: to provide its participants with a collective, shared, festive human experience. What makes the Festival Tous Ecrans different is that it offers this experience for all types of audio-visual content, including those that are generally limited to the realm of the family or individual, such as television series, interactive films, transmedia content, and so on. We also function as a sorting table: in the abundant world of contemporary audio-visual creation, it is necessary to put a spotlight on the most fascinating, radical or innovative works. If this were not done, those works would be irretrievably lost in the crowd.
Will you continue to offer free admission to the event?
Yes. There are two reasons for this. One, because part of the works that we show are freely available on the Internet, and it would be inelegant, or even legally questionable, to charge admission for this content; and two, because we are convinced that free admission is a wonderful social project in and of itself. We enjoy the extraordinary luck of having institutional and private partners who share this vision, and who are now playing a key role in the festival budget.
The festival is a showcase for "digital" productions. Why?
Of all the fields of audio-visual creation, the digital realm is the most unstable, the most volatile, and the most at liberty to create its own ways of expression and its own channels of financing. In some ways, we are still at year 0 for these forms of expression; but we'll say year 1 to pay due respect to the work that has been carried out so far. The only thing that we are certain of is that what will set this field apart will be its ability to create its own language: a unique way of telling the human stories that will become part of our collective narrative consciousness.
Will you be bringing new projects into the festival?
We are working on three objectives: to reinforce the program and its legibility, to increase our accommodation capacity, and to make the festival a true professional platform for the development of digital content in Switzerland. This involves a series of concrete projects, which will be revealed in due time.