10th edition of the Nyon International festival of archaeological films

Download the 2017 Prize list (in French)

Download the 2017 programme (in French)

Trailers of the films presented at the Festival:

Encounters of the week:



Tuesday 21 March

Wednesday 22 March

Thursday 23 March

Friday 24 March

Saturday 25 March

Press releases:



This edition was achieved thanks to the support of these sponsors:

9th edition of the Nyon International Festival of Archaeological Films

Download the 2015 Prize list (in French)

Download the 2015 programme (in French)

Organisation : Roman Museum
Director : Mr Christophe Goumand

A new association for an active development of the Festival

After eight very successful editions, the Roman Museum felt the need to clarify and facilitate the Festival’s workings, whilst still keeping its close link with it. The need to have a structure specially devoted to its organisation, and having resources specifically destined to its management and development, brought to the establishment of a new Association under the name “Festival International du film d’archéologie de Nyon” (F.I.F.A.N.). First limited to the members of a steering committee, this structure will grow with the arrival of new members, thoroughly waited as soon as the next edition starts.

The Festival’s 9th edition, from 24 to 28 March 2015

Always biennial, this edition has taken place from 24 to 28 March 2015. About forty movies have been suggested to the public, free of charge, during 5 days and 9 sessions, of which the closing evening during which the prize-winning films have been presented.

The Festival is the place to inform the public of recent archaeological discoveries, throughout films, as well as a meeting and sharing place between archaeologists and the public. Thus, for instance, the film “Secrets au pays des aigles noirs”, on recent excavations in Albania by the Geneva University, has been followed by a presentation of the excavation team.

The Festival addresses different periods and themes, that broaden the Roman Museum’s framework. Thus is why prehistory was brought forward during at least two sessions dedicated to that period. The Khmer civilisation, less known by the public of our regions, was also mentioned during the week.

The looting problem as well as the various dangers that threaten archaeological sites, has been presented at the Festival throughout 2 sessions. The looting of cultural heritage, powered by a flourishing trade of archaeological artefacts ripping them from original context, is a catastrophe well known by the archaeologists. Yet, this issue is still unfamiliar to the public.

A film on Mayan civilisation has drawn a parallel between what ceramics may teach us, both ceramics owned by private collectors as well as ceramics found in situ. Better than an academic discourse, this film helps anyone to grasp the seriousness of the matter.

In order to understand what drives people to collect artefacts of mankind’s heritage, we made the acquaintance of a collector who will divulge his motivation in a film.

Depredation of historical monuments have been the subject of an Iranian film, which makes us realize that, whatever our culture, the problems associated with safeguarding Heritage are the same everywhere.

All in all, whatever the film’s subject is or whatever significance is given to the archaeological context in the film’s statement, the works selected for the Festival are all about archaeological approaches that emphasise scientific knowledge and respect of the archaeological sites and artefacts, considered to be the source of the knowledge of Heritage goods.


8th edition of the Nyon International Festival of Archaeological Films

Dowload the 2013 Prize list (in French)

Download the 2013 programme (in French)

Organisation : Roman Museum
Director : Mr Christophe Goumand

The Eighth Nyon International Festival of Archaeological Films, true to its biennial tradition, was expecting a wide audience with an appetite for information about archaeology. The role of the Festival, organised by the Roman Museum of Nyon, is to present the work of the archaeologist in a true light, as someone who is in no sense a treasure-seeker and who spends a great deal of time collecting what may be tenuous evidence with a view to the writing of history. Conversely, there are more and more people who take it on themselves to play the adventurer and collect objects as trophies; in so doing they destroy whole chapters of the history of humanity for ever. The programme of the opening night illustrated this marked contrast in the presentation of one film on the looting of a wreck on the reefs of the Indian Ocean and another on the excavations by the University of Geneva in a cave in northern Italy.

