A NATURAL AND LIVING ENVIRONMENT LIKE NO OTHER
EMBRACE DIVERSITY, UNLOCK SUCCESS
Every August, the streets of the cantonal capital come alive with the colourful sights and sounds of the Rencontres de folklore internationales de Fribourg.
“As soon as celebrities touch down in Fribourg to attend one of its festivals, they immediately lose their airs and graces and become down-to-earth and likeable… just like the people of Fribourg themselves!” It may be seven years since Thierry Jobin took over the reins of the Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF), but he remains pretty awestruck by the unaffected and collegial atmosphere that permeates the canton’s cultural scene, something he had never experienced before. Clearly, it also rubs off on the foreign artists who travel to the canton. According to the FIFF Artistic Director, “All the cultural institutions pull together”. So, it is not uncommon to see the directors of various cultural events dining out together to discuss a new joint project. “Major projects take no more than two to three months to get off the ground here. This would be inconceivable anywhere else.”
Not surprisingly, this collaborative environment is reflected in the canton’s packed festival calendar. As well as the FIFF, every year Fribourg plays host to a wide range of acclaimed cultural events, including Les Francomanias (music), Belluard Bollwerk International (contemporary arts), Murten Classics (classical music), Les Georges (music), les Rencontres de folklore internationales (traditional dance and music from around the world) and Bad Bonn Kilbi (alternative rock). Every time he travels to other prestigious film festivals abroad, the lasting impression that the FIFF has on visiting directors and actors never ceases to amaze him, “At the last Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, every single person I met who had previously attended the FIFF wanted to share cherished memories of their time in Fribourg, where in some cases they had met for the first time.” That is the magic of Fribourg: a closeness that helps bring people together and fosters dialogue.