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Nicolas Wadimoff’s The Apollo of Gaza making its world premiere in official competition at Locarno Festival’s Semaine de la critique. An Akka Films/NFB/RTS co-production.


July 11, 2018 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Nicolas Wadimoff’s feature documentary The Apollo of Gaza, a National Film Board of Canada (NFB) co-production, will be having its world premiere at this year’s Locarno Festival. Produced by Colette Loumède (NFB), Philippe Coeytaux (Akka Films), and Irène Challand (RTS), the film is screening in the official competition at the 29th Semaine de la critique, which takes place August 3 to 10, 2018. Wadimoff, whose Aisheen (Still Alive in Gaza) won an award at Berlin in 2010, and whose Jean Ziegler: The Optimism of Willpower competed at Locarno in 2016, will be attending the screening.

The Semaine de la critique is the festival’s prestigious indie section, organized by the Swiss Association of Film Journalists since 1990. Each year’s handpicked selection consists of seven extraordinary documentary films. The Apollo of Gaza, the sole Canadian co-production in the lineup, is in the running for two awards: the SRG SSR/Semaine de la Critique and Premio Zonta Club Locarno.

“For four years now, Akka Films and the NFB have worked together to support the remarkable work of Swiss filmmaker Nicolas Wadimoff, long appreciated by the Quebec documentary community. This first co-production between the NFB, Akka Films, and TSR is a fine example of international co-operation in the interests of a truly outstanding work. The Apollo of Gaza blends historical reflections, truth and lies to bring a moving tale of universal interest to viewers from all walks of life.” – Colette Loumède, Producer, NFB

“Nicolas Wadimoff delivers a superb film whose story couldn’t be more in sync with current events: the looting in Syria and Iraq, the destruction of major archaeological monuments and so on. How can a 2,500-year-old statue serve as such a flashpoint for the passions and disputes of the present? We tend to see the Gaza Strip as a place of war and destruction, overlooking its rich, complex history and archaeological wealth, sadly obscured by the violence that dominates everyday life.” – Philippe Coeytaux, Producer, Akka Films

The Apollo of Gaza by Nicolas Wadimoff (90 min)

  • In 2013, an ancient statue of Apollo was found in the waters off Gaza before disappearing under mysterious circumstances. Rumours soon begin to swirl… Playing out like a whodunnit, the documentary immerses us in the unknown realities of a land where life carries on in the face of seemingly interminable conflict. The statue brings a moment of light and beauty to Gaza, revealing a glorious history that helps restore the dignity of an entire people.

Swiss-born Nicolas Wadimoff is a writer, director, and producer. In 1990 he directed his first documentary, Le Bol, an official selection at the Locarno Festival. His first feature drama, the 1996 film Stowaways, was shot in Quebec and co-directed with Denis Chouinard, and went on to win many awards on the international festival circuit. Wadimoff’s work spans made-for-TV films, documentaries (L’accord, Spartans, and Jean Ziegler) and dramas such as Mondialito and Opération Libertad (a selection at Cannes in 2012) and attests to his engagement with social and political issues. His longstanding interest in the situation in Palestine can be seen in such early works as Les gants d’or d’Akka (1991) and the film Aisheen (Still Alive in Gaza), an award winner at Berlin in 2010, as well as in his collaborations with filmmakers in the region, working as an educator, director and producer. The Apollo of Gaza is his most recent film.


Related Products

Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: The Apollo of Gaza

Associated Links

Locarno Festival
Akka Films
Semaine de la critique du Festival de Locarno

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  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.