The problem of the importance of the context in which an archaeological artefact is discovered has also been addressed. Some museums are somewhat indiscriminate when they acquire archaeological pieces and may spend large sums on artefacts that later turn out to be forgeries. Other artefacts become famous and are claimed by the countries where they were discovered. A more complicated case is that of the famous bust of Nefertiti exhibited in Berlin and claimed by Egypt. After a lengthy investigation, the journalist and art historian Henri Stierlin concluded that it is a forgery; but the Berlin museums refuse to become involved in this highly sensitive affair and it is not possible to consult certain of the documents dealing with its discovery.

Although it was only at the end of the 19th century that the cinema was invented, animated pictures have existed since the dawn of humanity in caves decorated more than thirty thousand years ago. The film-maker and prehistorian Marc Azéma has presented a new interpretation of the prehistoric wall paintings on Friday.

Throughout the week the Festival invited the audience to travel through time and all round the world, from Mongolia to Spain via Egypt, Gaul, etc.

We would like to thank the Federal Office of Culture for its support.

To download the press release.

Jury 2013


  • ADOLFO CONTI, Documentary film director and producer, Rome, Italy.


  • ERIGE SEHIRI, Film director, indenpendant jounalist, Tunisia.
  • PHILIPPE CURDY, Archaeologist, curator of the History Museum of Valais, Sion, Switzerland.
  • DENIS WEIDMANN, Archaeologist, former Cantonal Archaeologist (Vaud), Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • MARIA LONGHENA, Americanist Archaeologist, director of the Bologna Festival “Storia del passato”.


7th edition of the Festival was held from 22 to 26 March 2011 at the Usine à gaz, Nyon

Download the 2011 Prize list (in French)

Download the 2011 programme (in French)

Organization : Roman Museum.
Director : Mr. Christophe Goumand.

The looting of archaeological sites: a problem at the centre of the 2011 Festival

Throughout the year the Roman Museum informs the public about the results of local archaeological research and raises awareness in its visitors of what is at stake in the conservation of the archaeological and historical heritage. The looting of archaeological sites strips the objects discovered of much of their scientific value and the testimony they provide by destroying the stratigraphic context in which they were found.  Illegal operations on sites of archaeological importance are one of the main dangers threatening the archaeological heritage everywhere in the world. This is a problem of which the public at large is barely conscious.

With the support of the Federal Office of Culture, the Festival helps to make the public aware of these threats, not only locally but by expanding the perspective to take in the world’s historical heritage. This is especially important now that Switzerland is making efforts to implement a strict policy to combat the effects of looting, after ratifying the UNESCO Convention of 1970 in 2003.

Awards were made to the best productions by a five-person jury from the worlds both of archaeology and the film. An audience award was also made.

We would like to thank all those who supported the Festival in their different capacities:

Nyon and the Service de la Culture, the Amis des Musées de Nyon, the Federal Office of Culture, the Cercle genevois d’archéologie, the Usine à gaz, the late Mr. P.-A. Bertola and the La Côte newspaper.

The jury


  • Véronique Dasen, Associate Professor of classical archaeology, University of Fribourg (Switzerland)


  • Romain Pigeaud, prehistorian, editor Errance publications, Paris (France)
  • Dominique Delporte, journalist, film-director specialising in archaeology, Tournai (Belgium)
  • Carole Lazio, media consultant specialising in film and archaeology, New York (United States)
  • Philippe Clivaz, Secretary-general, Visions du Réel, Nyon (Switzerland)


6th edition of the Nyon International Festival of Archaeological Films

Director: Mr. Christophe Goumand

An anniversary marked by large audiences and conviviality

As the Festival celebrated its first decade, we were delighted by the enthusiasm of an packed house on the opening night. The hallmarks of the Festival – a convivial atmosphere and the warmth of the welcome – were once again to the fore.

