Guest of Honor & Jury President

Christian Frei
Filmautor

Während seiner Zeit als Jungfilmer hat Christian Frei mehrere Jahre lang in Basel gelebt und für die Firma Ciba-Geigy gearbeitet, die später durch die Fusion mit Sandoz zur heutigen Novartis AG wurde. Frei hat in dieser Zeit etliche Corporate-Videos und Interviews produziert, die er heute als zu "überinszeniert" beschreibt. Durch seine Zeit als Werbefilmer kam Frei zum Entschluss, sich von der Künstlichkeit der Geschäfts-Ästhetik zu distanzieren und sich dem Dokumentarfilm anzunähern. Daher war Basel nicht nur essentiell in der Bildung seiner künstlerischen Handschrift, sondern auch Ausgangspunkt für seine spätere Karriere. 2022 kehrt er als Ehrengast während dem Gässli Film Festival nach Basel zurück, um einen Teil seiner Erfahrungen an eine neue Generation Jungfilmer*innen weiterzugeben.
Swiss director and producer Christian Frei is considered one of today's most innovative and compelling documentary filmmakers. He was nominated for an Academy Award with War Photographer (2001) and won the World Cinema Directing Award at Sundance with Space Tourists (2009). From the very start of his career, Frei established a reputation as an exacting documentarist, with a perfect grasp of his subjects. His films are considered to be humanistic and universal, as much as subtle and insistent. His latest documentary Genesis 2.0 (2018) premiered again at Sundance where it won the Special Jury Award for Cinematography. As producer, Christian Frei releases Raving Iran (2016), Saudi Runaway (2020) and Girl Gang (2022) directed by Susanne Regina Meures. Since 2006, Christian Frei has been an associate lecturer on Reflection Competence at the renowned University of St. Gallen (HSG). 2010 - 2022 he was president of the Swiss Film Academy. (During his time as young filmmaker, Christian Frei has lived several years in Basel and has worked for the company Ciba-Geigy GmbH, before it became nowadays Novartis AG by fusion with Sandoz GmbH. In that time, Frei has produced quite a few corporate videos and interviews, which today he describes as „overstaged“. Through that time as a commercial filmmaker he came to the decision to distance himself from the artificiality of office aesthetics, and to approach documentaries instead. That is why Basel is not only essential when it comes to building his own artistic signature, but also the starting point for his career later in life. Basel has challenged and encouraged Christian Frei’s artistic practice. For the Gässli Film Festival 2022 he returns to Basel as a Guest of Honor, to pass on part of his experiences to the next generation of filmmakers.