A week ago it was announced
that the 4th edition of Rencontres 7ème Art Lausanne,
originally scheduled in March, has now been postponed to a later
date - April 26 to May 2, 2021. Vincent released this statement - "Dear
friends, with the entire Rencontres team, even if we are committed
to promoting and supporting Culture and Cinema in these difficult
times, everyone's health and safety remains a priority. This is just
a postponement. We will all meet again,
together, very quickly!"
The latest issue of Swiss
Health magazine has Vincent on its cover with an
extensive interview in which he
talks about his love of Switzerland, exercise, his Rencontres
7e Art creation and his family.
One of the reasons he visits
Lausanne often is to visit his 81-year-old German mother Arnoldine,
who lives nearby in Morges and who suffers from Alzheimer's. Here is
a photograph of her posted by Vincent a couple years ago. As many of
you know, Vincent's father is Spanish but I didn't realize until
recently that his father's full name is Antonio Perez Alberola. At
some point, Vincent obviously shortened his last name to just Perez.
When Vincent is asked to describe the Rencontres
7e Art in Lausanne, he responds, "The
festival lasts for four days, and we screen 40 to 50 movies in different
locations around the city. They are all classics. Every year we set a
theme and create a program around that theme. We also have conferences,
which take place either in the Capital, a beautiful cinema in the center
of Lausanne, or in other cinemas. The audience is generally between 18
and 35 years old with, of course, some older people, but I think it’s
great that it attracts a young crowd. We partner with seven universities
and colleges in Lausanne... Those 40,000
students are our target audience, but the festival is, of course, open
Pictured below is Vincent with his wife and three
children at the 2019 festival.
While Perez fans know that
Iman is into modeling and horses and Pablo is at a Connecticut
academy pursuing his dream of becoming a professional basketball
player, we now know that Tess is interested in also coming to the
States to study singing at a conservatory of music.
As far as Vincent's next
project, he predicts he will be directing a new movie and will be
choosing the cast very soon. He says, "We will be sending out
the script to actors. I’ll be working with a wonderful English producer,
Jeremy Thomas, who has worked on movies like 'The
Last Emperor'. He’s an absolute genius, and I
feel very lucky to be able to work with him. My co-writer is John Collee,
who wrote 'Master and Commander'.
It is an ecological thriller, kind of a metaphor of where we are, a
reflection on our relationship with ecology. We don’t really know where
to place ourselves, how we can do something for the planet, what is
happening, and it scares us. So this movie plays with that idea."
Due to the pandemic, Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne
was canceled in March last year. In 2018, Vincent teamed up with the
Cinémathèque Suisse, the country’s premiere film archive, to launch
a heritage film festival in the actor’s hometown of Lausanne. For
its first edition, the event ran under the title r7al – the
Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne – and was rebranded Think Cinema Lausanne
the following year. The official web site has announced the dates
for this year's edition - March 12-21, 2021. However, it remains to
be seen if the event will take place considering the situation with
Covid-19 at that time. The following photos were featured in last
year's coverage by Bâle Région Mag.
The pandemic has not only
affected Vincent's filmmaking but also his continued work as a
photographer. His last exhibition was at the Swiss Camera Museum,
which ran from November 21, 2019 until January 26, 2020. Le Régional
conducted the following interview at that time.
Q: Where does your love of
photography come from?
Vincent; It was Pierre Gisling, my mentor and friend, who passed it
on to me. He discovered me in Lausanne during a drawing competition
when I was eleven years old. He was organizing drawing camps for
young people and on my first trip he handed me a 24x36 Yashica and
said: "Here, you should try this!". My first photograph was his
portrait. The passion for photography has never left me since.
Subsequently, I apprenticed as a photographer between Lausanne and
Q: Did the Africans of Paris accept you easily?
Vincent: This series was made for the European House of Photography
in Paris. It is a bit like the grail of the photographer. I was on
display in the Irving Penn room, my hero. For the occasion, I
immersed myself in the Château Rouge metro district in Paris. The
meeting with the Congolese sappers was the trigger, magnificent
dandies who claim the art of loving each other. Sapology is a
fascinating story that is part of the history of the Congo. I was
greeted by the "Bachelor" who became a friend, and his Sape and Co
store became my studio. I stayed there for whole days, a whole
summer, to absorb their life, and the daily life of this little
piece of Africa. I liked the looks, the beauty of the faces and the
color of the clothes and then their kindness despite hard lives.
Outside the neighborhood, they told me that they were becoming
invisible in the white world.
Q: Why do you take a lot of
Vincent: To approach others,
to enter other universes, to enrich my life. When I photograph a
subject, I spend time with the person, I connect with them, we
create a bond together. We exchange and then naturally, I
photograph. I like to drop the mask. I'm looking for a moment of
truth between us. François Hebel, director of the Henri Cartier
Bresson foundation, who was at the time director of the Arles
photography meetings, had exposed me there in 2014 and had himself
been my curator. When I discovered the exhibition, I had the
impression of being in the presence of the subjects I had
Q: And how does Russia inspire
Vincent: I have been going there regularly since 1995. In some
respects this country has changed a lot and in others not at all. A
sixth of the planet, a neighbor of Europe, so close to us and yet
few people are interested in it. You think the Russians are cold and
closed, but it is one of the most hospitable countries that I know.
My images represent the Russia of small hands, villages and
extremes. From north to south going to the east among the Buryats. A
fascinating journey and images that are part of my first
photographer's book, "A trip to Russia"
[For more images, check out the
In February 2020 Vincent spent
a day at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, an art school
in the Montparnasse district of Paris. At that time it was announced
that he was working on a photo book on models and muses. The photo
below was taken that day with actress/opera singer Elise Maitre.
[See January/February 2020 news for more