A meeting of audience and archaeologists

The Festival is also an opportunity for proposing a meeting between the audience and the archaeologists; we should like to make it clear that archaeology is above all a question of men and women dealing with concrete realities. Such meetings contribute an invaluable human dimension to the situation and it is an honour to be able to welcome Gilbert Kaenel, Philippe Bridel and Jean Clottes, three eminent researchers active in very different areas: the proto-history of Western Europe, Egyptian monasticism in the early centuries of Christianity and prehistoric rock art. It is clear both from their presentations and through the medium of a number of films that it is people rather than institutions who take on responsibility for archaeology, even if an institutional context is naturally required for its practice. Archaeology is far from protected from the turmoil and vicissitudes of ordinary life; it may be the object of different types of appropriation, and reflect in its own way the preoccupations and forms of operation of today’s societies.

Programme and directors

Film quality has improved considerably in the course of ten years. The television channels, which are increasingly prepared to programme archaeological films, certainly contribute to this progress and enable us to ensure a high-quality programme throughout the week. For the first time we have had a sufficient number of films on local archaeology to be able to propose setting aside a whole evening for them; this proved extremely popular with the audience. Ever increasing numbers of directors of both sexes are getting to know about the Festival and are coming to Nyon to present their films and make useful contacts. In 2009 they were from France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Israel and Spain.

The prize list

The prize list reflects greater empathy on the part of the jury for creations that express the involvement of archaeology in the ups and downs of daily life and questions that go beyond its strict practice, rather than films that highlight the more spectacular results of archaeological research. This was clearly the case in the three awards: “Le mystère de l’homme de Florès” (The mystery of Flores man), “Les fouilles de la discorde” (Dissension at the dig) and “Oublier le passé” (Forget the past).

The jury


  • Jean Terrier, cantonal archaeologist, Geneva


  • Tahar Ben Redjeb, research officer, DRAC Picardy (regional archaeological service), Amiens, France
  • Marie-Laure Widmer-Baggiolini, producer, Temps Présent, Télévision suisse romande, Geneva
  • Jean-Luc Bouvret, film-director, Paris, France
  • Corinne Martin, director’s assistant, Fonction cinéma, Geneva

5th edition of the Nyon International Festival of Archaeological Films

Director: Mr. Christophe Goumand

The keynotes of this fifth edition were intensity, conviviality and reciprocity. There was a full house nearly every evening.

Three themed evenings

Three evenings were hosted by guest speakers: Charles Bonnet, whose discovery of the black Pharaohs can only be described as the crowning point of an exemplary career, hosted the evening of 21 March devoted to archaeology in the Sudan. The audience gave overwhelming support to Stéphane Goël’s film on his team’s excavations in Kerma.

Jean-Claude Margueron, who along with his team brought back to life the extraordinary Mesopotamian city of Mari, today located in Syria, hosted the evening of Friday 23 March devoted to the Near East. He laid particular emphasis on showing to what extent research can conflict with difficulties not related to archaeology.

The evening of Thursday 22 March was devoted to the problem of the looting of archaeological sites in league with the market for antique art. The contribution of Gilbert Kaenel finally enabled the Festival to tackle a topic, which, fundamental as it is for the future of archaeology, is delicate and clearly does not only concern science. Economic and political interests dominate the field and the specialists are unfortunately all too often helpless when confronted with the huge influence of the networks involved in trade in looted objects. The film “Alerte au pillage des royaumes de Saba” (An alert to the looting of the kingdoms of Sheba) furnishes poignant testimony in this regard. However, as emerges from the film “Effacer la mémoire” (Effacing memory) in the case of Iraq, it is not only scientists who are alerted and dismayed by these problems, since broad categories of the population can be made aware of the need to preserve and showcase their cultural inheritance. The jury indeed chose this theme as their common thread and the prize list clearly reflects this.

Collaboration was renewed with Eric Huysecom, president of the Cercle genevois d’archéologie, and lecturer in the Department of Anthropology of the University of Geneva.

