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“10. Zurich Film Festival: The Year of the Women”

145 productions / 49 debut works / 14 Swiss films

A celebration of cinema. A celebration for all! 145 new productions from 29 countries: 49 debut works, 17 world premieres and a record number of Swiss productions await the public.

All eyes will once again be on Zurich for eleven days starting September 25, and the ZFF’s omnipresent festival eye will cast its annual gaze across the city. The festival’s directors, Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri, presented the 10th Zurich Film Festival’s structure and announced its programme on Thursday. They are particularly delighted by the positive way in which the ZFF has developed over the past decade.  



„We began ten years ago with a small group of four people. We now operate with a team of 20 regular and 40 part-time staff “, explained Schildknecht. “Not forgetting the 300 volunteers, without whom the festival would not even be possible.” With a total of 145 films (previous year 122), including 49 debut works (previous year 36) and 17 world premieres (previous year 16), the ZFF has long been viewed as a major event. “This year, we expect some 500 guests (previous year 450) from around the world to accompany their films. And the budget has increased accordingly to CHF 6.9M (previous year CHF 6.1M)”, said Schildknecht.

ZFF remains as true as ever to its artistic credo in its anniversary year. Its competition section presents fresh, new cinema from around the globe while continuing to focus on productions from German-speaking countries: A record 14 Swiss films will be screened this year. “Due to the new competition structure, we are now able to present Swiss films in all three categories”, explained Spoerri. “Bruno Deville’s BOUBOULE and Simon Jaquemet’s CHRIEG,
for example, will be screened in the Feature Film Competition section. And we are delighted to be able to present the world premiere screening of the large-scale Swiss production NORTHMEN – A VIKING SAGA from Claudio Fäh in our Gala Premieres section“, continued Spoerri.

Lots of Women on the Green Carpet

„It may be coincidence, but the 10th ZFF is also the year of women”, said a thrilled Nadja Schildknecht. She continued: “After four male Federal Councillors, Simonetta Sommaruga will be the first female Federal Councillor to open the festival. And we look forward the following day to Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard attending the ‘Women of Impact’ event”. This year’s Golden Icon Award also goes for the first time to a woman: US actress Diane Keaton. “Every sixth festival film comes from a woman, the Feature Film Jury is presided over by Danish director Susanne Bier; Rene Russo, Cate Blanchett, Iris Berben, Alice Rohrwacher and Bettina Oberli will also attend the festival, and the French filmmaker Claire Denis is the first female to receive our coveted A Tribute to… award”, added Karl Spoerri.

Liam Neeson - copyright ZFF

Liam Neeson – copyright ZFF

This year’s ZFF star line-up also includes men: The film music composer Hans Zimmer will be lauded with the Lifetime Achievement Award on the occasion of the 3rd Film Music Competition, and the Career Achievement Award will go to legendary producer Michael Shamberg, whose most recent production A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES will be presented in Zurich by the Irish actor Liam Neeson. Josh Hutcherson and Benicio del Toro bring with them to Zurich their latest film ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST, and Antonio Banderas presents AUTÓMATA, which he also co-produced. Documentary filmmakers Frederick Wiseman and Ulrich Seidl and cameraman Michael Ballhaus each head a ZFF Masters, star photographers Peter Lindbergh and Greg Gorman grace us with their presence, and Peter Fonda and Val Kilmer speak and answer questions at ZFF Talks. Such directors as Joshua Oppenheimer, Tate Taylor, Fatih Akin and actors like Chadwick Boseman, Tom Hopper and Anatole Taubman will all accompany their films to Zurich.

Film GET ON UP opens the ZFF - Chadwick Boseman plays James Brown - copyright Zff

Film GET ON UP opens the ZFF – Chadwick Boseman plays James Brown – copyright Zff

The ZFF will open with Tate Taylor’s GET ON UP, a biopic music film about the Godfather of Soul James Brown. Further brand new films screened as Gala Premieres include Alejandro González Iñárritu’s tragicomedy BIRDMAN starring Michael Keaton, David Fincher’s thriller GONE GIRL with Ben Affleck, the European premiere of Israel Horovitz’ MY OLD LADY with Kevin Kline, Anton Corbijn’s A MOST WANTED MAN with the recently deceased Philip Seymour Hoffman, David Gordon Green’s drama MANGLEHORN with Al Pacino, the documentary films NATIONAL GALLERY from Frederick Wiseman and IM KELLER from Ulrich Seidl, plus the further European premieres of François Ozon’s UNE NOUVELLE AMIE and Dan Gilroy’s NIGHTCRAWLER with Rene Russo.

New ‚ZFF TVision’ Section

The ‚New World View’ section takes us on a journey to India and showcases a series of new independent films, including many debut works that differ radically from Bollywood productions in their political and social engagement. The ‚Border Lines’ section, which screens films that deal with current international affairs, is as always presented in collaboration with Médecins sans Frontières. ‚ZFF for Kids’ presents five international films suitable for viewing by children and families, and the ‚Special Screenings’ section shows a selection of new films from Switzerland (Focus: CH), from the programme of our partner festival in San Sebastián (San Sebastián Window), new genre cinema (Midnight Specials) and the two winning films from Locarno Film Festival’s Semaine de la critique.

In addition to all this, the new ‚ZFF TVision’ section, which presents current TV series on the big screen, will show amongst others TRUE DETECTIVE, the pilot episode of THE LEFTOVERS, and the pilot of Marc Forster’s HAND OF GOD. Our three representative retrospectives highlight the work of actress Diane Keaton, producer Michael Shamberg and director Claire Denis.

A total of seven juries will rate the films in the festival programme. The Golden Eyes in the three competition categories, and the new award for Best Swiss Film will be presented during the Award Night on Saturday evening (4.10) at Zurich Opera House. The Critics’ Choice Award from the Swiss Association of Film Journalists, the ‚Little Golden Eye’ for Best Children’s Film and the Audience Award will all be presented on the same evening, which is rounded off by the conferring of the A Tribute to… award to Claire Denis.

This year’s newly designed and noticeably larger Festival Centre at Sechseläutenplatz is also the central meeting point for the press. The centre is open daily from 11:00-00:00. Entry to the exhibition of photographs by Peter Lindbergh is free of charge.

We warmly welcome you to the 10th Zurich Film Festival!


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