The St. Moritz Art Film Festival (SMAFF) was founded in 2020 as a non-profit association, with the declared intent of organising a national and international cinema and audio-visual festival in St.Moritz and the Swiss Engadin Valley and of fostering the dissemination of cinema, art and audiovisual culture at the cantonal, national and international level.
The core activities of the Festival (projections, talks & debates) will happen on a yearly basis in St. Moritz at end of August. Collateral activities including digital events and presentations throughout the year will contribute to enlarging the global outreach of the festival and to increasing the visibility of the initiative.
The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and to promote international cinema in all its forms: visual art, video art and films, as a coherent audio- visual expression, in the spirit of freedom and dialogue. In line with the sections mentioned in the following paragraphs, SMAFF organises retrospectives and tributes to major figures as a contribution towards a better understanding of a specific theme chosen by the Director every year. The coherent development of a theme triggers debates in philosophical, social and cultural fields.
SMAFF will occupy an exclusive and refined place within the international arts and film scene defined largely by its focus on art and film, its location within the Swiss Alps, the historical Engadin Valley and the already well-developed St. Moritz cultural scene.
The Executive Board is constituted of seven members elected by the General Assembly of Members of the SMAFF. It is composed of:
- Martin Hatebur, Chairman
- Francesca Ariani
- Elena Foster
- Dominik Keller
- Rolf Sachs
- Dario Suter
The first chairman of the St. Moritz Film Festival is Dr. Martin Hatebur. Dr. Martin Hatebur works since 2001 as an independent attorney at law advising different international clients such as the Nestlé Group of companies, Basilea Pharmaceutica AG, Basel, Flexico Sarl, Paris, Galerie Jousse-Entreprise, Paris, White Cube Gallery, London, Galerie Meyer Riegger, Berlin, etc.
Besides his activity as an attorney at law, Martin Hatebur collects contemporary art and is a member of different art institutions and museums worldwide. In particular, since 2008 he is President of the Kunsthalle Basel. Martin Hatebur, a Swiss national, lives and works between St.Moritz, Basel and Paris.
The Artistic Director
Stefano Rabolli Pansera, Founder and Director of St. Moritz Art Film Festival, is an architect and curator. After graduating with Honours at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London in 2005, he worked with Herzog de Meuron in Basel from 2005 to 2007 and he taught at the AA as Unit Master from 2007 to 2011.
In 2013, he founded Beyond Entropy Ltd, a curatorial agency operating at the threshold of art, architecture and geopolitics and developing projects in Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean coastline.
He curated several national pavilions at La Biennale di Venezia and, in 2013, he was the recipient of the Golden Lion for best national participation for the Angola Pavilion.
In 2015, he designed Mangiabarche open-air gallery and directed the exhibition programme for the MACC, a non-for-profit space in the South West of Sardinia.
From 2017 until 2022, Stefano worked as director for Hauser & Wirth Gallery in London and opened the Hauser & Wirth Gallery in St. Moritz, while continuing working on several initiatives in Europe and Asia and developing institutional projects with Christoph Büchel and with the Panza Collection.
Leonardo Bigazzi is a curator and artist’s film producer based in Florence, Italy. He is the curator of Lo schermo dell’arte – Contemporary Art and Cinema Festival since 2008, founder and co-director of Feature Expanded (2015-2018) and founder and curator of VISIO – European Programme on Artists’ Moving Images (2012-ongoing).He works as curator at Fondazione In Between Art Film for which he co-curated in 2022 the exhibition “Penumbra” on the occasion of the 59th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, and the programme of commissions Mascarilla-19. He is a Professor at the Master in Curatorial Practice at IED Istituto Europeo di Design in Florence and has been a guest lecturer in several Art Academies and Universities in Italy and abroad.Since 2022 he is part of the selection committee of Villa Medici Film Festival and since 2023 of the curatorial council of the St. Moritz Art Film Festival. He holds a Master Degree in Science for the Study and Conservation of Art at the University of Florence.
Adam Szymczyk is a curator and writer based in Zurich. He is Curator-at-Large at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. He is a member of the board of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and a member of the advisory committee of the Kontakt Art Collection in Vienna, where he also teaches a seminar “Undoing Landscape” at the Akademie der bildenden Künste. He was Artistic Director of documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel in 2017 and served as Director and Chief Curator at Kunsthalle Basel between 2003 and 2014.
He was a co-founder of the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw in 1997. In 2008 he co-curated, with Elena Filipovic, the 5th berlin biennial for contemporary art. In 2011, he was a recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement at the Menil Foundation in Houston.
Head of Public Programme
Ewa Hess started her trajectory as art and film critic with studies of literature at the University of Zurich, where she obtained the titel of licentiata philosphiae. Sorbonne Paris followed, and also some experiences as prize winning copy writer for advertising business. During her years in Kunstmuseum Bern Ewa Hess was also member of the film commission of the city of Berne, where she as well contributed to developing a communal culture concept. She co-curated «Chaos, Wahnsinn», a large overview exhibition of contemporary art in the Kunsthalle Krems (with Johannes Gachnang, 1996). She was editor of «Kulturwerkstatt» for the Swiss publication «Berner Zeitung», wrote columns for «Du», a highly regarded. After two years as film critic for «Berner Zeitung» she changed for the national Sunday paper «Sonntagszeitung» in Zurich, where she was for more than 15 years responsible for weekly culture pages. She was guest lecturer at University of Zurich and at Zurichs Art School ZHdK. Her Art Blog «Private view» attracted for 4 years wide audiences on tagesanzeiger.ch. She is also the co-founder of discussion plattform «Kunstforum Zurich» and a recurring contributor to various art publications.
Head of Digital Outreach
Nogol Zahabi is a Swiss based researcher born in Tehran from architect parents in 1982. Graduated from Architectural Association in London in 2007, she studied Cinematic Architecture with Pascal Schoning and had her first solo exhibition on Le Corbusier Le Cabanon, a 9 minutes film in Cité radieuse Briey.
Art Advisory Board
The Art Advisory Board is an independent group of opinion leaders, collectors, cultural activists and influencers, proposed by members of the Executive Board. The mission of the Art Advisory Board is to promote the activities of the Festival internationally, to elevate the cultural profile of the activities and to broaden the reach of the audience. It is composed of:
- Michel Auder
- Johannes Binotto
- Lionel Bouvier
- Sabine Boss
- Bob Colacello
- Stuart Comer
- Matt Dillon
- Marie Donnelly
- Elena Filipovic
- Ladina Florineth
- Todd Haynes
- Maja Hoffmann
- Samuel Keller
- Udo Kier
- Andrea Lissoni
- Matthias Lerf
- Anthony McCarten
- Shahryar Nashat
- Hans-Ulrich Obrist
- Iouri Podladtchikov
- Pipilotti Rist
- Roya Sachs
- Tilda Swinton
- Not Vital
- John Waters
- Oskar Weiss
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