The jury


  • Michel Fuchs, Associate Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Provinces in the Institute of Archaeology and Ancient Sciences, University of Lausanne


  • Nassera Zaïd, Doctor in Archaeology, editor in chief of the magazine Ushuaia
  • Serge Lemaitre, archaeologist, assistant in the Brussels Royal Museums of Art and History and president of asbl kineon, Brussels
  • Jean-Marie Gindroz, producer, Fonction cinéma, Geneva
  • Philippe Axell, producer and director, Eprave, Belgium

4th edition of the Nyon International Festival of Archaeological Films

Download the 2005 Prize list (in French)

Download the 2005 programme

Organization : Roman Museum.
Director : Mr. Christophe Goumand.

This year there were three awards, including the award for the best low-budget film, as well as three mentions and the audience award. We should like to thank our audience who, despite strong temptation from the spring outside, proved very attentive, particularly in their active participation in the discussions arising out of the presentations and in mingling amicably with the professionals at several of the sessions. This is proof that these films really do make accessible to everyone subjects which might be thought to be confined to specialists.

New departures

The collaboration with Eric Huysecom, president of the Cercle genevois d’archéologie and lecturer in the Department of Anthropology of the University of Geneva, not only opened our eyes to ethno-archaeology, a type of archaeological research little known outside specialist circles, but also made us aware of the highlighting of the archaeological film in its role as a historical document. The fragility of the sources of information in this field and the need to make every effort to preserve them, give them a productive role and disseminate them was demonstrated by a group of films – one of which dates back to 1913 – reviving for us the age-old actions and practices of iron smelting in Africa, performed one last time to enable them to be recorded on camera. The Festival has its place in this work of patient construction. We look forward to renewing this collaboration in two years time.

The jury

This year three members of our jury were from France and included the president, Jean-François Renac and Christophe Frédérick-Linglet, film editor of “Sagalassos”, the winning film of our 2003 Festival and film editor in chief in Lille. He drew attention to the importance of his presence on the jury for himself and for his profession which is for the most part unrepresented in events of this kind.


Jean-François Renac, in charge of distribution for the Scientific Research Film Service (CERIMES), Ministry of National Education, France


Marc-André Haldimann, archaeologist, curator of the Department of Archaeology, Art and History Museum, Geneva

Bruno Bréart, archaeologist, regional curator of archaeology, DRAC Franche Comté, Besançon

Christophe Frédérick-Linglet, film editor in chief, Lille, France

Hicham Alhayat, film-director, actor, Geneva

The 2005 Festival on TSR!

2nd edition of the Nyon International Festival of Archaeological Films


Téléchargez le Palmarès 2001

Organisation: Musée romain

Directeur: Christophe Goumand

Le succès rencontré en 1999 a encouragé le Musée romain à recommencer et donner au festival un caractère régulier bisannuel. Nyon devient ainsi le premier rendez-vous helvétique des amateurs du cinéma d’archéologie, et rejoint d’autres festivals de ce type qui existent notamment en France (Bordeaux, Amiens), en Allemagne (Kiel), en Italie (Rovereto) ou en Belgique (Bruxelles).

Maria Longhena, de Bologne, spécialiste de la civilisation maya et auteur de nombreux ouvrages sur le sujet, a participé à la soirée de vendredi consacrée à l’archéologie de l’Amérique précolombienne.
Alix Barbet, responsable du Centre d’études des peintures murales romaines à Soissons et au Laboratoire d’archéologie de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, a participé à l’après-midi consacré à la civilisation romaine et a présenté notamment le film sur Zeugma (Turquie), cité désormais engloutie par les eaux de l’Euphrate retenues par un barrage.

Les meilleures productions ont été récompensées par un jury de 5 personnes émanant tant des milieux archéologiques que de ceux liés au cinéma. Un prix du public a également été attribué.

Le palmarès


« La tombe du prince scythe », Grande-Bretagne, France, 52’, réalisation : Marc Jampolsky

Pour son aptitude à rendre compte, avec un remarquable sens du récit, d’une recherche de longue durée sur un sujet encore peu connu, dans un contexte décrit avec beaucoup de sensibilité, en soulignant le respect mutuel des équipes scientifiques engagées et la sympathie du regard porté sur le pays dans lequel se déroule ce travail.


