GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – France’s itinerant wine film and photo festival, Oenovideo, is a hit at this year’s venue, Aigle, in canton Vaud.
I spent Thursday evening at the festival and was enchanted by the “L’Esprit du vin, le réveil des terroirs”, a 1h32 minute film on biodynamic winemakers, mainly in France. I was startled by the length because I didn’t notice the time at all – this is a beautiful film with splendid music, made by Olympe and Yvon Minvielle, two wine producers from the Bordeaux area. It’s a hymn to biodynamic wine, which is slowly but surely joining mainstream winemaking, and I’ve just joined the ranks of converts after watching the movie.
The Saturday selection includes films on wines from Alsace, Vaud and Amigne (Vetroz is holding its annual Amigne grape festival this weekend as well). But there are also showings of fiction and an interview with world-famous wine writer Michel Bettane.
Oenovideo opened Thursday evening 31 May and it features films all weekend, before closing Sunday. Twenty-eight films are finalists out of 114 submitted from 14 countries. Winners will be announced Sunday at noon.
“There seems to be very good interest in the films,” says Stephen Ashton from California’s Wine Country Film Festival, who is attending the Aigle showings for four days. “It’s only 10:00 on a Saturday morning and while it’s not standing room only, the place is nicely filled. There’s a good cross-section of films dealing with vines and wines.” Ashton owns a vineyard in Sonoma and the festival prompted his first trip to Switzerland. “Last night there was one on science and wine, that touched on how soils impact wine, for example. There’s a full range, from the humorous to the scientific. Just right now there was one on the wines of Portugal and how these ancient vineyard places are suffering from being in the EU.”
The festival also features a photo contest: 1,500 images were submitted for 2012, from 10 countries. An exhibit at the castle in Aigle has 100 of the best, enlarged for the display.
Ashton is clearly enchanted by the festival and its location, and he suggests “a pilgrimage to the chateau, an easy walk and the views are beautiful, with vineyards running around it like ribbons.” The chateau houses not only the photo exhibit; it is home to Vaud’s very good wine and vines museum.
He is scouting films for his festival, which runs in September, and he’s seeing some that appeared in California last year. “When you have films from wine areas, it’s magic. Natural products like wine, and culture and art – it’s the perfect marriage.”
Check out the programme in advance on the festival web site.
The films are being shown at the Cinema Cosmpolis in Aigle, next to the train tracks but on the opposite side from the train station. If you arrive by train, take the underpass. If you’re driving, there is a parking lot next to the cinema.
Chateau and Museum: be sure to build in time for a visit.