« Les comportements alimentaires des hommes préhistoriques », France, 26’, réalisation : Denis Gerault

Pour sa capacité à synthétiser un sujet a priori difficile à traiter cinématographiquement. Pour la manière dont la narration est personnalisée à travers une caméra subtile, un montage attrayant et un humour peu fréquent dans un document destiné à des milieux spécialisés, qualités qui font qu’il peut aussi atteindre un plus large public.


« Bacchus et Ariane », France, 18’, réalisation : Jean Collinet et Frédéric Moroldo

Pour la manière dont l’image et les commentaires judicieux se conjuguent pour mettre en valeur une œuvre exceptionnelle dans le cadre d’une opération de sauvetage archéologique.


« L’homme de Concise ou la Suisse des Palafittes », Suisse, 46’, réalisation : Silvana Bezzola

Pour sa capacité à nous faire entrer dans le champ archéologique par les moyens du cinéma documentaire judicieusement utilisés.

« Les derniers jours de Zeugma », France, 52’, réalisation : Thierry Ragobert

Pour l’émotion avec laquelle sont montrées, de manière exemplaire, les splendeurs inouïes découvertes dans l’urgence d’une situation qui met en cause une fabuleuse partie de patrimoine culturel de l’humanité, en même temps qu’elle condamne les conditions d’existence de toute une population.

Le jury

Président du jury :

  • M. Pierre Barde, producteur et réalisateur à la Télévision suisse romande.

Membres :

  • M. Frédéric André, archéologue, directeur des journées du film d’archéologie du Musée de Mariemont, Belgique.
  • M. Pierre Corboud, archéologue, département d’anthropologie de l’Université de Genève.
  • Mme Regula Frei-Stolba, archéologue, professeur à l’Institut d’archéologie et d’histoire ancienne de l’Université de Lausanne.
  • M. Majan Garlinski, ethnologue, conservateur au département d’anthropologie visuelle du Musée d’ethnographie de Genève.


Download the 2001 Prize list (in French)

Organization: Roman Museum

Director: Christophe Goumand

The success encountered in 1999 encouraged the Roman Museum to renew the adventure and make the Festival a regular biennial event. Nyon thus became the first Swiss rendezvous for devotees of archaeological films and joined other similar festivals in France (Bordeaux, Amiens), Germany (Kiel), Italy (Rovereto) and Belgium (Brussels).

Mayan civilisation specialist and author of numerous works on the Mayas, Maria Longhena from Bologna, participated in the Friday evening session on the archaeology of Pre-Columbian America. Alix Barbet, in charge of the Centre for the Study of Roman Wall Paintings in Soissons and the Laboratory of Archaeology of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, took part in the afternoon session on Roman civilisation and presented the film about Zeugma (Turkey); the city now lies under the reservoir created by the damming of the River Euphrates.   The best productions received awards from a five-person jury from the world of archaeology and the cinema. An audience award was also made.

The prize list


“ La tombe du prince scythe” (The tomb of the Scythian prince), Great Britain, France, 52’, director: Marc Jampolsky

For the ability to render long-term research on a subject that is still little known with a remarkable sense of narrative, in a context described with great sensitivity, with emphasis on the mutual respect shown by the scientific teams involved and a sympathetic perception of the country where it was filmed.


“Les comportements alimentaires des hommes préhistoriques” (Eating habits of prehistoric man), France, 26’, director: Denis Gerault

For the ability to summarise a subject a priori difficult to deal with in cinematographic terms. For the way in which the narrative is personalised by the use of subtle camera work, attractive montage and a sense of humour rarely encountered in a document intended for specialists; these qualities also make this film accessible to a wider public.


“Bacchus et Ariane” (Bacchus and Ariadne), France, 18’, directors: Jean Collinet and Frédéric Moroldo

For the way in which the images are combined with judicious comments to showcase an exceptional work of art in the context of an archaeological rescue operation.


“L’homme de Concise ou la Suisse des palafittes” (Concise man or the Switzerland of the pile-dwellers), Switzerland, 46’, director: Silvana Bezzola

For the ability to introduce us into the world of archaeology by the judicious use of the means furnished by the documentary film

“Les derniers jours de Zeugma” (The last days of Zeugma), France, 52’, director: Thierry Ragobert

For the emotion shown in revealing in exemplary fashion the unheard-of wonders discovered in extremis in a situation that raises the issue of the destiny of a fabulous part of the cultural heritage of mankind while simultaneously condemning the conditions of existence of an entire population.

The jury


  • Pierre Barde, producer and director, Télévision suisse romande


  • Frédéric André, director of the archaeological film workshops of the Musée de Mariemont, Belgium
  • Pierre Corboud, archaeologist, Department of Anthropology, University of Geneva
  • Regula Frei-Stolba, archaeologist, professor at the Institute of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Lausanne
  • Majan Garlinski, ethnologist, curator of the Department of Visual Anthropology of the Museum of Ethnography, Geneva


Organisation: Römisches Museum

Direktor: Christophe Goumand

Der Erfolg im Jahr 1999 hat das Römische Museum dazu ermutigt, das Abenteuer zu wiederholen und das Festival von jetzt an alle zwei Jahre abzuhalten. Nyon ist dadurch zum ersten schweizerischen Treffpunkt für Anhänger der archäologischen Filme geworden und schliesst sich einer Reihe von anderen gleichartigen Festivals in Frankreich (Bordeaux, Amiens), Deutschland (Kiel), Italien (Rovereto) und Belgien (Brüssel) an.

Maria Longhena, Spezialistin der Maja-Kultur und Autorin mehrerer Bücherer über dieses Thema, beteiligte sich am Freitag Abend an der Vorstellung über die Archäologie des präkolumbianischen Amerikas.

In der Nachmittagsvorstellung über die römische Kultur stellte Alix Barbet, verantwortlich für das Forschungszentrum für römische Wandmalereien in Soissons und das Archäologielabor der Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris, einen Film über die Stadt Zeugma (Türkei) vor, die bei der Stauung des Euphrats von seinen Fluten verschlungen wurde.

Die besten Produktionen wurde von der Jury, die von fünf Mitgliedern aus der Welt der Archäologie und des Films gebildet wurde, mit einem Preis ausgezeichnet. Ausserdem wurde ein Publikumspreis vergeben.

Die Preisträger


“La tombe du prince scythe” (Das Grab des skythischen Prinzen), Grossbritannien, Frankreich, 52′, Regisseur: Marc Jampolsky

Der erste Preis wurde für den Sinn für Erzählung vergeben, mit dem der Regisseur die Langzeitforschungen über ein immer noch wenig bekanntes Thema schildert. Er beschreibt den Kontext mit viel Einfühlungsvermögen, wobei er insbesondere den gegenseitige Respekt zwischen den verschiedenen wissenschaftlichen Teams hervorhebt und einen verständnisvoller Einblick in das Land gibt, in dem der Film gedreht wurde.


“Les comportements alimentaires des hommes préhistoriques” (Das Essverhalten der prähistorischen Menschen), Frankreich, 26′, Regisseur: Denis Gerault

Dieser Film wurde aus mehreren Gründen prämiert: Zunächst einmal hat der Regisseur die Fähigkeit bewiesen, ein Thema zusammenzufassen, das a priori nicht besonders für Filme geeignet ist. Die subtile Kameraführung, der attraktive Schnitt und ein Sinn für Humor, der in einem Dokument für Fachleute doch eher selten ist, geben der Erzählung eine persönliche Note. Daher ist der Film auch für ein breites Publikum geeignet.


“Bacchus und Ariane” (Bacchus und Ariadne), Frankreich, 18′, Regisseure: Jean Collinet und Frédéric Moroldo

Das Zusammenspiel zwischen Bild und klugem Kommentar, das ein ausserordentliches Kunstwerk in einer archäologischen Rettungsaktion in Szene setzt, macht diesen Film einzigartig.


“L’homme de Concise ou la Suisse des palafittes” (Der Mann aus Concise oder die Schweiz der Pfahlbauer), Schweiz, 46′, Regisseur: Silvana Bezzola

Die Regisseurin dieses Films wurde für ihre Fähigkeit prämiert, uns durch den geschickten Einsatz der Mittel einer Dokumention in die Welt der Archäologie  zu entführen.

“Les derniers jours de Zeugma” (Die letzten Tage von Zeugma), Frankreich, 52′, Regisseur: Thierry Ragobert

Die Auszeichnung diese Films wurde in erster Linie für die Emotionen vergeben, die bei dieser beispielhaften Enthüllung von unbekannten Wundern hochgekocht sind. Die Objekte wurden unter extremen Umständen gefunden, die Fragen nach dem Schicksal eines sagenhaften Teils des menschlichen Kulturerbes aufwerfen, während sie gleichzeitig die Lebensbedingungen eines gesamten Volkes verurteilen.

Die Jury


  • Pierre Barde, Produzent und Regisseur, Télévision suisse romande


  • Frédéric André, Direktor der archäologischen Filmtage des Musée de Mariemont, Belgien
  • Pierre Corboud, Archäologe, Institut für Anthropologie, Universität Genf
  • Regula Frei-Stolba, Archäologin, Professorin im Institut für Archäologie and Antike Geschichte, Universität Lausanne
  • Majan Garlinski, Ethnologe, Konservator der Abteilung für Visuelle Anthropologie des Ethnographischen Museums, Genf


3rd edition of the Nyon International Festival of Archaeological Films

Download the 2003 Prize list (in French)

Download the 2003 programme (in French)

Organization: Roman Museum
Director: Christophe Goumand

The prize list


“Sagalassos, la cite oubliée” (Sagalossos, the forgotten city), Belgium, 52’, director: Philippe Axell

This film gives a magnificent overall picture of archaeology, accessible to the general public, and representative of all the disciplines involved. It showcases the multidisciplinary nature of archaeology, specifying its objectives, ranging from discovery to reconstitution, and including interpretation, while dwelling on the different aspects of man’s past. It brings out the importance of long-term research; of particular merit is the fact that in making this film the work of the archaeologists was filmed during each campaign over 12 years. The images are magnificent and the montage excellent. The computer-generated imagery is spectacular and perfectly integrated into the film. In addition, it gives a very clear impression of the atmosphere during an excavation in terms of the human relations and the mutual respect among all members of the team, especially between the local workers and the foreign archaeologists. This is archaeology concerned with people today and in the future. It is oriented towards the long-term and the encouragement of sustainable development in an entire region.


“Le Rêve de Scipion, mort et pouvoir dans la Rome antique” (The death of Scipio, power and death in Ancient Rome), Italy, 50’, director: Adolfo Conti alias John Michael.

The power and poetry of the narrative makes this an authentic art film. Its construction is extremely cinematic and in the quality and style of its imagery its educational and historical interest is undeniable. Without prior knowledge it is impossible to imagine that it is a low-budget film. We should like to thank the author for showing us that the amount invested in a film does not reflect in any direct sense on its quality.


“Les derniers jours d’Herculanum” (The last days of Herculaneum), France, Italy, 52’, directors: Maurice Ribière and Marco Visalberghi.

Very thoughtful use is made of fiction in this film since scientific evidence and fiction intersect, while the fictional aspect is governed by the scientific evidence. It is an excellent piece of popularisation that makes accurate use of the data. It is equally a gripping reconstitution of the drama that unfolded in Herculaneum and Pompeii in the eventful days of August 79 AD.


“Les derniers jour d’Herculanum”, France, Italy, 52’, directors: Maurice Ribière and Marco Visalberghi.


“Les hommes oubliés de la vallée des rois” (The forgotten people of the Valley of the Kings), France, 52’, director: Jérôme Prieur.

A special mention was awarded to this film for its poetry and for its emphasis on individuals. It recompenses the director’s work on script-writing and his cinema technique; by means of regular and well-timed camera movement and a judicious use of sober but meaningful lighting, the spectator is transported into the anecdotal existence of the craftsmen who created some of the great masterpieces of the wider history of art and archaeology. This brilliant and uncomplicated film pays a touching poetic tribute to Egyptian civilisation.

“Bilâd Chinquit, le pays de Chinguetti” (Bilâd Chinquit, the country of Chinguetti), Italy, 59’, directors: Lucio and Anna Rosa.

The mention was awarded for the revelation of a piece of undiscovered heritage. The film provides an opportunity to visit venues that are virtually unknown. The montage is simple, with no spectacular action and without the use of computer-generated imagery, major technical resources or Range Rovers, but with unforgettable images of the desert, of camels, of valuable old books, of men who live in the desert and ancient towns which until now were not classed as objects of archaeological research. Although the desert is steadily swallowing up the houses, their images are preserved in the film.

The jury


  • Eric Huysecom, Senior Lecturer, Department of Anthropology and Ecology, University of Geneva.


  • Thierry Luginbühl, Professor of Roman Provincial Archaeology, University of Lausanne.
  • Marc Azéma, film-director, prehistorian, Montpellier.
  • Kurt Denzer, film-director, director of the Festival of Archaeological Films, Kiel, Christian Albrecht University, Kiel.
  • Jean-Daniel Farine, researcher, Télévision suisse romande, Geneva.

1st edition of the Nyon International Festival of Archaeological Films

Download the 1999 Prize list (in French)

Organization: Roman Museum
Director: Mr. Christophe Goumand

The Prize list


“Adam, roi des singes” (Adam, king of the apes), France, 52’, director: Jean-Paul Fargier

Summary: Who is the common ancestor of both men and apes, how did they become differentiated initially and what prior biological processes took place? In a theory he developed with his co-workers, Professor Jean Chaline, CNRS director of research at the University of Burgundy, proposes a novel approach to envisaging the beginnings of humanity. The view of man as the king of the apes is a paradox in human terms. Genetically speaking, there is a mere 1 per cent difference between man and ape, but in morphological terms this difference is as much as 50 or even 60 per cent. The jury particularly appreciated the scientific rigour of the film. The audience followed suit and awarded it second place behind the winner of the Audience Award.


“Amphoralis, le secret des potiers gallo-romains” (Amphoralis, the secret of the Gallo-Roman potters), France, 26’, director: Marc Azéma.

Summary: This film provides a superb means of enabling a wide audience to discover an exceptional archaeological site. Most importantly, it was an opportunity to follow a major event in archaeological research: the reconstruction of a Gallo-Roman kiln near the site with the experimental firing of hundreds of pots under the direction of Pierre Bayle, one of the greatest potters of our time. This ambitious project is the pivotal point of the documentary. It proved to be an authentic adventure in archaeology providing plenty of suspense and a wealth of information, in the process of which the participants rediscovered actions and sensations that had been forgotten for nearly twenty centuries. The progress of the work is commented on in turn by a curator, an archaeologist, an architect, potters and volunteers. The jury wished to reward the director for the quality of the follow-up of this scientific endeavour overall and the effort made to include the public at large in what could quite simply have been a private experiment for the researchers.


“ Amphoralis, le secret des potiers gallo-romains” (Amphoralis, the secret of the Gallo-Roman potters), France, 26’, director: Marc Azéma. The Audience Award went to the best low-budget film.

The Jury


  • Maurice Huelin, journalist and producer, Télévision suisse romande


  • Bertrand Bacqué, film critic, programmer of the Visions du Réel Festival, Nyon
  • Clemens Krause, professor of archaeology, University of Fribourg
  • Pierre-Yves Nicod, archaeologist, Department of Anthropology, University of Geneva
  • Fernand Barbey, teacher, Association Focale, Nyon